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A mutated cell with a spiky membrane
Mutations in Autism-Linked Gene Cause Membrane Mischief
Inactivating TAOK1 prompts tentacle-like protrusions to form all over a neuron’s surface, revealing the gene’s role in molding the membrane.
Mutations in Autism-Linked Gene Cause Membrane Mischief
Mutations in Autism-Linked Gene Cause Membrane Mischief

Inactivating TAOK1 prompts tentacle-like protrusions to form all over a neuron’s surface, revealing the gene’s role in molding the membrane.

Inactivating TAOK1 prompts tentacle-like protrusions to form all over a neuron’s surface, revealing the gene’s role in molding the membrane.

spectrum
Coronal section of a brain
Immunity-Linked Genes Expressed Differently in Brains of Autistic People
Laura Dattaro, Spectrum | Jan 11, 2023 | 4 min read
Data from postmortem brain tissues adds to the evidence that inflammation is associated with autism.
Panels showing different kinds of microglia
Mapping Tool Reveals Microglia’s Shape-Shifting Secrets
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Dec 14, 2022 | 4 min read
The approach could help test hypotheses about how atypical function of the brain’s immune cells contributes to autism.
pregnant belly clad in hospital gown with IV line going into hand
Registry Review Casts Doubt on Causal Link Between Maternal Infection and Autism
Charles Q. Choi, Spectrum | Sep 26, 2022 | 4 min read
Maternal infection during pregnancy may be associated with autism, as previous studies have suggested—but perhaps not in a causal way.
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 | 3 min read
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 | 5 min read
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.
smiling woman with hands on hips with blackboard in background
In Deep Water With Gül Dölen
Peter Hess, Spectrum | Aug 4, 2022 | 10 min read
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 | 3 min read
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.
illustration of a branching neuron
Different Forms of Autism Have Opposite Problems with Brain Precursor Cells
Charles Choi | Jun 13, 2022 | 3 min read
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 | 7 min read
Some experts argue that better trials are needed before putting interventions into practice.
illustration of multiple brain scan images
Power Shortages Dim Results of Many Neuroimaging Studies
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Mar 17, 2022 | 4 min read
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, Spectrum | Feb 17, 2022 | 4 min read
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, Spectrum | Jul 9, 2021 | 6 min read
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 | 9 min read
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, Spectrum | Mar 29, 2021 | 3 min read
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 | 3 min read
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, Spectrum | Jan 18, 2021 | 10+ min read
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 | 10+ min read
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 | 4 min read
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 | 10+ min read
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.
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