Intellectual disability

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 research image of autism-linked genes.

Autism-linked perturbations converge on cell skeleton and RNA-binding proteins

The findings solidify the idea that autism-linked mutations affect brain activity by way of several key shared mechanisms.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
29 February 2024 | 4 min read
Image of a synapse firing.

SYNGAP1 findings illuminate links between mutations, intellectual disability

New mouse models join several studies that could point to novel therapeutic approaches.

By Claudia López Lloreda
21 December 2023 | 6 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 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
Black-and-white illustrated portrait of Jonathan Green.
Spectrum Microphone

‘Emergent and transactional’: How Jonathan Green is rethinking autism and interventions

The experienced clinician discusses writing his recent paper, and its reception in the field.

By Brady Huggett
28 August 2023 | 1 min read
Blurry photograph of a crowd of people on a street.

Some who lack autism diagnosis carry variants tied to the condition

The variants are associated with slight differences in measures of intelligence, income and employment, but the relationship may not be causal.

By Charles Q. Choi
13 July 2023 | 4 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Autism’s ties to the cell skeleton

Many genes related to the condition play a role in the internal scaffolding of cells, and cytoskeletal disruptions can affect neurodevelopment and behavior.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
22 June 2023 | 7 min read
A man looks out the window

New estimate suggests most autistic adults in England lack a formal diagnosis

The finding underscores a need for adult autism diagnostic services.

By Emmet Fraizer
9 June 2023 | 2 min read
Illustration of DNA methylation.
Spectrum Microphone

‘Polygenic risk scores’ for autism, explained

These scores — composite measures of a person’s autism-linked common genetic variants — cannot predict an autism diagnosis but could help researchers better understand the condition’s underlying biology.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
23 May 2023 | 4 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