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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

February 2021
DNA mutation

Proteins linked to top autism gene might aid early diagnosis

by  /  26 February 2021

Blood levels of PTEN protein and associated molecules could eventually help diagnose autism and other neurological conditions — and predict their outcomes.

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Child with clinician, making eye contact

Algorithm ‘sees’ when people’s eyes meet

by  /  25 February 2021

A new machine-learning tool detects eye contact during recorded face-to-face interactions as accurately as expert observers can.

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Female teen in an institutional setting, blue light by widows, blinds drawn.

Emotional challenges predict hospital stays in autistic children

by  /  24 February 2021

Autistic children who have difficulty managing their emotions are also likely to take medication and need assistance from emergency responders.

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white mouse looking at something out of frame

New tool captures dynamic changes in decision-making

by  /  4 February 2021

A new open-source software package makes it possible to model changes in human and animal behavior over the course of an experiment.

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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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DNMT3A protein attaches a methyl group tag onto the DNA base cytosine.

Autism-related conditions converge on same loss of DNA tags

by  /  20 January 2021

Mutations in the autism-linked gene DNMT3A lead to the behaviors and gene-expression changes seen in different neurodevelopmental conditions.

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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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SEM of faecal bacteria.

Study hints at microbiome differences in children with autism

by  /  14 January 2021

Children with autism may have a subtly different set of bacteria in their gut than their non-autistic siblings do.

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Boy sleeping in low light

Brain-wave patterns flag sleep differences in dup15q syndrome

by  /  13 January 2021

Children with dup15q syndrome may have telltale patterns of brain activity during sleep and get less non-REM sleep than neurotypical children do.

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Baby getting an MRI scan

Imaging study casts doubt on cerebellum’s role in autism during infancy

by  /  13 January 2021

Connections between the cerebellum and brain networks do not seem to contribute substantially to the emergence of autism traits.

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