Schizophrenia

Research image of brain activity

Connectivity takes U-turn in people with rare autism-linked mutations

Patterns of brain connectivity shift during puberty in people with deletion of the 22q11.2 chromosomal region.

By Holly Barker
30 May 2024 | 4 min read
A research image showing astrocytes and neurons

‘SNAP’ dance of astrocytes and neurons falls out of step with age, disease

The findings add to growing evidence that astrocytes are star players in cognition.

By Laura Dattaro
6 March 2024 | 6 min read
A grid of four brain scans showing excess cerebrospinal fluid.
Spectrum Microphone

Is excess brain fluid an early marker of autism?

Brain scans of hundreds of infants suggest that up to 80 percent of those with autism have unusual amounts of cerebrospinal fluid. Researchers are studying how this might contribute to the condition.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
17 August 2023 | 10 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
Lab images of cilia.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism and the cell’s antennae

Many autism-linked genes are somehow tied to cilia, the tiny hair-like sensors that stud a cell’s surface. But the question remains whether, and how, cilia differences contribute to the condition.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
4 January 2023 | 6 min read
Illustration of a pregnant woman seated next to a large diagram of the brain featuring chromosomes, bacteria and other microbes.
Spectrum Microphone

The link between maternal infection and autism, explained

Having an infection during pregnancy is tied to a small increase in the chances of having an autistic child, but the connection may not be causal.

By Charles Q. Choi
13 December 2022 | 7 min read
Conceptual illustration of a door leading from one area of the brain to another area of the brain.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism’s genetic heterogeneity evident in brain connectivity patterns

The results highlight the importance of subgrouping study participants based on their underlying genetics, the researchers say.

By Angie Voyles Askham
27 September 2022 | 5 min read
Noah Sasson, a thin white man, stands in a courtyard with his hands in his pockets.

Noah Sasson: Connecting with the autistic community

Intentional interactions with autistic people led Sasson to refocus his research.

By Rachel Zamzow
15 September 2022 | 13 min read
A large MRI scan of a human brain, with a grid of 15 smaller MRI scans to its left

Chromosome 22 mutations leave telltale marks on brain development in autistic people

Many brain regions develop differently between people with 22q11.2 duplications and deletions, and those trajectories also vary with a person’s diagnosis.

By Angie Voyles Askham
24 August 2022 | 4 min read
A pregnant woman and another figure are obscured by shadows.
Spectrum Microphone

Maternal genetics may confound studies of autism’s link to prenatal factors

Women who carry genetic variants tied to autism have an elevated chance of experiencing pregnancy-related events linked to the condition in their children.

By Charles Q. Choi
2 August 2022 | 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