Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted around the web: Brain connectivity; microglia; ketamine

by  /  26 May 2023

May 22nd

  • Autistic children’s adaptive behavior difficulties are linked to clinical and familial factors in ways that might help inform tailored interventions. Journal of Psychiatric Research
  • Male offspring of mice exposed to stressors and environmental toxicants during pregnancy show autism-like behaviors, an altered gut microbiome and changes in brain microglia and dopamine. Molecular Psychiatry
  • Autism prevalence in Northern Ireland continues to rise; recent Department of Health figures suggest that 1 in 20 schoolchildren has the condition. BBC News
  • Functional brain-connectivity patterns show two subtypes of autism: hypo- and hyperconnectivity, of which only the latter involves gene enrichment associated with the excitation/inhibition balance. Biological Psychiatry
  • A widely used autism screen, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up, is moderately predictive of an autism diagnosis, according to a review of studies across 10 countries. Pediatrics
  • Two scientists who fled their war-torn countries describe their experiences finding a new research home and how the scientific community can support displaced researchers. Nature
  • Blocking microglia from receiving serotonin signals during postnatal development in mouse pups alters neuronal maturation and causes behavioral changes in adulthood. Molecular Psychiatry
Microglial cells taken from mice.

Altered shapes: Male mice prenatally exposed to air pollutants and maternal stress develop overly branched microglial cells (right) compared with control mice (left).

  • A review article covers the development and applications of CRISPR gene-editing technology for neuroscience research. Neuron
  • Susan Daniels of the National Institute of Mental Health is the new U.S. Health and Human Services National Autism Coordinator. NIMH
  • The antidepressant effects of ketamine may not arise from the drug’s action in the brain but from the experience of receiving medical treatment. Spectrum covered the limitations of ketamine in treating autism last year. Science
  • Online research methods run the risk of recruiting people who lie about inclusion criteria just to collect any participant compensation. Autism
  • The structure and culture of research science may contribute to mental health problems in its practitioners at all career levels. Nature
  • Researchers have developed a deep-learning model to digitally assess joint attention in toddlers from video recordings. JAMA Network Open
  • The journal Multimedia Tools and Applications has retracted a paper on a novel method to identify autism in children, because of “a number of concerns, including but not limited to compromised editorial handling and peer review process.” Multimedia Tools and Applications

Cite this article:

TAGS:   autism