Oxidative stress

Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Metacognition, balovaptan bust, pattern recognition

This month, we pore over null results from a study of the accuracy of emotion recognition skills in autistic people, clinical trials of a vasopressin drug called balovaptan, and an analysis of ‘systemizing’ abilities in autistic children.

By Emily Harris
21 July 2022 | 4 min read

Mitochondria: An energy explanation for autism

People with autism have more mutations than others do in both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA that affects mitochondrial function.

By Laura Dattaro
22 November 2021 | 3 min watch
Stylized illustration combines flat color and 3D forms make up a mitochondria with human heads inside it.

Meet the ‘mitomaniacs’ who say mitochondria matter in autism

Clues that problems with mitochondria contribute to autism have been accumulating for decades. In the past five years, a mutant mouse and a flurry of findings have energized the field.

By Laura Dattaro
22 November 2021 | 18 min read
Mouse neurons in a grid show differences

Autism mutation may disrupt brain structure by disabling mitochondria

Mice that lack a segment of chromosome 22 — a mutation associated with autism — have unusually sparse connections between brain regions.

By Emily Anthes
13 June 2019 | 4 min read

New tools strengthen old link between autism, mitochondria

Variants of some mitochondrial genes may contribute to autism — in some cases, by teaming up with genes in the nucleus.

By Zoran Brkanac
30 May 2017 | 5 min read

Obesity, diabetes in mother up autism risk for child

The combination of obesity and diabetes in a pregnant woman substantially increases the likelihood that her child will have autism.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
12 February 2016 | 6 min read

Short chromosome caps may up autism risk in families

Telomeres, the structures at the tips of chromosomes, tend to be unusually short in people with autism and their immediate family members.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
6 July 2015 | 5 min read

Diabetes during pregnancy ups child’s autism risk

Children born to women who develop diabetes during the first or second trimester of pregnancy increase their risk of autism by 42 percent.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
24 April 2015 | 3 min read

Genetics: Gene variants modulate Rett symptoms

A single gene mutation leads to Rett syndrome, but other variants may modify the severity of an individual's symptoms, according to a study published 28 February in PLoS One.

By Jessica Wright
30 April 2013 | 2 min read

Can nutritional supplements help treat some cases of autism?

A handful of studies point to dietary deficiencies as a contributing factor in some forms of autism, suggesting that supplements — such as carnitine or certain amino acids — may help treat and even prevent the disorder.

By Emily Singer
21 March 2013 | 6 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Building an autism research registry: Q&A with Tony Charman

A purpose-built database of participants who have shared genomic and behavioral data could give clinical trials a boost, Charman says.

By Cathleen O’Grady
25 July 2024 | 8 min read

Cerebellar circuit may convert expected pain relief into real thing

The newly identified circuit taps into the brain’s opioid system to provide a top-down form of pain relief.

By Angie Voyles Askham
24 July 2024 | 6 min read
Research image of a variety of brain atlases.

New ‘decoder’ tool translates functional neuroimaging terms across labs

The compendium of brain-parcellation atlases makes it possible to compare large-scale network data, which often involves different and overlapping network names.

By Holly Barker
23 July 2024 | 4 min read