illustration of a brain divided into 4 puzzle pieces
Why Autism Therapies Have an Evidence Problem
Some experts argue that better trials are needed before putting interventions into practice.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, tasha vector
Why Autism Therapies Have an Evidence Problem
Why Autism Therapies Have an Evidence Problem

Some experts argue that better trials are needed before putting interventions into practice.

Some experts argue that better trials are needed before putting interventions into practice.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, tasha vector

spectrum

illustration of multiple brain scan images
Power Shortages Dim Results of Many Neuroimaging Studies
Angie Voyles Askham | Mar 17, 2022
Low participant numbers render the results of many studies based on brain scans unreliable, an analysis finds.
illustration of neurons in blue with synapses lighting up
Gut Molecule Linked to Decreased Myelination in Mouse Brains
Angie Voyles Askham | 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.
A series of brain scans on a black background
How Scientists Are Tackling Brain Imaging’s Replication Problem
Angie Voyles Askham | 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. 
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.
Early Training Forestalls Motor, Memory Difficulties in Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome
Laura Dattaro | Mar 29, 2021
Manipulating the activity of neurons active during training had similar effects on the mice’s behavior.
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.
The Promise of Scientific Partnerships with People on the Spectrum
Laura Dattaro | Jan 18, 2021
Five collaborations involving autistic scientists and experts are advancing autism research, from lending support for theories of the condition to shoring up trials of new treatments.
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.
microbes autism microbiome statistics
Study of Microbiome’s Importance in Autism Triggers Swift Backlash
Nicholette Zeliadt | Jun 27, 2019
Independent scientists say the original analysis is flawed; the authors stand by their work and are seeking outside statisticians to reanalyze the data.
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.
Studies Unveil Hidden Ties Between Epilepsy Gene and Autism
Jessica Wright | Jul 24, 2018
Scientists are finding patterns in symptoms among a handful of people with mutations in HNRNPU.