Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

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

Spotted around the web: Suicide rates, TCF4, rapid screening, face masks in an MRI

by  /  22 January 2021

January 18th

Research roundup

  • Autistic people have died by suicide at three times the rate of non-autistic people in Denmark. JAMA Network Open
  • Children with autism may become less active in their teenage years than non-autistic children. Autism
  • Autistic children aged 3 to 5 often have feeding and swallowing difficulties arising from multiple issues, such as sensory problems and repetitive behaviors. African Health Sciences
  • Infants with tuberous sclerosis complex who experience seizures should be monitored for autism. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
  • Rats exposed to an activated immune system in utero appear to have altered activity patterns and circadian rhythm as adults. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
  • A comprehensive review of the TCF4 gene may reveal clues to how genetic variants lead to autism and psychiatric conditions. Translational Psychiatry
  • A new rapid screening test for autism in toddlers, tested in a real-world clinic, appears to be reliable and easy to implement. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Success in school depends on a person’s cognitive abilities, but it may also be influenced by genetic variants related to personality traits and psychiatric conditions. Nature Genetics
  • Developmental conditions with known genetic links appear to occur with different frequencies in Chinese versus Western populations. Genetics in Medicine
  • Wearing a face mask during magnetic resonance imaging may increase the degree of contrast for baseline readings but does not affect measurements of task-induced brain activity. NeuroImage
  • Adults with autism have an elevated risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities

Science and society

  • Unregulated clinics continue to hawk unproven stem cell therapies for autism and other conditions, an issue that Spectrum investigated in 2019. Business Insider
  • The number of rats and mice used in scientific research in the United States is under dispute, with estimates ranging from 10 million to more than 100 million. Science
  • Autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has been knighted in the United Kingdom. Cambridge Independent
  • People with intellectual disabilities should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination in the U.K., three healthcare experts argue. The BMJ
  • Autistic politician Jessica Benham, whom Spectrum interviewed in November, says her life experiences will inform her service as a Pennsylvania legislator. Today
  • Explaining the science and answering questions about vaccines are key steps to countering anti-vax misinformation. Business Insider
  • The National Fragile X Foundation is slated to hold a virtual meeting on 3 March to hear patient perspectives on needs and concerns for drug development. Fragile X News Today
  • Alycia Halladay, chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation, has been elected board president of the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation. Autism Science Foundation

TAGS:   autism