Book cover conceptual illustration of chromosome superimposed with genetic tree.
Spectrum Microphone

A whisper of autism: Fragile X carriers and the autism phenotype

Among people who carry the fragile X premutation, about 14 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls meet the criteria for autism, but the ‘broad autism phenotype’ may be far more common.

By Anne Skomorowsky
21 April 2022 | 14 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: An ineffective therapy and an effective biomarker

In this edition, a strategy to help autistic children adapt their skills to new situations shows no benefit, but an early-life autism biomarker does.

By Laura Dattaro
6 April 2022 | 4 min read

Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

By Niko McCarty
21 September 2021 | 3 min read
Pregnant woman holding two white pills in her hand.
Spectrum Microphone

Prenatal exposure to antipsychotic medication does not increase odds of autism, ADHD

Children born to mothers who take antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy are not more likely to have autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or to be born preterm or underweight.

By Peter Hess
20 August 2021 | 2 min read
Brain and marijuana leaves
Spectrum Microphone

Q&A with Eric Hollander: Cannabis treatments for autism

As cannabis prohibition slowly lifts in the United States, scientists and families in the autism community are increasingly turning to the drug and its constituent compounds to ease autism-related difficulties, including seizures and irritability.

By Peter Hess
8 June 2021 | 6 min read
researcher facing off with the coronavirus.

Rewind: Spectrum’s best from 2020

Our staff picks the stories, podcasts and special reports that stood out from the rest this past year.

By Spectrum
23 December 2020 | 5 min read
Colorful figure with a circle shape (a pill) and an orange X in the background symbolizing Fragile X

Diabetes drug delivers multiple benefits for people with fragile X syndrome

Researcher Randi Hagerman is a big proponent of metformin — a diabetes drug that she is testing in people with fragile X syndrome. In fact, Hagerman takes the drug herself as a preventive measure against cancer.

By Polina Porotskaya
17 September 2019 | 6 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Clinicians should consider off-label treatments for autism

Clinicians need a more consistent and evidence-based approach to prescribing antipsychotics to children and adolescents with autism.

By Maurizio Bonati
7 May 2019 | 5 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

A marble bust of a face that is covered in real leaves.

Newly found circuit through visual cortex powers first look at faces

The superior colliculus, an evolutionarily ancient brain area responsible for eye movements, responds to faces before the canonical face areas do, a study of macaque monkeys suggests.

By Olivia Gieger
19 July 2024 | 5 min read

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read

Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read