Diagnosis

Multiple exposure of Rujuta Wilson facing the camera, and walking along her gait mat.

A new look at walking in early childhood: Q&A with Rujuta Wilson

Quantifying toddlers’ gaits promises to improve autism diagnosis and intervention.

By Charles Q. Choi
14 March 2024 | 6 min read
A slice of a cerebellum.

Mutation in top autism-linked gene may alter eye reflex

The discovery could help clinicians diagnose children who carry mutations in the gene, called SCN2A, and gauge their responses to potential therapies.

By Charles Q. Choi
26 February 2024 | 5 min read
An illustration of a magnifying glass, checklists, and anonymous figures.

‘Prototypical autism’ research is likely a dead end

Efforts to define “frank” or “classic” forms of the condition build on several assumptions that the science has not yet borne out.

By Deborah Fein, David Amaral, Einat Waizbard-Bartov
25 January 2024 | 8 min read
A child uses a tablet device

New tablet-based tools to spot autism draw excitement — and questions

Handheld devices promise to bring autism detection home, but many researchers urge caution.

By Charles Q. Choi
4 January 2024 | 8 min read
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.

Year in Review: Spectrum’s best in 2023

Here are five must-reads from our coverage of autism research over the past 12 months.

28 December 2023 | 4 min read

Autism research hits the road

Some scientists are thinking creatively about how to collect data in flexible environments and meet communities where they’re at.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
8 December 2023 | 0 min watch
A person stands in front of a neatly organized dresser drawer.

Teasing apart insistence on sameness with Mirko Uljarević

The hallmark autism trait has multiple facets, Uljarević and his colleagues have found.

By Lauren Schenkman
30 October 2023 | 6 min read
A group of elementary school children run toward the entrance of a school, their backs turned to the camera.
Spectrum Microphone

Journal club: Why do some children lose their autism diagnosis?

More than one-third of a cohort of autistic toddlers no longer meet criteria for the condition at school age, according to a new study, but the findings may not generalize because the cohort is predominantly white and affluent.

By Deborah Fein
9 October 2023 | 5 min listen
A hand reaches from above to add a pill to a stack that is resting against the x-axis of a graph.

Looking at eye tracking’s potential for clinical trials

This month’s Going on Trial newsletter explores how eye tracking might be used beyond helping with diagnosis, among other drug development news.

By Calli McMurray
28 September 2023 | 6 min read
Research image of organoids in the forebrain.

Head size parts autism into two major subtypes

An imbalance in the number of excitatory neurons in early brain development may account for the difference.

By Charles Q. Choi
12 September 2023 | 4 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Research illustration groups genes by their effects on brain cell types.

Giant analysis reveals how autism-linked genes affect brain cell types

Genes that predispose people to autism account for a large portion of the neuronal and glial cell changes seen in those with the condition.

By Charles Q. Choi
20 June 2024 | 5 min read

Widely used calcium imaging protocol can lead to spurious results, new paper cautions

The technique, which measures calcium currents as a proxy for neuronal firing, sometimes reports unusual and potentially misleading waves of activity in the hippocampus.

By Angie Voyles Askham
19 June 2024 | 0 min watch
Research image of white-matter density in brains of people with deletions or duplications in the 16p11.2 chromosomal region.

Double-empathy problem; dup15q syndrome; myelin loss in aging autistic adults

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 17 June.

By Jill Adams
18 June 2024 | 2 min read