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Read more about: Autism research

Get the latest autism updates from SPARK, including information about genes and ASD research, webinars, and personal stories from our community.

Our ‘genes’ page provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions of genes linked to autism. Under ‘research’, you’ll find the latest updates from SPARK and other autism studies. In our ‘stories’ section, families, scientists and others share their journeys. In our monthly webinars, speakers from the autism community provide useful information for families and people with autism. All are welcome–invitation links are issued in our monthly newsletter. If you have suggestions for webinar topics, please email us at webinars@sparkforautism.org.

Supersized Research

To understand the genetics of autism, scientists have to study a lot of people. Pamela Feliciano, Ph.D., SPARK’s scientific director, discusses the challenges of engaging a large group in research.

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Special Interests in Autism

Special interests can offer people with autism opportunities to socialize and to highlight their strengths. These interests can sometimes even grow into a career.

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SCN2A: An Evolving Picture

The SCN2A gene has traditionally been linked to early-onset epilepsy. But new research suggests it might account for roughly 1 in 333 cases of autism.

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SYNGAP1

Changes in SYNGAP1 are linked to intellectual disability, epilepsy and sometimes autism. About two in three people with differences in the SYNGAP1 gene have seizures. People with differences in SYNGAP1 can also suffer from sleep issues, constipation and low muscle tone.

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ADHD, Anxiety and Autism?

Some researchers believe that conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression are “under-recognized” in youth with autism, which, in turn, “hampers clinical care and treatment.” After all, how can you treat what you don’t diagnose?

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Finding New Treatments for Autism

Testing new therapies for autism can be a challenge. Psychiatrist Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele reviews available treatments, outlines some promising options on the horizon and describes how to get involved in research.

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