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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: Shifting sex ratio, autism drugs, neuroscience research inequality

by , ,  /  17 September 2021

September 13th

Research roundup

  • Knocking down either of the autism-linked genes CHD8 or TSC2 in microglial cells blocks the maturation of oligodendrocytes, but not neurons or astrocytes. Researchers are increasingly seeing links between oligodendrocytes and autism, Spectrum reported in March. Scientific Reports
  • The male-to-female ratio of autism diagnoses is lower in adults than it is in children, according to a Norwegian study that analyzed data from more than 1.7 million adults. Spectrum has previously covered autism’s sex bias and the possible reasons for it. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • There are no drug treatments for the core features of autism, but a new review outlines the many medications available to treat associated behavioral challenges, such as aggression and self-injury. Spectrum has reported on the widespread use of medications in autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • COVID-19 positivity rates were lower at six schools for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities than in surrounding communities during the 2020-2021 school year. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Sequencing messenger RNA shows that different isoforms are present at different stages of development, which may account for altered brain development in autism. Cell Reports
  • A behavioral therapy, administered online, reduces the severity of tics in children with Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorder, according to a randomized, controlled trial in England. The Lancet Psychiatry
  • Researchers interviewed expert clinicians to generate improved guidelines for diagnosing autism in adult women. Autism
  • A cross-cultural study of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale found differences in how traits are assessed, particularly social interactions. Autism Research
  • Research using induced pluripotent stem cells in animal models may help reveal neurodevelopmental processes that lead to altered brain connectivity in autism. Molecular Psychiatry
  • Non-autistic people who participate in an autism-focused support group may have better relationships with their autistic siblings than those without that support. Spectrum reported on sibling relationships last year. Autism

Science and society

  • The coronavirus pandemic has worsened inequality in neuroscience research institutions, but it has also inspired greater awareness and positive actions going forward, write two members of an international group that promotes equity and diversity in the brain sciences. Neuron
  • Disability groups have filed legal challenges to the banning of mask mandates in some U.S. states. The Conversation
  • A McDonald’s grill cook with autism who had decades of experience was fired soon after new owners took charge of the franchise; a U.S. federal agency has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit. Disability Scoop

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TAGS:   autism