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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: microglia

February 2016

The brain’s secret gardeners

by  /  3 February 2016

Once thought merely to be specialized immune system cells, microglia now appear to be master landscapers of the developing brain.

December 2015

Staff picks from 2015

by  /  22 December 2015

Some of our favorite stories this year went beyond the news to lay bare critical controversies or highlight real-world implications of research.

October 2015

Blue light used for optogenetics may have off-target effects

by  /  18 October 2015

Tiny pulses of blue light dampen the expression of inflammatory genes in microglia, and may cause unplanned effects when using optogenetics.


Study grants starring role to astrocytes in Rett syndrome

by  /  17 October 2015

A new study casts brain cells called astrocytes as minor stars in Rett syndrome, a disorder that almost exclusively affects girls.

Week of SeptemberSep

Power player; placebo predictors

by  /  2 October 2015

The MacArthur Foundation honors neuroscientist Beth Stevens, and researchers pin down factors that influence the placebo effect in autism trials.

September 2015
Portrait of Beth Stevens.

Beth Stevens: Casting immune cells as brain sculptors

by  /  24 September 2015

Beth Stevens is unmasking new roles for microglia, the mysterious brain cells that seem to shape brain circuits.

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May 2015

Study questions promise of bone marrow transplant for Rett

by  /  22 May 2015

Researchers from four labs were unable to reproduce the findings from a high-profile 2012 study in which bone marrow transplants dramatically extended the lives of mice with features of Rett syndrome. Their sobering findings were published yesterday in Nature.

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April 2015

Rett mutation may lead to runaway inflammation

by  /  30 April 2015

The mutation that causes Rett syndrome may spark uncontrolled inflammation throughout the body and brain, suggests a study published last week. The findings may explain the syndrome’s wide range of symptoms, from seizures to gut problems.

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December 2014

Postmortem brains point to molecular signature of autism

by  /  22 December 2014

An analysis of genes expressed in the postmortem brains of people with autism has identified three molecular pathways linked to the disorder. The findings, published 10 December in Nature Communications, add to mounting evidence that the myriad causes of autism converge on common biological processes.

November 2014

Mouse study sheds light on maternal infection, autism link

by  /  21 November 2014

A new study points to a possible link between inflammation in the womb, brain overgrowth and the behavioral impairments seen in autism.