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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: social deficits

April 2021
A group of six images of fruit fly brains show networks in green and pink.

Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions

by  /  15 April 2021

Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior.

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March 2021
Boy in classroom looks frustrated as other kids interact and move around him.

Communication struggles may explain aggression in some autistic boys

by  /  29 March 2021

Poor communication skills predict aggression in autistic boys, according to a new study. In autistic girls, communication and aggression may not be related.

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Scanning elecgron micrograph of Faecal bacteria.

Gut microbes shape social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  26 March 2021

Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.

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Boy in brain-like tunnel looking towards the light

Puberty and autism: An unexplored transition

by  /  24 March 2021

Researchers are just beginning to learn what happens in the brains of autistic children during adolescence to explain their unique social, cognitive and emotional challenges.

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February 2021
Transmission Electron micrograph shows mitochondria colored an aqua blue.

Changes to mitochondrial DNA spur autism-like traits in mice

by  /  17 February 2021

Mice with a mutation in their mitochondrial DNA show altered brain activity, repetitive behaviors and reduced sociability, according to a new study.

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January 2021
Mouse brain slices shown in red

Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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dopamine neurons in mice show up green in an area of the brain associated with social reward.

Dopamine neurons may dampen social behavior in mouse model of autism

by  /  12 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene PTEN show a reduced preference for social interaction, possibly due to atypically large, overconnected dopamine neurons. Easing the overconnection may alleviate this trait.

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Two rats interacting

Female rats master social recognition later than males do

by  /  12 January 2021

Young male rats can recognize rats they’ve recently met, whereas young females treat new acquaintances like strangers, research shows.

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December 2020
Oxytocin neurons stained pink and green.

Autism-linked gene exerts varied effects on oxytocin circuits in mice

by  /  18 December 2020

Two types of neurons process social information, a new mouse study suggests, but only one is disrupted in mice missing the autism-linked gene FMR1.

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Approximately 24 month old twin girls, one of them reaching for something.

Genes’ influence on social behaviors shifts with age

by  /  14 December 2020

Some social behaviors associated with autism are heritable, but the extent to which genes and the environment influence these behaviors changes as a child grows.

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