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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.

September 2021
Many people in different areas on a target.

Finding a path forward for fragile X drugs

by  /  23 September 2021

The stubborn lack of treatments for fragile X syndrome — a leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism — is spurring researchers to revise clinical trial techniques and revisit old drug candidates.

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Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

by  /  21 September 2021

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

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Child makes a row of flowers on the ground.

Repetitive behaviors wax and wane among autistic youth

by  /  20 September 2021

Some types of restricted and repetitive behaviors become more prevalent among autistic children and teenagers over time, depending on their age and intellectual ability, whereas others decrease.

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Illustration of large microscope with spotlight on DNA strand representing focus on basic research leaving families in the twilight waiting room.

Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions

by  /  14 September 2021

For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings.

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August 2021
Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele headshot

Webinar: Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele on the state of autism drug development

 /  28 September 2021

On 28 September, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, spoke about goals for developing new drugs for autism — and the barriers researchers may encounter.

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Drugs boost serotonin, socialization in multiple autism mouse models

by  /  6 August 2021

The finding that MDMA and an experimental serotonin agonist increase sociability across six different model mice suggests that disparate autism-linked mutations converge on the same underlying pathways.

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Portrait of the Lane family in Kentucky.

Moving for autism care

by  /  4 August 2021

Disparities in state services for autism are driving families to relocate. But not everyone can afford to move, and others find that their new home also has faults.

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July 2021
Micrographs comparing motor cortex neurons in mice with and without an extra copy of MECP2 gene.

Blocking key pathway reverses brain, behavior changes in autism mouse model

by  /  19 July 2021

Neurons in mice with an autism-linked mutation sprout extraneous protrusions, an overgrowth accompanied by above-average motor learning. Inhibiting a cell signaling pathway reverses the effect.

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Polypharmacy, shifting prescriptions common for autism comorbidities

by  /  1 July 2021

Roughly 30 percent of people with autism plus another condition, such as anxiety, are prescribed three or more psychotropic medicines. And that mix frequently changes from year to year.

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June 2021
Dr. Huda Zoghbi portrait

Huda Zoghbi: Taking genetic inquiry to the next level

by  /  25 June 2021

Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, Huda Zoghbi has won almost every major biology and neuroscience research award that exists. More than 20 years since she discovered the gene behind Rett syndrome, she remains laser focused on unlocking the condition’s secrets and finding effective treatments.

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