Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted around the web: Blunted microglia, CHD8 roles, Nobel Prize

by ,  /  7 October 2022

October 3rd

Research roundup  

  • A machine-learning method can enrich manual annotation of electroencephalograms and better identify artifacts. eNeuro 
  • Maternal infection in mice appears to cause an enduring blunting of microglia reactivity in their pups. Nature 
  • Autistic people report lower levels of self-compassion than non-autistic people, and greater self-compassion is linked to psychological well-being in both groups, according to an online survey. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 
  • Mice missing the FMR1 gene, modeling fragile X syndrome, display hypersensitivity and hyperreactivity to sounds. Frontiers in Neuroscience 
  • Behavioral issues and sleep disturbances worsened in autistic children during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a systematic review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 
  • Infants with an elevated likelihood of being diagnosed with autism have atypical brain networks, according to results with resting-state functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Autism Research 
  • The CHD8 gene plays different roles during embryonic brain development and adult neurogenesis. Spectrum has previously covered such ‘double duty’ autism-linked genes. Journal of Neuroscience 
  • A review of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, which is linked to autism, schizophrenia and intellectual disability, argues for adding genetic variants to clinical diagnoses, such as ‘autism, related to 22q11.2 deletion.’ Molecular Psychiatry

    3D reconstruction of mice microglia in green against a black background.

    Altered states: Microglia from a mouse model of autism (left) show less branching than those from control mice (right).

  • Children of women with an autoimmune condition and children who have an infection requiring hospitalization before age 2 have similarly elevated odds of having autism. Autism Research 
  • The authors of a September paper describing protocols for assessing traditional Chinese medicine for autism traits have retracted it, citing “concerns about potential overlap with other publications,” the journal reports. Medicine 

Science and society 

  • A new documentary film called “Undiagnosed” describes the difficulties that people with complex disabling conditions encounter while accessing medical care, as well as the efforts to address the problem. 
  • Neuropixels probes have recorded from as many as 300,000 mouse neurons at once, but analyzing such datasets remains challenging. Spectrum reported on a human study with Neuropixels probes earlier this year. Wired 
  • Geneticist Svante Pääbo has won the 2022 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work on human evolution. Spectrum has reported on Pääbo’s contributions to understanding the FOXP2 gene, which is linked to language skills and autism. The New York Times 
  • Saying “data is available upon request” is one way to comply with a journal’s data-sharing requirements, but it is too often not true; data repositories may help. Nature 
  • The baby formula shortage in the United States is affecting autistic mothers, a group with low rates of breastfeeding their children. The New York Times 

Cite this article:

TAGS:   autism