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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

Opinion / Q&A
Illustration by Pep Boatella

Questions for Pua, Seal: What’s wrong with brain imaging work?

by  /  17 January 2017
Despite the completion of hundreds of imaging studies in people with autism, researchers have yet to find features that distinguish people with the condition.
News
Moving target: Brain waves known as beta oscillations reflect brain activity that controls body movements and may signal telltale changes in DNA.AJPhoto / Science Source

Brain-wave patterns distinguish dup15q syndrome

by  /  13 January 2017
Children with an extra copy of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region, the second most common genetic abnormality in people with autism, have unusually strong brain waves called beta oscillations. The preliminary findings, presented Friday at the Dup15q Alliance Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Florida, suggest that beta oscillations could distinguish children with dup15q syndrome from those with other forms of autism.
Features / Deep Dive
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The curious connection between autism and cancer

by  /  11 January 2017
A surprising number of genes associated with autism also have links to cancer. Does that mean cancer drugs can treat autism?
January 2017
Basic biology:  Different genetic variants contribute to autism risk in boys versus girls. Alfred Pasieka / Science Photo Library
News

Some autism risk may arise from sex-specific traits

by  /  11 January 2017

Genetic variants that shape physical features that vary with sex, such as waist-to-hip ratio, may alter autism risk.

1 Comment
Seeing spots: The brain responds differently to animations of dots moving in random patterns (right) compared with ones that resemble a person moving (left).
News

Brain scans may forecast effectiveness of autism treatment

by  /  9 January 2017

Patterns of activity in certain brain regions may predict how well a child with autism will respond to a behavioral therapy.

0 Comments
Tissue tiers:  Intestinal organoids have layered folds (left) like those in the human gut, and working neurons (right, green).
News / Toolbox

Neurons talk to muscle cells in tiny test-tube intestine

by  /  6 January 2017

A new method allows researchers to transform stem cells into miniature intestines with a working nervous system.

0 Comments
Injury-prone:   Children whose mothers lack a college degree are at heightened risk of self-harm.Kris Seraphin / Millennium Images, UK
News

Large study shows self-injury common among children with autism

by  /  4 January 2017

About one in four children with autism hit, scratch or otherwise hurt themselves, suggests an analysis of school and medical records for more than 8,000 children.

6 Comments
Yarek Waszul / ispot
Opinion / Q&A

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.

1 Comment
Long view: Children who lose their autism diagnosis early in life may benefit from continued psychiatric care. Lynn Koenig / Getty Images
News

Compulsions, anxiety replace autism in some children

by  /  2 January 2017

Most children who lose their autism diagnosis develop related psychiatric conditions.

7 Comments
December 2016
Sigourney Weaver in “Snow Cake.” ©IFC Films / Courtesy Everett Collection
Features / Special Reports / 2016: Year in review

The best depictions of autism in the arts

26 December 2016

The books, shows and movies that most accurately portray autism are those that don’t dwell on the condition.

1 Comment
Heavy pill on scale
Features / Special Reports / 2016: Year in review

Hot topics of 2016

26 December 2016

These five trending topics hint at important discoveries to come.

0 Comments
Illustration by Julia Yellow
Features / Special Reports / 2016: Year in review

Notable papers of 2016

26 December 2016

Our picks for the top 10 papers of the year highlight leaps in our understanding of autism, as well as lingering gaps.

1 Comment
Unfamiliar faces: Baby monkeys that grow up to be loners show no reaction when a new monkey appears in a photo.
News

Solitary monkeys missed social cues as infants

by  /  21 December 2016

Adult monkeys that spend most of their time alone struggled as infants to recognize faces.

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