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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Retinal neurochemistry; metabolic effects of epilepsy-linked genes; LAMP1 protein

by  /  1 September 2023

August 28th

  • Scientists are increasingly proposing measures of retinal neurochemistry as biomarkers of clinical conditions, including autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia. Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Autistic children have lower blood levels of the protein ADAM8 than non-autistic children do, according to a small study. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
  • Autistic toddlers show altered neural responses to human speech. Journal of Neuroscience
  • Online surveys are susceptible to fraudulent responses, but there are ways to identify and prevent such fakes. Spectrum reported on various efforts to flag online survey fraud last week. PLOS Global Public Health
  • Autistic people are better than non-autistic people at interpreting the behavior of an autistic person in a workplace setting. Autism in Adulthood
  • The National Association for Biomedical Research is challenging a conservation group’s determination that long-tailed macaques, a primate commonly used in research, are endangered. Science
  • Variants of genes — such as SCN1A and KCNA1 — that affect ion channels and cause epilepsy appear to bring about metabolic changes that contribute to seizure activity, according to a review. Journal of Neurochemistry
  • Non-cancer therapies for genetic conditions take an average of 25 years to develop — from identification of the target to government approval of the treatment. Nature

    Research images of EEG results for autistic and non-autistic children

    Frequency change: Autistic (top row) and non-autistic (bottom row) children have different EEG activity in response to natural speech.

  • An intolerance for uncertainty may promote dichotomous thinking — the mindset that things are good or bad, with no in-between — and is linked to autism traits. Scientific Reports
  • The dorsal striatum shows changes in growth and functional connections to the cortex in people with autism, according to a review. Biological Psychiatry
  • In a preprint, researchers announce their open dataset that documents the development of theory of mind in autistic and non-autistic children. Spectrum covered the theory’s shifting role in autism research last year. PsyArXiv
  • Neumora Therapeutics, a neuroscience-based biotech firm developing treatments for depression, has filed for an initial public offering. Fierce Biotech
  • An international group of scientists presented their vision for the future, including viewing autism as a reflection of neurodiversity and supporting collaboration among academics, caregivers and advocates. Spectrum covered some recent flashpoints in autism research that reveal underlying tension in the field. Cell
  • The protein LAMP1, which is upregulated during immune activation, is elevated in the blood and brains of autistic people. Scientific Reports
  • Drugs that block the vasopressin 1a receptor have some benefits for autistic people’s daily living skills but have inconsistent effects on adaptive behaviors, according to a meta-analysis. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience

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TAGS:   autism