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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

September 2021
Four brains showing areas affected by the X chomosome in yellow

X chromosome exerts extra influence on brain development

by  /  15 September 2021

The X chromosome holds stronger-than-expected genetic sway over the structure of several brain regions. The genes that may underlie this oversized influence have ties to autism.

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Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: “Autism Voices” and the developing cortex

by  /  12 September 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a new tool for interviewing young autistic people with verbal or intellectual challenges and the response to a new resource that maps autism mutations.

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Colorful image of a composite of multiple brain scans showing communication patterns in different regions.

Autism mouse models cluster by brain activity pattern

by  /  10 September 2021

Four subtypes lend new support to the idea that there isn’t a single ‘hallmark’ type of brain connectivity in people with autism.

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Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: When results don’t replicate, autistic study consultants

by  /  5 September 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at the un-reproducible results of a 2007 ‘false beliefs’ study and a commentary on the benefits of autistic study consultants.

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Stack of journals.

Autism study earns ‘expression of concern’ over unavailable data

by  /  3 September 2021

An autism brain imaging study published seven years ago received an expression of concern last month after its authors failed to uphold a promise to make their raw data freely available.

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Placental hormone loss spurs autism-like traits in mice

by  /  2 September 2021

Mice exposed to unusually low levels of the placental hormone allopregnanolone in the womb show atypical brain development and autism-like behaviors.

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neurons in organoids

Protein inhibitor normalizes neuronal migration in organoid model of autism

by  /  1 September 2021

Inhibiting a protein that helps cells move or change shape prevents atypical neuronal migration in 3D clusters of brain cells carrying autism-linked genetic variants.

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August 2021
Mom and toddler with audio recording device

Video: Wearable sensors pick up early signs of autism

by  /  30 August 2021

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.

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mouths forming a conversation

Community Newsletter: Ethical questions for autism researchers and a tribute to Dinah Murray

by  /  29 August 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a paper on ethical considerations for biomarker research and early interventions plus a tribute to the late autistic autism researcher Dinah Murray.

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Micrograph showing missing sodium ion channels in cerebral cortex of mice with two mutated copies of SCN2A gene.

Model mice hint at sodium channel gene’s contribution to autism

by  /  27 August 2021

Altered electrical activity in the neurons of mice with a mutated copy of SCN2A may explain the animals’ autism-like social behaviors.

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