Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.
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Motor difficulties in autism, explained

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

By Lauren Schenkman
13 August 2020 | 7 min read

Unusual gait marks mice with mutations related to autism

Mouse models of two genetic conditions related to autism show abnormalities in their movement patterns.

By Emily Anthes
20 October 2019 | 3 min read
Child walking with sensors on in motion capture test.

Walking in virtual environment may reveal unique autism gait

A two-belt treadmill attached to a specialized display suggests that people with autism have a distinct walking style.

By Maris Fessenden
8 February 2019 | 2 min read

Siblings of children with autism may have trouble with motor tasks

Siblings of children with autism have motor difficulties similar to those in autistic children, but milder.

By Rachel Zamzow
4 November 2018 | 2 min read

Mutations in autism gene may trigger milder effects than does its loss

People with mutations in SHANK3 have milder features than do those missing a chunk of DNA that includes the gene.

By Bahar Gholipour
20 June 2018 | 4 min read
parents hiking with toddler

Walking doesn’t deliver language gains for children with autism

Children with autism do not show the burst of vocabulary growth that usually accompanies learning to walk.

By Emily Anthes
4 December 2017 | 4 min read
mouse running up wheel

Experimental Huntington’s drug improves gait in Rett mice

A candidate drug in clinical trials for Huntington's disease reverses gait problems in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

By Hannah Furfaro
14 November 2017 | 3 min read
Movement maps of children with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Drug improves gait in children with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

A new measure of motor skills suggests that insulin-like growth factor 1 improves movement in people with Phelan-McDermid syndrome.

By Hannah Furfaro
12 November 2017 | 2 min read

Autism in motion

Children with autism are often clumsy, physically awkward or uncoordinated. This understudied and nearly ubiquitous feature has researchers contemplating a new idea: Could motor problems be one source of autism’s social difficulties?

By Nicholette Zeliadt
31 May 2017 | 17 min read

Repurposed drugs may treat Angelman syndrome

An acne drug, a dietary supplement and a failed sleeping aid each show promise for Angelman syndrome, according to unpublished results presented Tuesday at a meeting.

By Jessica Wright
19 March 2015 | 5 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Portrait of Kaspar Podgorski standing in his lab wearing a helmet with a climbing rope over his shoulder.

Climbing to new heights: Q&A with Kaspar Podgorski

The optical physiologist tracks neural computations inside the lab and scales sheer rock faces outside—even after a life-changing fall.

By Elissa Welle
21 June 2024 | 8 min read
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