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.

autism spectrum disorder
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.
Colorful DNA strands
Scans of Sundry Variant Types Uncover Autism-Linked Genes
Chloe Williams, Spectrum | Aug 19, 2022
Troves of sequencing data reveal genes tied to autism through different variant types, providing a more complete picture of the condition’s genetic roots and new clues to its heterogeneity.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 12
The Scientist Creative Services Team
Decoding Smell: Demystifying Human Disease and Behavior
smiling woman with hands on hips with blackboard in background
In Deep Water With Gül Dölen
Peter Hess, Spectrum | Aug 4, 2022
A researcher’s existential crisis led to a scientific breakthrough.
illustration of brain with DNA strand coming out the top
Genetic Underpinnings of Brain Activity May Differ in Autism
Emily Harris, Spectrum | Jul 19, 2022
A study finds that expression levels of certain genes that track with brain activity—particularly those involved in brain development—vary between people with autism and their non-autistic peers.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 7
The Scientist Creative Services Team
Brains in the Palm of your Hand: 3D Organoid Cell Culture
illustration of a branching neuron
Different Forms of Autism Have Opposite Problems with Brain Precursor Cells
Charles Choi | Jun 13, 2022
Compared with cells taken from non-autistic controls, neural precursors from autistic boys proliferated in atypical ways, a small study finds.
illustration of a brain divided into 4 puzzle pieces
Why Autism Therapies Have an Evidence Problem
Rachel Zamzow | Apr 14, 2022
Some experts argue that better trials are needed before putting interventions into practice.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 1
The Scientist Creative Services Team
Birds on the Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Songbird Communication and Human Speech
illustration of multiple brain scan images
Power Shortages Dim Results of Many Neuroimaging Studies
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Mar 17, 2022
Low participant numbers render the results of many studies based on brain scans unreliable, an analysis finds.
Illustration of scientists collaborating
How to Bring the Public into the Scientific Process
Amanda Heidt | Mar 14, 2022
A new wave of research is recruiting patients and other members of the public to serve as equal partners, bringing fresh perspectives to research on diseases and other conditions.
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.
Deborah Nickerson
Genome Pioneer Deborah Nickerson Dies at 67
Amanda Heidt | Feb 9, 2022
The University of Washington researcher leveraged data from the Human Genome Project to identify genes underlying various health conditions and advance precision medicine.
Microscopy image showing patches of magenta and green
Three Autism-Linked Genes Converge on Tweaks to Cells’ Timing
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Feb 3, 2022
The genes are involved in pacing the development of inhibitory and excitatory neurons. An imbalance in these two types of signaling is thought to play a role in autism.
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021
The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.
Man in glasses smiling, looking off camera
Legendary Child Psychiatrist Michael Rutter Dies
Lisa Winter | Nov 10, 2021
He discovered that autism had strong genetic links.
SYNGAP1 helps neurons eliminate old synapses and form new ones after a novel experience (left and center left)—a process weakened in mice missing a copy of the gene (center right and right).
Autism-Linked Gene SYNGAP1 Molds Synaptic Plasticity, Learning
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Oct 26, 2021
The finding may help to explain why people with SYNGAP1 mutations tend to have learning difficulties and a high tolerance for pain.
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.
A series of brain scans on a black background
How Scientists Are Tackling Brain Imaging’s Replication Problem
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Jul 9, 2021
Researchers who spoke with Spectrum say that while brain imaging tools have their limitations, they still hold promise in helping to unlock the brain’s secrets.