About this Research Topic
For decades, the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been shrouded in mystery yielding many more hypotheses than data. With the dramatically increased incidence and social burden of the disorder, research has rapidly progressed often at the forefront of neuroscience. It is now timely for an innovative interdisciplinary overview that bridges the clinical and social sciences to synthesize current knowledge and generate new research directions for diagnosis and intervention. Rapid progress across diverse model systems (iPS, human organoids, reversible mice, zebrafish, primates, microbiome) and circuit dissection methods (CRISPR, optogenetics, EEG, imaging, computational modeling) generate new insights toward ASD biomarkers and novel therapies.
This Research Topic will gather expertise in these innovative areas to revisit several core concepts: phenotyping, imaging, genetics, epigenetics, long-range circuit disconnection, microbiome, excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) balance, synaptic pruning, social reward systems, sensory deficits, novel endophenotypes. A key theme will be to identify aspects of potential reversibility and timing, utilizing state-of-the-art biomarkers. By capturing the recent surge in sophisticated basic research, patient advocacy and convergent corporate interest, we anticipate this Research Topic will serve as a milestone in the field to catalyze new thinking toward addressing the many challenges that remain.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.