From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

Features / Deep Dive

This is a story of autism in small-town America

by  /  1 February 2017
Rural living can be wonderful: community, friendly faces, a slower pace of life. But when there’s autism in the family, it can be tough.
Air supply: Some newborns exposed to their own feces in the womb require oxygen and intravenous fluids. Reynardt / iStock

Exposure to feces in womb tied to autism risk

by  /  16 January 2017
Babies who have their first bowel movement before birth have a slightly increased risk of autism, according to a study of nearly 10 million people.
Opinion / Q&A
Yarek Waszul / ispot

Questions for Daphna Joel: Brain sex differences may be mirage

by  /  3 January 2017
Instead of simply listing sex differences in the brain, researchers should consider how sex interacts with other factors to affect the brain, Joel says.
December 2016
Sure shot: Getting a flu vaccine while pregnant may not increase autism risk in the child.
JackF  / iStock

Autism’s link to flu during pregnancy may be a fluke

by  /  19 December 2016

Women who come down with influenza while pregnant are no more likely than those without the infection to have a child with autism.

November 2016
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.

1 Comment
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.

Rough and tumble: After exposure to pesticides, female rats shy away from play.  
© niderlander /

Autism-like behaviors crop up in pesticide-exposed rats

by  /  15 November 2016

Female rats exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos show little interest in social interaction.

chart of seasonal rates

Autism rates highest among babies conceived in winter

by  /  10 November 2016

Exposure to influenza and a lack of sunlight may drive the increased risk of autism.

October 2016
Age effect:  Having young parents lowers a child’s risk of autism.Hero Images / Getty Images

Parental age has different impact on autism, schizophrenia

by  /  31 October 2016

Children born to parents who are 35 or older are at an increased risk of autism; for schizophrenia, the increased risk is limited to those born to mothers in their teens or early 20s.

1 Comment
Features / Webinars

Webinar: Alysson Muotri discusses stem cell research in autism

19 October 2016

Watch the complete replay of Alysson Muotri, whose webinar focuses on how stem cell research can provide insight into human neurodevelopment and the social brain.

MIND Institute
Features / Deep Dive

The builders: How parents shaped autism research

by  /  5 October 2016

A group of savvy parents jump-started autism research in California, but they also set the research agenda.

Latent link: Few large studies have looked at the link between polychlorinated biphenyls and autism.Bobi / Getty Images

Banned toxins in mothers’ blood tied to autism risk

by  /  3 October 2016

High levels of chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls in a pregnant woman’s blood may raise the risk of autism in her child.

1 Comment
August 2016
Infographic by Michela Buttignol

Type, timing of maternal infection influence autism link

by  /  25 August 2016

Only a small fraction of women who battle infections during pregnancy have children with autism, suggesting that some infections are riskier than others.


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