Hyperactivity

A young boy sits alone on a bench in a playground.

Mental health issues emerge with shifts in autism traits across childhood

Anxiety and other challenges autistic children experience may stem from an increase in social-communication issues and a decrease in repetitive behaviors from ages 6 to 11.

By Charles Q. Choi
27 September 2023 | 3 min read
Research image comparing microglia with serotonin receptors to those without.
Circuits Microphone

Serotonin powers pruning of developing brain circuits in mice

Mice with microglia missing receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin since birth have too many synapses and show social difficulties in adulthood.

By Katie Moisse
28 June 2023 | 5 min listen
Research image of zebrafish forebrains.

Autism-related genes converge on microglia and dopamine in zebrafish

The findings add to the growing evidence that genes with disparate functions can play similar roles in brain development.

By Peter Hess
12 May 2023 | 4 min read
Research image shows elevated expression of certain genes, shown in pink and green, along with expected gene expression, shown in blue.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism-linked MYT1L mutations prompt ‘identity crisis’ in budding brain cells

Both human and mouse progenitor cells with the alterations struggle to become neurons and instead express genes that are typically active only in muscle or the heart.

By Laura Dattaro
14 February 2023 | 5 min read
Mouse neurons in red and pink on black.

Mouse model reveals root of breathing issues in rare form of autism

Dysfunctional circuits and a rogue sodium channel in the brainstem may explain the disordered breathing pattern seen in children with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a form of autism.

By Anna Goshua
5 November 2021 | 4 min read
Two colorful mouse neurons seen side by side on black, one has a mutation.

Precocious neurons may stunt brain growth in rare form of autism

The first animal model of MYT1L syndrome suggests that fast-maturing neurons lead to the unusually small brains, social deficits and other traits seen in people with the condition.

By Peter Hess
5 October 2021 | 5 min read

Stimulant restores cell signaling, eases behavior issues in animals missing autism gene

Worms and zebrafish missing both copies of the gene CHD7 have disrupted cellular signaling, a dearth of inhibitory neurons and behavior changes — all of which are reversed by the stimulant drug ephedrine.

By Peter Hess
28 May 2021 | 4 min read
Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.

Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

By Jonathan Moens
9 September 2020 | 4 min read
Young boy biting his fingernails, looking anxiously out the window.

Long-term study tracks persistence of self-harm in autistic people

Autistic people who are hyperactive or have difficulty controlling their own impulses are the most likely to show ongoing self-injury.

By Chloe Williams
21 February 2020 | 4 min read

Traits of autism, attention deficit linked to small brainstem

The severity of autism tracks closely with that of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

By Emily Anthes
20 October 2019 | 2 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