Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

Features / Deep Dive

Autism’s drug problem

by  /  19 April 2017
Many people on the spectrum take multiple medications — which can lead to serious side effects and may not even be effective.
Pill plot: Medications can ease irritability, aggression and other challenging behaviors in children with autism, but they have side effects.TongRo Images     
/ Getty Images

Children with autism may forego behavioral therapy for meds

by  /  10 April 2017
Many children with autism who take antipsychotic medications do not receive behavioral therapy.
X marks the spot: Girls with Rett syndrome have one mutant copy of MeCP2, a gene on the X chromosome.Maurizio De Angelis / Science Source

Muting X chromosome silencers may serve as remedy for Rett

by  /  30 March 2017
Manipulating pathways that help silence the X chromosome may help treat Rett syndrome, a condition closely related to autism.
March 2017
Features / Deep Dive

The twenty-something free fall

by  /  29 March 2017

Young adults with autism face many new expectations and challenges — with none of the support that is available during high school.

Drug dilemma: A medication being tested for autism causes excessive urination, which can be dangerous. rudisill / Getty Images

In trials, repurposed drug shows promise for autism

by  /  27 March 2017

A drug used to treat excessive swelling seems to ease autism features in some children on the spectrum.

Species shift: Bacteria of the genus Bifidobacterium become more abundant in the gut of children who receive a microbial transplant.
Scimat / Science Source

Microbial transplant may treat gut, social problems

by  /  22 March 2017

Replacing the microbes that inhabit the gut may ease digestive troubles and social difficulties in children with autism.

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Features / Deep Dive

Meet the newest contestant in the scientific rat race

by  /  15 March 2017

Mice have long been the mainstay of autism research, but a small group of scientists say rats are the superior choice. Rats are bigger, smarter, friendlier — and a lot more fun.

Pair bonding: Babies with Prader-Willi syndrome who receive oxytocin show improved interactions with their mothers.Monashee Alonso / Getty Images

Oxytocin boosts social skills in autism-related syndrome

by  /  15 March 2017

One week of treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social skills and feeding in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Boy holds tennis racket on court with teacher
Opinion / Viewpoint

Tennis program serves up benefits for children with autism

by  /  7 March 2017

Tennis is a social game, requiring players to predict and respond to their opponent’s behavior. That may help some children with autism.

February 2017
Courtesy Everett Collection
Opinion / Viewpoint

Animated sidekick connects parents to children with autism

by  /  21 February 2017

In a new type of therapy for autism, parents talk or type into their phone or computer, and their words emerge in the voice of an animated character.

Features / Webinars

Webinar: Deborah Fein discusses an ‘optimal outcome’ in autism

26 April 2017

Watch the complete replay of Deborah Fein’s webinar discussing a form of ‘optimal outcome’ in autism.

Photography by Vanessa McKeown
Features / Deep Dive

Why don’t we have better drugs for autism?

by  /  15 February 2017

Clinical trials for autism drugs have been plagued with problems: bad design, the wrong measures, too broad a range of participants. All that is finally starting to change.

Photography by Vanessa McKeown
Opinion / Q&A

Questions for Gahan Pandina: New tool may aid autism trials

by  /  14 February 2017

A new ‘knowledge engine’ collects reams of behavioral and sensory data to create highly sensitive outcome measures for autism drugs.


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