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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.

November 2021

Gene therapy for rare form of autism may treat another

by  /  11 November 2021

A MECP2 gene therapy for Rett syndrome eases repetitive behaviors, anxiety and hyperactivity in a mouse model of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome.

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Dispatches from SfN 2021: Mitochondria, Rett therapy and oxytocin

These short reports from Spectrum journalists highlight some of the autism-related findings that caught our attention at the meeting this past week.

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Illustration of a network of blue neurons overlaid with marijuana leaves.

Special report: How cannabis could shape future autism therapies

by  /  8 November 2021

Cannabis-derived drugs are approved to treat only a small number of autism-related conditions, but many autistic people and their families experiment with medical marijuana to ease autism traits. In this special report, Spectrum rounds up what the science says about cannabis and autism.

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Mouse neurons in red and pink on black.

Mouse model reveals root of breathing issues in rare form of autism

by  /  5 November 2021

Dysfunctional circuits and a rogue sodium channel in the brainstem may explain the disordered breathing pattern seen in children with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a form of autism.

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October 2021
Illustration: microbes clumped together forming the shape of a brain. The microbes are pink, blue, aqua, and red. Set against a dark blue background.

Despite flurry of findings, doubts dog gut microbes’ role in autism

by  /  19 October 2021

The possibility of microbial treatments for autism has inspired a burst of research and nascent clinical trials, but new research suggests these efforts rest on shaky scientific ground.

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Photo: A nasal spray bottle sprays upwards.

Intranasal oxytocin ineffective for autism in large trial

by  /  13 October 2021

The hormone is no better than placebo at boosting social behavior in autistic children, according to a new study, but it may still benefit a subset of people with the condition.

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Medicine being drawn out of a vial with a syringe.

Paused Angelman syndrome trial to restart

by  /  7 October 2021

After imposing a pause in November 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for a clinical trial of a gene therapy for Angelman syndrome.

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white lab mouse grooming.

Cancer drug alters autism-like traits in mice

by  /  5 October 2021

A drug that helps promote gene expression reduces repetitive behaviors and improves memory and sociability in a mouse model of autism.

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Closeup photo of a liquid being poured out of a brown bottle.

French pharma firms terminate trials of bumetanide for autism

by  /  1 October 2021

Preliminary results suggested the treatment is no better than placebo at reducing the severity of core autism traits.

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September 2021
Mother and child playing with small colored blocks on the carpet.

Uncertainty clouds test of ‘preemptive’ therapy to ease autism traits

by  /  24 September 2021

Experts question data showing that an experimental therapy that parents deliver to babies with early signs of autism can lessen the intensity of the children’s traits and lower their chances of diagnosis at age 3.

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