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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

March 2020
News

‘Social brain’ activity may not differ in some autistic people

by  /  16 March 2020

People with autism may have patterns of brain activity that are similar to those in typical people when interpreting social interactions.

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MRI scans of a child's brain with DDX3X mutation
News

Newly identified mutations clarify gene’s link to autism, intellectual disability

by  /  12 March 2020

Researchers have cataloged more than 100 mutations in DDX3X, a candidate gene for autism.

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News

Autistic children’s auditory delays may persist into adulthood

by  /  10 March 2020

A delay in autistic children’s brain responses to sound may continue into adulthood.

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Illustration showing the human brain with neurons made out of flower shapes and the cerebellum highlighted in gold and yellow.
News

Brain’s motor hub plays unsung role in social skills, cognition

by  /  9 March 2020

Long known as the director of movement, the cerebellum may also coordinate social and cognitive abilities, including those central to autism.

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Color-coded mouse brain scans
News / Toolbox

Machine designed for mouse brain imaging may help autism studies

by  /  6 March 2020

A custom-built machine can scan the brains of awake mice and may improve our understanding of conditions such as autism.

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Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing several unmyelinated (green) and myelinated (green with blue border) axons. Schwann cell cytoplasm is red and a nucleus (bottom left) is yellow. The pink lines are the basement membranes.
News

Loss of insulation on neurons may contribute to autism

by  /  6 March 2020

Genes involved in the formation of myelin, a fatty substance that sheathes neurons, are altered in autistic people and in several mouse models.

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Young girl crying into mother's shoulder
News

Enlarged amygdala linked to severe behavioral problems in autistic girls

by  /  5 March 2020

Autistic children who have behavioral problems tend to have an enlarged right amygdala, and in girls the size is associated with the severity of certain behaviors.

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Brain scans showing differences between those with TBR1 mutations and controls.
News

Mutations in top autism gene linked to changes in brain structure

by  /  4 March 2020

People with mutations in a gene called TBR1 have unusual features in several brain regions, along with autism traits and developmental delay.

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microscopic views of proteins
News

Alzheimer’s protein turns up as potential target for autism treatments

by  /  2 March 2020

Lowering the levels of a protein called tau, best known for its involvement in Alzheimer’s disease, improves behavior in two mouse models of autism.

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News

Older autistic adults may retain strong visual abilities

by  /  2 March 2020

Autistic adults may not experience the typical age-related decline in brain regions related to vision.

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