Controversial autism drug gets ambitious new trial

by  /  28 November 2016

The makers of a drug designed to correct an enzyme shortage seen in some children with autism are moving to test it in children with autism who do not have that deficiency.

Featured articles


Lobbyists swarm around major mental health bill

by ,  /  1 December 2016
More than 1,455 lobbyists representing 400 companies, universities and other organizations have pushed for or against an earlier House version of the 21st Century Cures bill.
SolStock  / iStock

Massive mental health bill faces vote in U.S. Congress

by ,  /  30 November 2016
If passed, the $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act would make mental health a national priority.
News / Toolbox
Cells selected:  In this cross-section of a mouse brain, nerve fibers infected with a virus glow green.

By hacking cells’ DNA, virus traces brain activity patterns

by  /  25 November 2016
A mutant virus that infiltrates neurons and delivers genes to the nucleus can illuminate brain connections.

Latest News

China syndrome: Researchers have sequenced  risk genes for autism in a group of people in the Shandong province.Jung-Pang Wu / Getty Images

Study in China solidifies list of genes tied to autism

by  /  1 December 2016

Harmful mutations in autism genes crop up in Chinese individuals about as often as they do in people of European ancestry.

Animation and data visualization by Nicholas Rapp

Despite setbacks, fragile X drugs file into clinical trials

by  /  30 November 2016

Our infographic displays efforts to develop treatments for fragile X syndrome. So far, none of them have passed muster in clinical trials.

Pregnant woman on scale

Maternal obesity, genetics may cooperate to up autism risk

by  /  24 November 2016

Women who are overweight or obese when pregnant increase their risk of having a child who is later diagnosed with autism by about 30 percent.

Black mouse in part shadow

Mutation tied to autism deprives male mice of their sleep

by  /  23 November 2016

A DNA deletion linked to autism causes male mice, but not females, to have trouble falling asleep.

In sync: Scientists taught parents to be more responsive to their children with autism. Hero Images / Getty Images

Parent training may lead to lasting gains in autism features

by  /  21 November 2016

Teaching parents of toddlers with autism how to respond to their children may result in long-term improvements in these children’s autism features.


Takeaways from SfN 2016

by  /  17 November 2016

Spectrum’s team reported about 50 stories at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. One big theme this year: how autism relates to bigger questions in neuroscience.

Up close: Researchers can isolate and examine single neurons from the human nasal cavity.Lauren Shear / Science Source

New tool takes rapid genetic snapshot of people’s neurons

by  /  17 November 2016

A new approach quickly captures an individual’s gene expression pattern at the level of a single neuron.

Immune index: A combination of genetic susceptibility and exposure to mock infection may increase autism risk.Russell Kightley / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Genes, immune exposure collude to up autism risk

by  /  17 November 2016

The interplay between a mouse’s immune system and certain mutations in her pups may increase autism-like features in the pups.

Mouse brain hippocampus

New mice expose consequences of key autism gene

by  /  17 November 2016

Mice with an extra copy of the autism risk gene UBE3A have cognitive deficits and anxiety, but do not show any core features of the condition.

Critical period: When one eye of a typical young mouse is shut for a week, the brain’s visual region learns to compensate.Heidi and Hans-Juergen Koch / Minden Pictures

Gene on chromosome 16 may be valuable player in autism

by  /  17 November 2016

Deleting one copy of a gene called MVP impairs the brain's ability to adapt to changes in the environment.

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