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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Autism heterogeneity; family-level interventions; blood glutamine

by  /  11 August 2023

August 7th

  • Stem-cell-derived cultures and brain organoids have contributed to scientists’ understanding of how genetics regulates brain development, according to a review. Nature Review Genetics
  • Mice missing one copy of the gene MDGA2, which plays a role in synapse strength, show delayed development in motor and exploratory behaviors. Behavioural Brain Research
  • Prenatal depression is linked to an increased likelihood of having a child with autism traits, according to a study of nearly 4,000 parent-child pairs. Autism Research
  • The heterogeneity of autistic people is not well reflected in autism research, an autistic graduate student argues. Time
  • Spectral analyses of electroencephalograms from infants may reveal early biomarkers of autism and language learning impairment. iScience
  • Studies of interventions for family members of people with autism or intellectual disability tend to be underpowered and of poor quality, according to a review. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
  • Autistic girls and young women are 83 percent more likely than their non-autistic peers to self-harm and 98 percent more likely to die from suicide; for autistic boys and young men, the increased risk is 47 and 34 percent, according to a cohort study in Ontario. Spectrum has covered how psychiatric diagnoses contribute to the risk. JAMA Network Open
  • Oxytocin administration during labor does not increase the chances of having an autistic child, according to a study of cohorts from two countries. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, previously held by Anthony Fauci. Endpoints News
  • Blood glutamine levels are linked to certain variants of the NLGN1 gene in autistic people and their close relatives. eBioMedicine
  • Approximately 73 percent of the most popular TikTok videos carrying the hashtag #Autism dispense inaccurate or overgeneralized information. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Lawsuits from families who claim Tylenol contributed to their children’s autism can move forward now that a judge has blocked an appeal from Kenvue, the drug’s maker. Reuters
  • Human stem cells missing the autism-linked gene TRPC6 have altered calcium signaling, which leads to more frequent action potentials and overall hyperexcitability. Molecular Neurobiology
Research image of human cortical neurons grown from stem cells.

Growth patterns: Human cortical neurons grown from stem cells show glial cell markers (in red, top row) and glutamate synapses (in red, bottom row).

  • Specific variants of the gene CACNA1A lead to specific neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism, epilepsy, and global developmental delay and intellectual disability. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Here is a worldwide directory of resources and hotlines that you can call for support.

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TAGS:   autism