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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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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.

July 2022
hand points to pause button shape made from pills

Forging a path for vasopressin drugs for autism: Q&A with Suma Jacob

by  /  5 July 2022

After the vasopressin antagonist balovaptan flopped in a late-stage clinical trial, Suma Jacob and her colleagues took stock of all the factors that might have complicated the results.

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June 2022
An illustration of DNA sequencing

DNA may hold clues to oxytocin levels in autistic people

by  /  30 June 2022

Genetic factors could help explain why the ‘social hormone’ failed to benefit autistic people in a phase 3 clinical trial last year.

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Heidi and Hannah Epstein in Los Angeles.

Pinning hope to ketamine

by  /  29 June 2022

Doctors can prescribe it, but evidence that ketamine eases autism traits is still preliminary.

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Brain made up of two different medicines

Meet the company trying precision medicine for autism

by  /  27 June 2022

Swiss biotech Stalicla hopes to bring precision medicine to autism. Experts praise efforts to identify autism subgroups, but evidence to support the company’s claims has yet to be seen.

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Gene therapy targets interneurons to tackle Dravet syndrome

by  /  13 June 2022

The approach, tested in mice, selectively boosts the expression of the autism-linked gene SCN1A in a subgroup of inhibitory cells.

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Organoids test gene therapies for Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

by  /  2 June 2022

Strategies to replace or compensate for mutated copies of the TCF4 gene could lead to treatments for this profound form of autism, a new study suggests.

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May 2022
A woman in a white lab coat uses a micropipette

Modified CRISPR tool boosts UBE3A levels in mice

by  /  20 May 2022

A deactivated form of the gene editor restores UBE3A expression in mice and human neurons without cutting the genome. It may hold promise for future Angelman gene therapies.

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SYNGAP1 protein boosts cognition, blocks seizures in mice

by  /  4 May 2022

Ramping up levels of one isoform of the autism-linked protein reverses traits in model mice, a new study shows.

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April 2022

Histone-modifying drug improves autism-like behaviors in mice

by  /  18 April 2022

The experimental compound, called GSK-LSD1, enhances social preferences and reduces repetitive grooming in mice, according to a new study.

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Why autism therapies have an evidence problem

by  /  14 April 2022

Early interventions for autism lack solid data. The source of this problem is murky but may stem from ongoing debates about evidence quality and entrenched conflicts of interest within the field.

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