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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.

May 2021
News / Toolbox

New benchmark for autism scale may help gauge therapies

by  /  18 May 2021

Researchers have defined a change in score on a popular autism rating scale that signifies a meaningful improvement in core traits. The measure could help scientists assess the effectiveness of autism treatments in clinical trials.

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Visual stimulus of 4 circles with black and white stripes.
News

Visual task flags autistic people who respond to GABA agonists

by  /  14 May 2021

The investigational drug arbaclofen makes autistic people’s brains respond to a visual task more like non-autistic people’s brains do.

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Child's hands playing on a white table with blue sand.
News

Methodological issues plague studies of early autism interventions

by  /  6 May 2021

Multiple types of bias and an overreliance on caregiver reports have clouded research on the effectiveness of early interventions for autism for nearly three decades.

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brainstem of rats in red, green and blue highlight higher levels of GABA.
News

GABA agonist rescues auditory hypersensitivity in rats missing autism-linked gene CNTNAP2

by  /  3 May 2021

The investigational drug arbaclofen may right an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory signaling in the animals’ brains.

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April 2021
three black and white monkey brain views next to three color versions showing the a drug target area colored red.
News

Drug boosts cognition in men with fragile X syndrome

by  /  29 April 2021

A drug that prevents an enzyme from breaking down a key molecule involved in learning and memory improved cognition and behavior in a small study of men with fragile X syndrome.

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

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.

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March 2021
Mouse brain neurons labeled with a genetic marker show pink on a dramatic blue background.
News

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.

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Nasal sprayer makes a brain shape out of its spray.
Opinion / Viewpoint

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.

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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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