Diagnostic tests

Portrait of Matthew Siegel sitting on a staircase.

Pinning down ‘profound autism’ for reliable research: Q&A with Matthew Siegel

A clear and actionable definition for the term could enhance research and improve care, Matthew Siegel says.

By Katie Moisse
13 June 2024 | 7 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
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 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 images from an eye-tracking study.
Spectrum Microphone

Tablet-based tool to spot autism validated in two studies

The new tool could help clinicians diagnose autism in children younger than 3, the findings show.

By Charles Q. Choi
5 September 2023 | 5 min read
Illustrated portrait of Amy Wetherby.
Spectrum Microphone

Amy Wetherby: Impatient for progress

A speech-language pathologist by training, Wetherby has spent more than four decades developing tools to help identify and treat autism early; now her work has taken on a more personal sense of urgency.

By Daisy Yuhas
26 July 2023 | 13 min read
Closeup photograph of an infant lying in a bassinet under white sheets with their left hand lifted close to their ear.
Spectrum Microphone

New technique details brainstem’s response to sounds

By revealing differences between autistic and non-autistic children, it could help identify autism in babies.

By Maaisha Osman
4 April 2023 | 4 min read
Portrait of Cathy Lord.
Synaptic Microphone

Diagnosing autism with Catherine Lord

In this inaugural episode, Lord discusses her entry into autism research, what the future of the field might look like and how drama club saved her in high school.

By Brady Huggett
1 April 2023 | 63 min listen

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