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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

July 2021
Playful clay chromatin strand is not plugged in, there fore, not turned on

Autism’s link to chromatin remodeling, explained

by  /  6 July 2021

Many of the genes strongly linked to autism are involved in the remodeling of chromatin, the complex of DNA and proteins that makes up chromosomes. Scientists are just beginning to understand why.

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Young child sitting at table with head down, asleep.

Autistic children’s sleep problems linked to behavioral regulation issues

by  /  5 July 2021

Young autistic children with sleep troubles tend to have difficulty regulating their behavior later in childhood.

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

Community Newsletter: Double empathy over time, 38 ways to camouflage, measuring stimming’s brain effects

by  /  4 July 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at interactions between autistic and non-autistic people, a study that found 38 distinct camouflaging behaviors and a proposal for measuring stimming’s effects on the brain.

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Micrograph showing fewer neurons in fetal mice whose mothers have only one functional copy of PTEN.

Maternal genetics may contribute to autism-like traits in mice via inflammation

by  /  2 July 2021

A mouse model hints that genes linked to inflammation in some women may increase the likelihood of autism in their children.

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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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Playful chart in red and blue patterns

By the Numbers: Polypharmacy, outpatient autism care, pandemic behaviors

by  /  1 July 2021

In this edition of By the Numbers, we discuss medication shifts in people with autism, outpatient facilities providing autism care and pandemic-induced behavioral changes in autistic children.

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June 2021
side, top and frontal views of human brains.

How autism scientists are tackling brain imaging’s replication problem

by  /  30 June 2021

Reports of flaws in imaging research are signs of a maturing field, experts say, not a devastating blow to its results.

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Micrograph of two developing axons, one with one copy of TSC2 gene and the other with two copies.

Disrupted cell skeletons may explain brain wiring changes in autism-linked condition

by  /  28 June 2021

Neuronal axons ignore guidance cues after a mutation in the gene TSC2 disrupts signaling through RhoA, a protein regulated by many autism-linked genes.

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Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: ASH1L mouse model, camouflaging commentary, autism-specific suicidal behaviors survey

by  /  27 June 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at how a loss of the gene ASH1L is linked to autism, a commentary on camouflaging and a new survey to measure suicidal behaviors in autistic people.

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Close up of phone with Cognoa app in use, apparently taking video or a photo of a child exhibiting stimming behaviors or repetitive motions.

Green light for diagnostic autism app raises questions, concerns

by  /  24 June 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the okay to an app designed to help clinicians diagnose autism in children, but some researchers have concerns about its use.

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