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Treatments

Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

March 2021
Nasal sprayer makes a brain shape out of its spray.

How to improve oxytocin research for autism

by ,  /  9 March 2021

To guard against hype, scientists studying oxytocin’s role in autism and its potential as a treatment need to embrace robust theories, rigorous delivery methods and reproducible research practices.

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Hands of researcher in two colors, one hand with Fragile X and the other with COIVD shapes connected by multicolored dots.

Fragile X researcher takes on COVID-19

by  /  2 March 2021

Cara Westmark has spent the past year building the case that a drug designed for fragile X syndrome might help coronavirus patients, too.

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February 2021

Advancing early interventions for autism

by  /  9 February 2021

Some therapies use play and other activities to reinforce skills that autistic children often find challenging. Trials show these methods can change a child’s trajectory for the better, but the evidence base remains thin.

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January 2021
Pills spilling out of falling prescription bottle.

Spectrum reporting prompts new review of common drug

by  /  29 January 2021

Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic medication marketed as Abilify, eases aggressive behavior in autistic children, but questions remain about its side effects.

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Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

by  /  28 January 2021

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

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New gene therapy methods deliver promise

by  /  14 January 2021

Two unpublished studies detail improved techniques for delivering gene therapies to the brain.

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Two mice in a rotarod machine

Mouse study sounds note of caution for Rett syndrome therapies

by  /  13 January 2021

Treatments for Rett syndrome that aim to boost levels of the protein MECP2 may not help everyone with the condition.

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two mice interacting.

Mice show brain, behavior changes weeks after oxytocin treatment

by  /  11 January 2021

Intranasal oxytocin may spur new neuron growth and changes in social behavior after a few weeks.

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December 2020
researcher facing off with the coronavirus.

Rewind: Spectrum’s best from 2020

23 December 2020

Our staff picks the stories, podcasts and special reports that stood out from the rest this past year.

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Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome

Hot topics in autism research, 2020

23 December 2020

The Spectrum team highlights five topics that distinguished autism research in 2020: diversity in data, gene therapies, subtyping, social circuitry and the ‘autism gene’ debate.

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