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Treatments

Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

News
A child's hand points to a location on a hand drawn map of the United States in different crayon colors.

Many U.S. counties lack autism therapists

by  /  20 April 2021
Applied behavior analysis is the most widely used therapy for autistic children in the United States, but some regions lack the staff needed to provide it.
News
Mouse brain neurons labeled with a genetic marker show pink on a dramatic blue background.

Early training forestalls motor, memory difficulties in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  24 March 2021
Motor and memory training early in life postpones the onset of difficulties in those areas in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, and stimulating neurons involved in those skills appears to mimic the effects of training.
Opinion / Viewpoint
Nasal sprayer makes a brain shape out of its spray.

How to improve oxytocin research for autism

by ,  /  9 March 2021
To guard against hype, scientists studying oxytocin’s role in autism and its potential as a treatment need to embrace robust theories, rigorous delivery methods and reproducible research practices.
March 2021
Hands of researcher in two colors, one hand with Fragile X and the other with COIVD shapes connected by multicolored dots.
Opinion / Q&A

Fragile X researcher takes on COVID-19

by  /  2 March 2021

Cara Westmark has spent the past year building the case that a drug designed for fragile X syndrome might help coronavirus patients, too.

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February 2021
News

Advancing early interventions for autism

by  /  9 February 2021

Some therapies use play and other activities to reinforce skills that autistic children often find challenging. Trials show these methods can change a child’s trajectory for the better, but the evidence base remains thin.

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January 2021
Pills spilling out of falling prescription bottle.
News

Spectrum reporting prompts new review of common drug

by  /  29 January 2021

Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic medication marketed as Abilify, eases aggressive behavior in autistic children, but questions remain about its side effects.

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News / Toolbox

Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

by  /  28 January 2021

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

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News

New gene therapy methods deliver promise

by  /  14 January 2021

Two unpublished studies detail improved techniques for delivering gene therapies to the brain.

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Two mice in a rotarod machine
News

Mouse study sounds note of caution for Rett syndrome therapies

by  /  13 January 2021

Treatments for Rett syndrome that aim to boost levels of the protein MECP2 may not help everyone with the condition.

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two mice interacting.
News

Mice show brain, behavior changes weeks after oxytocin treatment

by  /  11 January 2021

Intranasal oxytocin may spur new neuron growth and changes in social behavior after a few weeks.

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December 2020
researcher facing off with the coronavirus.
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

Rewind: Spectrum’s best from 2020

23 December 2020

Our staff picks the stories, podcasts and special reports that stood out from the rest this past year.

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Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

Hot topics in autism research, 2020

23 December 2020

The Spectrum team highlights five topics that distinguished autism research in 2020: diversity in data, gene therapies, subtyping, social circuitry and the ‘autism gene’ debate.

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White lab mouse sitting in a gloved hand.
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

Notable papers in autism research, 2020

23 December 2020

Gene therapies and the factors influencing autism traits top Spectrum’s list of the 10 most notable research findings we covered in 2020.

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