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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: motor skills

September 2021
Researcher hands on three brain images taken at different ages, of different conditions.

The search for a link between autism and neurodegenerative conditions

by  /  28 September 2021

Autistic people have a higher-than-average chance of developing a neurodegenerative condition, according to a few studies. Some scientists are searching for proof — work that could also improve care for older autistic adults.

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July 2021
Micrographs comparing motor cortex neurons in mice with and without an extra copy of MECP2 gene.

Blocking key pathway reverses brain, behavior changes in autism mouse model

by  /  19 July 2021

Neurons in mice with an autism-linked mutation sprout extraneous protrusions, an overgrowth accompanied by above-average motor learning. Inhibiting a cell signaling pathway reverses the effect.

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Illustration shows yellow landscape with blue sections and a lot of trains on paths with kids on the trains, going different directions.

Mapping the futures of autistic children

by  /  14 July 2021

Researchers can roughly project what autistic children’s lives will look like years down the road. But how good is their crystal ball — and what are its benefits?

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June 2021
Dr. Huda Zoghbi portrait

Huda Zoghbi: Taking genetic inquiry to the next level

by  /  25 June 2021

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.

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May 2021
young woman sitting on steps alone, looking anxious.

Anxiety, self-harm elevated in people with DDX3X syndrome

by  /  3 May 2021

Girls and women with mutations in the autism-linked gene DDX3X may be particularly vulnerable to anxiety and self-harm.

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April 2021
Micrograph comparing locus coeruleus of 16p11.2 mutant mice and control mice show less active noradrenergic neurons in mutant mice.

Circuit flaw underlies motor learning issues in autism mouse model

by  /  12 April 2021

Mice missing a copy of chromosomal region 16p11.2 are slow to learn motor tasks and have dysfunction in a brain circuit associated with stress and movement, according to a new study. Normalizing this circuit’s activity corrects the learning deficit.

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Ultrasound of a human fetus.

Slow head growth in utero may augur developmental difficulties

by  /  9 April 2021

The pace of fetal head growth is associated with behavioral outcomes two years later, according to a new study.

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March 2021
Mouse brain neurons labeled with a genetic marker show pink on a dramatic blue background.

Early training forestalls motor, memory difficulties in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  24 March 2021

Motor and memory training early in life postpones the onset of difficulties in those areas in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, and stimulating neurons involved in those skills appears to mimic the effects of training.

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January 2021
3D image of a rat with motion sensor nodes on, in a clear cage.

Motion-capture videos reveal atypical grooming in fragile X rats

by  /  27 January 2021

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.

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girl about to catch a ball

Autistic children may have trouble predicting movements

by  /  15 January 2021

Autistic children may have a harder time catching a ball than non-autistic children do, possibly because they are less able to predict its trajectory.

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