Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Multimedia /

Videos

News

Switching neurons on and off to probe autism circuits

A 3D optogenetics method can mimic natural rhythms of neural activity, rendering previously unanswerable questions amenable to inquiry — including questions about autism.

News

Mitochondria: An energy explanation for autism

People with autism have more mutations than others do in both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA that affects mitochondrial function.

News

Video: Wearable sensors pick up early signs of autism

Audio and motion-sensor recordings offer a remote window into a baby’s first years and make it easier for families to participate in research.

News

Huda Zoghbi: Taking genetic inquiry to the next level

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.

News

The gut’s connection to autism

Autistic children are up to four times as likely as their non-autistic peers to have digestive problems, and several small studies show they may also have atypical microbial communities living in their guts.

Opinion

Friends of friends: How monkey island’s residents bonded after Hurricane Maria

On 20 September 2017, Hurricane Maria passed over Puerto Rico’s Cayo Santiago Island, home to more than 1,500 non-native rhesus macaques. After the storm, the monkeys formed new, unexpected relationships in ways that could offer clues about autism.

News

Advancing early interventions for autism

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.

News

Motion-capture videos reveal atypical grooming in fragile X rats

A Hollywood-inspired video tool that captures movement in three dimensions over extended time periods shows that rats lacking the autism-linked gene FMR1 have different grooming patterns than controls do.

News

How the striatum is linked to autism

The repetitive behaviors seen in autism may originate in the striatum, a cluster of neurons involved with initiating and executing movements.

Multimedia

Repetitive behaviors and autism

New thinking about repetitive behaviors suggests they provide stress relief and fun for autistic people; as such, these behaviors deserve careful management.