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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.

Features / Deep Dive
Ralf Schmid, the research director in Neurodevelopmental diseases at the Gene Therapy Program Orphan Disease Center, loads replicated mouse dna into wells in the gel before applying electric current to test the viability of the dna.

A quest for Quincy: Gene therapies come of age for some forms of autism

by ,  /  14 October 2020
A gene therapy for Angelman syndrome stands at the forefront of efforts to treat autism-linked conditions that stem from single genes.
Opinion / Viewpoint
A child wearing headphones looking into his locker with bullies lurking behind him.

Why it is imperative to ask autistic adolescents about bullying

by ,  /  6 October 2020
Being bullied puts adolescents with autism at increased risk of suicide. Identifying and preventing bullying may help prevent suicides.
News
White lab mouse sitting in a gloved hand.

Silencing ‘poison exon’ eliminates deadly seizures in mice

by  /  24 September 2020
A new treatment curbs deadly seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
September 2020
Micrograph of a mitochondria.
News

Fragile X syndrome traits may stem from leaky mitochondria

by  /  11 September 2020

Plugging a leaky mitochondrial membrane may help fragile X neurons to mature and function more efficiently.

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People reaching out to touch hands through screen.
Opinion / Viewpoint

We need better strategies to support autistic people as the COVID-19 crisis continues

by  /  8 September 2020

Interviews with autistic people reveal that many miss their friends and opportunities for social connection, in stark contrast to orthodox views that they have little social motivation and prefer a life of self-isolation.

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Illustration of a neuron on top of a marijuana leaf surrounded by psychadelic colors.
News

Cannabis and autism, explained

by  /  7 September 2020

Autistic people and their families are increasingly experimenting with marijuana to try to ease problems such as insomnia, epilepsy and chronic pain — and traits of autism. But there is little evidence for its safety or effectiveness.

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Liquid medicine being poured from bottle onto spoon.
News

Bumetanide may benefit only a subset of autistic children

by  /  3 September 2020

Contrary to previous results, the blood pressure drug did not uniformly improve autism traits in a new clinical trial.

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August 2020
RNA, transcription
News

Antidote to ‘poison’ DNA may treat lethal form of epilepsy

by  /  26 August 2020

An experimental drug silences a DNA segment and seems to prevent seizures and death in a condition related to autism.

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Micrograph of neurons in mouse brain.
News

Inside scientists’ quest to map, modulate social circuits in autism

by  /  17 August 2020

A growing number of studies are revealing circuits that may underlie social challenges in autism — and how to fine-tune them.

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Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.
News

Motor difficulties in autism, explained

by  /  13 August 2020

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

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July 2020
Illustration shows scientist is observing social behavior in a large group of children
Opinion / Viewpoint

In search of ‘social’ subtypes of autism

by ,  /  21 July 2020

Grouping autistic people based on their social abilities may reveal subtypes of the condition.

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News

Selective enzyme blocker eases fragile X traits in mice

by  /  10 July 2020

A new treatment prevents seizures and improves memory in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to a new study.

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News

Fine-tuning brain activity reverses memory problems in mice with autism mutation

by  /  6 July 2020

Dampening overactive brain circuits alleviates social and memory problems in a mouse model of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

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