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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: Gut microbiome, oxytocin treatment, hippocampus development

by  /  31 January 2020

January 27th

Research roundup

  • A mouse model of fragile X syndrome lacks the sensory filtering needed to process sounds. eNeuro
  • Girls are diagnosed with autism one and a half years later than boys, on average. Autism Research
  • Scientists have described the early development of the human hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory. Nature
  • A comprehensive review of autism covers behavioral and genetic research and psychosocial interventions, plus areas in need of more data. Nature Reviews Disease Primers
  • Preschool girls with autism are more likely than boys to have early signs of other mental health or behavioral issues. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Autistic adults reported a decrease in repetitive behaviors after a month-long course of oxytocin nasal spray. Molecular Autism
  • Experiments that put human microbiota into rodents to model human diseases most likely overvalue the role of the gut microbiome. Cell
  • The amount of iron in brain tissue typically increases through adolescence and is related to cognitive abilities. The Journal of Neuroscience
  • People with duplications within the 22q11.2 chromosomal region have autism traits distinct from those of people with deletions of the region. Biological Psychiatry
  • A self-help cognitive behavioral therapy program may be easier for autistic adults with depression to follow than traditional treatment programs. Autism
  • Studies describing gut microbiomes in children with autism are inconsistent and cannot distinguish cause from effect. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism

Science and society

  • A U.S. federal audit found a high rate of hospital visits for residents of group homes for developmentally disabled adults, indicating possible neglect or abuse. Penn Live
  • More than half of 4,000 research scientists surveyed said that the culture of scientific research is negative, with many reporting bullying, harassment, anxiety and depression. Nature
  • Studying gut-brain neural pathways may enable researchers to explore autism treatments that target the intestines. NIH Director’s Blog
  • Researchers are wrestling with ethical issues about brain organoids, which have become more and more human-like. Quanta
  • A newly funded research effort at Cornell University focuses on policies around autistic youth transitioning to adulthood. ILR School
  • A pediatrician argues for greater integration of mental health care in primary-care settings, especially for children with chronic conditions, who are at elevated risk for anxiety. Journal of the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Autism and the arts

  • An art therapy program that serves people with autism in dozens of locations in and around Chicago, Illinois, is scheduled to hold a conference in March. The Daily Northwestern
  • A St. Louis, Missouri, art program for autistic children, teens and adults has opened an exhibit featuring their work. Webster-Kirkwood Times

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