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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: INSAR abstracts, autism-specific anxiety, Human Cell Atlas

WEEK OF
May 16th

Research roundup — INSAR22 abstracts

  • Nearly half of children with a community-based or caregiver-reported diagnosis of autism did not meet clinical criteria for the condition, according to data from 232 children in the Pacific Northwest. 409.046
  • Items on name-calling or eye contact in the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised are perceived differently across cultures and lead to lower endorsements of the test in some countries, according to a study of children in 10 countries. 409.042
  • More girls are diagnosed with autism in North Carolina than they were two decades ago, but the average age at diagnosis has gone up to 11 years old. 305.003
  • Babies who are later diagnosed with autism gesture less frequently than their peers, according to a new longitudinal study. 408.008
  • Autistic people with poor motor skills are at an increased likelihood of having high glutamate levels in the brain and poor tactile sensitivity. 228.002
  • Girls and young women with autism are more likely to experience depression than autistic boys and young men. 415.001
  • Cognitive changes that occur with aging are similar in autistic and non-autistic adults. 415.028
  • Gender discrepancies show up in the language and social domains of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Module 3. 418.089
  • Most children ultimately diagnosed with autism have noticeable early language delays, which may be used to prompt further assessment. 418.109
  • Pediatricians are good at flagging atypical development during well-child visits, but they are not as accurate in identifying likely autism. 418.112

(Note: Links to abstracts may work only for registered conference attendees.)

Research roundup

  • Girls and young women with intellectual disability who have variants of the DDX3X gene are more likely to have anxiety and self-injurious behavior than their peers with non-DDX3X-related intellectual disability. Spectrum covered gender-specific findings from a DDX3X mouse model last week. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • An MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging can be used to study typical and atypical brain development in utero. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • The likelihood of having an autistic child is elevated if one parent has schizophrenia, according to a review of observational studies. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry
  • The protein FMRP, which is missing in fragile X syndrome, activates receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid to provide tonic inhibition in the hippocampus. Cell Reports
  • Autistic children with traditional anxiety tend to have a large amygdala; those with autism-specific or ‘distinct’ anxiety tend to have a small one. Spectrum reported on the findings earlier this year. Biological Psychiatry

Science and society

  • The Human Cell Atlas has mapped more than 1 million cells across 33 tissues. STAT
  • Four Nature journals now require researchers who submit papers for publication to describe how sex and gender was considered in their study’s design. Nature
  • The valedictorian of Rollins College’s class of 2022, a minimally verbal autistic woman, gave the commencement speech using text-to-speech software. NPR
  • A group of researchers argues that experimental data should be subject to multiple statistical analyses, ideally performed by independent groups. Nature