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.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Over the past century, scientists have used a variety of animal models to advance their understanding of the developing brain and autism.
In the past two decades, some autism researchers have turned to simple animals, such as roundworms, fruit flies and zebrafish, for their investigations. Others have sought answers from experiments with frogs, birds and even octopuses.
The high levels of serotonin seen in the blood of some autistic people have confounded scientists for more than half a century. Despite so little progress, some researchers refuse to give up.
Deleting CHD8 from the intestines induces gastrointestinal and behavioral changes in mice that resemble traits in people with mutations in the gene.
Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.
Children with autism may have a subtly different set of bacteria in their gut than their non-autistic siblings do.
Spectrum is covering the 2020 International SYNGAP1 Scientific Conference, which took place virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. Here we’re highlighting researchers’ reactions to noteworthy presentations.