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Spectrum: Autism Research News

June 13th

Research roundup

  • A molecular pathway involving glutamate receptors and their downstream effectors appears to contribute to an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Cell Reports
  • Autistic women camouflage more than autistic men, and more than women and men who have autism traits but no formal diagnosis. Autism
  • The Neuropixels probe can capture the activity of single neurons in human brains. Spectrum covered the tool earlier this year. Neuron
  • The immune mediator interleukin-15 interacts in complex ways with the maternal immune system in pregnant rats and alters the behavioral profile of the pups. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health
  • Synonymous mutations — also called silent mutations because they don’t alter the code to translate a protein — in yeast genes appear to reduce the overall fitness of the organism, in part by altering mRNA levels. Spectrum has reported on silent mutations in autism research. Nature
  • Autistic students in high school are more likely to be bullied than those in elementary grades, and mainstreamed students are bullied more than those with special health-care needs. JAMA Pediatrics
  • Owning a pet has many benefits for autistic adults, such as better mental health and decreased loneliness. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • In-utero exposure to valproic acid, known to increase the chances of autism, appears to cause cell senescence in mouse embryonic tissue. PLOS Biology
  • Mothers of autistic children trained in language facilitation methods adopted responsive strategies more easily than directive ones in a clinical trial. Autism

Science and society

  • As many residential treatment facilities for children in New York shut down, families are left with fewer options and longer waits, and some end up relying on the criminal justice system to deal with emergencies. ProPublica
  • Complications from Brexit are affecting U.K.-based researchers who had grants through an E.U.-based program, Horizon Europe. Nature
  • A new book, “Art as a Language for Autism,” by Jane Ferris Richardson, explores how art can function as a communication tool for autistic children in clinical settings. Routledge
  • A Vermont physician says she is witnessing what researchers have reported: that autistic people appear to be more susceptible to long COVID than non-autistic people are. WCAX
  • Vijay Ravindran, technology expert and parent of an autistic son, has launched a company to develop virtual-reality lessons to help autistic children practice social skills and learn to navigate everyday situations. Spectrum has previously covered virtual reality in autism research and treatment. The New York Times

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TAGS:   autism