pregnant belly clad in hospital gown with IV line going into hand
Registry Review Casts Doubt on Causal Link Between Maternal Infection and Autism
Maternal infection during pregnancy may be associated with autism, as previous studies have suggested—but perhaps not in a causal way.
Registry Review Casts Doubt on Causal Link Between Maternal Infection and Autism
Registry Review Casts Doubt on Causal Link Between Maternal Infection and Autism

Maternal infection during pregnancy may be associated with autism, as previous studies have suggested—but perhaps not in a causal way.

Maternal infection during pregnancy may be associated with autism, as previous studies have suggested—but perhaps not in a causal way.

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A pregnant woman gets her blood pressure checked by a doctor
U.K. Health Authority Investigates Epilepsy Drug’s Link to Autism
Peter Hess, Spectrum | Aug 30, 2022
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s investigation comes after a study showed prenatal exposure to topiramate roughly triples a child’s likelihood of having autism or intellectual disability.
illustration of neurons in blue with synapses lighting up
Gut Molecule Linked to Decreased Myelination in Mouse Brains
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Feb 17, 2022
A study shows that a molecule produced by intestinal microbes can enter the brain and that its presence is also associated with altered brain connectivity.
One white mouse with red eyes runs on a blue exercise wheel, while another mouse stands with front paws on the wheel
Serious Infections Linked to Autism: Study
Abby Olena | Sep 17, 2021
In both a mouse model and the hospital records of more than 3 million children, researchers found a connection between strong immune activation in males and later symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
illustration of a scientist carrying a test tube and leaping over a large coronavirus while carrying two children on her back
Pandemic Pressures May Drive Young Scientists Away from Autism Research
Grace Huckins | Jun 18, 2021
For researchers who work with study participants in person, lockdowns made it impossible to obtain fresh data, a survey finds.
aripiprazole ability autism spectrum behavior review
Spectrum Reporting Prompts New Review of Common Drug
Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky | Feb 11, 2021
The review of more than two dozen studies finds aripiprazole has side effects and does not change core autism features, but parents report improvements in self-injury, tantrums, and other challenging behaviors.
autistic researchers spectrum autism spectrum disorder asd
Meet the Autistic Scientists Redefining Autism Research
Rachel Nuwer | Jun 11, 2020
Growing ranks of researchers on the spectrum are overcoming barriers—from neurotypical bias to sensory sensitivities—to shape autism science.
coronavirus covid-19 sars-cov-2 autism research disruption clinical trials asd ucsd university of california san diego spectrum news
Coronavirus’s Effect on Autism Research May Have Lasting Effects
Peter Hess | Mar 18, 2020
Labs are trying to figure out who will care for animals and organoids and some clinical trials are put on hold.
abilify Aripiprazole autism side effects spectrum
How Aripiprazole’s Promise for Treating Autism Fell Short
Hannah Furfaro | Feb 27, 2020
Aripiprazole, marketed as Abilify, is widely thought to be safer than risperidone, the only other drug approved for use in autistic children. A decade’s worth of data suggests that is not true.
autism epilepsy seizures deep brain stimulation
Can Preventing Seizures Alter the Course of Autism?
Jessica Wright | Oct 8, 2019
Experimental surgeries to prevent seizures may help scientists understand the link between autism and epilepsy.
umbilical cord stem cells autism clinical trial panama
Experts Question Rationale for Stem Cell Trial for Autism
Hannah Furfaro | Aug 2, 2019
So far, the only evidence that treatments like this one work is anecdotal.
Neural Cell Types Tied to Autism Identified in Single-Cell Study
Ruth Williams | May 16, 2019
An RNA analysis of human brain cells reveals gene expression changes in cortical neurons and microglia linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Four Sets of Mice Call Popular Autism Theory into Question
Sarah DeWeerdt | Feb 26, 2019
Signaling imbalance, driven by too much excitatory activity, may be a consequence of whatever brain changes lead to autism rather than a cause of the condition.
Communication in Brain May Be Remarkably Constant in Autism
Rachel Zamzow | Jan 17, 2019
Two studies find that connectivity patterns remain stable over time in people with ASD, while in typical subjects they change.
GABA Receptors Are Normal in People with Autism
Ashley P. Taylor | Oct 14, 2018
Contrary to prior evidence, a study finds receptor density is the same among people without and without the disorder, although GABA signaling still appears to be impaired.
“Retired” Mice Find New Life as Top Models for Autism
Jessica Wright | Jan 28, 2018
After years of obscurity, strains of mice with mutations in particular genes are thrust to the fore of autism research.
Image of the Day: Tadpole Prism
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Nov 3, 2017
Scientists are making use of Xenopus tadpoles to study autism risk genes. 
Mini Brains Model Autism
Ruth Williams | Jul 16, 2015
Patient-derived organoids reveal autism spectrum disorder–associated anomalies.
Immune Role in Brain Disorder?
Hannah Waters | Mar 19, 2012
Replacing immune cells in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, a developmental brain disorder, improved symptoms, suggesting a new target for treatment.