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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: Dopamine in autism, predictive skills, incidental genetic findings

by ,  /  13 August 2021

August 9th

Research roundup

  • An independent analysis confirmed self- and caregiver-reported autism diagnoses for 251 out of 254 participants in SPARK, a large genetic study of autism. (SPARK is funded by the Simons Foundation, Spectrum’s parent organization.) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Children with dup15q syndrome, a condition linked to autism, show altered brain-wave activity during sleep. Spectrum reported on a preliminary analysis of these data in January. Molecular Autism
  • People who learn they are autistic as adults tend to become more satisfied with their diagnosis over time. Frontiers in Psychology
  • Parents of autistic children are amenable to using online platforms to participate in research studies. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
  • Autistic children and adults with high verbal intelligence tend to have low autism trait severity. Autism Research
  • The brain’s dopamine system is often altered in people with autism, but not consistently — its signaling may be either increased or decreased. Frontiers in Neural Circuits
  • Parents of autistic children, as well as adults and adolescents on the spectrum, report positive and negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown: Having fewer obligations was good, but seeing friends less was bad. Spectrum covered the effects of lockdown in a special report on the pandemic last year. Autism
  • Some people on the spectrum have a lower risk of developing a substance-use disorder than people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and non-autistic people — bucking a trend Spectrum reported in 2017. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • An automated language analysis called lexico-semantic similarity characterized differences in conversation between autistic and non-autistic children. Frontiers in Psychology

Science and society

  • New data have resparked an old controversy over informing genetic study participants about unrelated mutations or incidental findings: Should people have the right to opt in or opt out? Science
  • An artificial-intelligence-based method of scouring published research data may help identify potential medications for neurodevelopmental conditions. STAT
  • An emerging theory of autism posits that people on the spectrum have impairments in their ability to predict events. Spectrum laid out the basics of the predictive coding theory in a 2019 article. Scientific American
  • The h-index, once a widely used measure of a researcher’s impact, has become less useful as authorship patterns change. Chemistry World

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TAGS:   autism