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Spectrum: Autism Research News

August 2nd

Research roundup

  • Women with psychiatric conditions have an increased likelihood of having a child with autism, regardless of whether or not they take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications during pregnancy. Spectrum has reported on the questionable link between prenatal SSRI exposure and autism. Biological Psychiatry
  • Children who have participated in the Early Start Denver Model early autism intervention show changes in an electroencephalogram measure related to social information processing. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Recent advances in collecting multi-layered genomic data, together with organoid models, could help researchers understand the mechanistic consequences of autism-related mutations. Human Molecular Genetics
  • A modification to light-sheet microscopy can map microglia in transparent mouse brains with subcellular resolution. Nature Methods
  • School-aged autistic girls with co-occurring conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety, have more communication problems and motor difficulties than do autistic boys with similar conditions. The Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Most adults on the spectrum living in Latin American countries do not receive health services, although nearly half of those surveyed were on medication. Autism Research
  • Autistic adolescents tend to have less ankle strength and may be less aware of lower-limb positioning than their non-autistic peers. Perceptual and Motor Skills
  • Rats missing one or both copies of the autism-associated NRXN1-alpha gene display altered social, nurturing and learning behaviors. Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Five genes related to the immune system have links to autism traits, according to a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Autism
  • Researcher Gordon Forbes wrote about the successes and challenges of using statistical analysis to predict adult outcomes for autistic children. Spectrum took an in-depth look at autism life trajectories last month. King’s College London
  • A new map of the roundworm’s neural circuitry shows how neurons and synapses change as the worms develop. Nature
  • Women with severe obesity are more likely than those of a typical weight to have children with autism or other developmental conditions. Obesity

Science and society

  • A few tweaks appear to increase women’s participation in Q&A sessions at scientific conferences: placing women in chair positions to field questions and having the first audience question come from a woman. The Guardian
  • Imaging researchers have engineered metal-free high-tech devices to counter the noise, confinement and isolation people often experience inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine. STAT

    Headphones that help tune out the noise of a magnetic resonance imaging machine.

    Tuning out: High-tech headphones help people manage the noise of a magnetic resonance imaging machine.

    Courtesy of Audeze

  • A public safety overhaul in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, will be named for two people shot by police, one of whom, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, was on the spectrum. The Bemidji Pioneer

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TAGS:   autism