Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted around the web: GABA interneurons; CDEP4; Black researchers

by , ,  /  31 March 2023

March 27th

Research roundup

  • Autistic people tend to have fewer GABA-ergic interneurons than non-autistic people, and autistic people with intellectual disability have the fewest. Autism
  • Young children who attend more to the toys than to an ongoing social interaction in a video, as measured by eye tracking, are less likely to engage with their parents while playing with their own toys. Autism Research
  • Glutamate AMPA receptors accumulate in the dendritic spines of motor cortex neurons of wildtype mice after the animals learn a motor skill, an upregulation that is absent in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. eNeuro
  • Rats exposed to particulate-matter air pollution show autism-like behaviors that seem to be accompanied by changes in SHANK3 expression and methylation. Heliyon
  • Repetitive behaviors in children with behavioral, emotional or cognitive difficulties — not only in those with autism — are associated with heightened anxiety levels. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Autistic toddlers are less likely than those with other neurodevelopmental conditions to have gastrointestinal or sleep problems, though they still have high rates of both issues. Clinical Pediatrics

    Human neurodevelopment: Connections between the thalamus and the cortex are evident by 9 to 10 weeks after conception.

  • The development of neural circuits connecting the thalamus and the cortex plays a role in sleep and memory, and it may be pivotal in several neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism and schizophrenia. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
  • Mis-splicing of the RNA regulatory protein CDEP4 leads to reduced expression of schizophrenia-linked genes, as it does with autism-linked genes. Biological Psychiatry
  • Chromosomal microarray analysis has identified several rare copy number variants in Bangladeshi children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Frontiers in Genetics
  • Mice missing the SIRT2 gene have more neuroinflammation in the hippocampus than control mice, which spurs autophagy and may contribute to autism-like traits. Journal of Cellular Physiology
  • Slow weight gain in the second trimester and rapid weight gain in the third trimester are associated with an increased chance of having a child with a neurodevelopmental condition, according to a cohort study in Sweden. BMC Medicine
  • A new approach enables researchers to inject proteins directly into cells, using customizable complexes — an advance that may help overcome delivery problems related to gene therapy. Nature

Science and society

  • Autism researchers and autism advocates describe the tensions in the field with regard to disparities in funding for basic research versus treatment and services research. Spectrum has covered the controversy in depth. BBC News
  • Race is not a good proxy for genetic diversity, according to a new report from the U.S. National Academies of Science. The New York Times
  • Black scientists in the United States have lower representation on journal editorial boards, wait longer for their papers to be reviewed and receive fewer citations than white scientists do, according to an analysis of 1 million papers. PNAS

Cite this article:

TAGS:   autism