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Spectrum: Autism Research News

March 22nd

Research roundup

  • Autistic women often struggle to meet others’ expectations, as Spectrum has covered in depth, though they tend to feel less of a need to conform as they age. Autism
  • A review of studies has found support for the association between maternal infection and autism. Autism Research
  • Autistic and non-autistic adolescents who frequently camouflage also report elevated levels of depression and anxiety. Autism
  • Rarely, fragile X syndrome can be caused by single DNA-base mutations; a mouse model with that type of mutation shows changes in neuron structure, brain activity and behavior. Nature Communications
  • Researchers writing in honor of developmental psychologist Ed Zigler explore the changing boundaries of an autism diagnosis. Development and Psychopathology
  • Some child neurologists and psychiatrists say that both autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are overdiagnosed. BMC Psychiatry
  • Study design influences how autistic participants interpret emotion from speech intonation, suggesting that their differences may not be as large as is often reported. Autism
  • The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has misguided clinicians and researchers on using a screening tool called the Autism Spectrum Quotient; the evidence base says that a score of 6 or higher, not 7 or higher, should spur diagnostic evaluation. Lancet Psychiatry
  • Autistic adults tend to have more eating issues than non-autistic adults; some issues are related to autism and others to eating disorders. Autism Research
  • A complicated system — the many variants of the autism-linked gene SCN2A, their protein products and their neurobehavioral effects — can be coded and analyzed to reveal relationships between genotypes and phenotypes. Genetics in Medicine

    Behavioral ties: Analyzing variants of the autism-linked gene SCN2A, their protein products and their effects reveals complicated genotype-to-phenotype relationships.

  • Training and experience help police officers become more comfortable interacting with autistic people, a topic that Spectrum has explored. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Olfactory cues influence social interaction in mice and might also shape social dynamics in people with autism or sensory integration differences. European Journal of Neuroscience

Science and society

  • Lab-made model embryos could lead to new insights on early human development. NPR
  • Scientists who grow brain organoids, which are used to study autism, marvel at their self-assembled complexity, according to science journalist Carl Zimmer’s new book, “Life’s Edge.” Slate
  • An autism committee that provides information and advice to U.S. agencies that serve the public has not met since July 2019, as Spectrum also reported. WHYY
  • The social media campaign #BlackinNeuroWeek generated visibility and enthusiasm; now Black researchers propose ways to sustain the effort through databases, mentorship and education. The Journal of Neuroscience

TAGS:   autism