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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: PPE portraits, pronoun use, diversifying polygenic risk scores

by  /  25 June 2021

June 21st

Research roundup

  • A big-data study of alternatively spliced genes has identified new forms of large, well-known proteins. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
  • Personal protective equipment can make healthcare providers seem impersonal and impede communication with autistic people; efforts such as the PPE Portrait Project, in which providers wear full-face photos of themselves, may help. Neuron

    Healthcare provider wearing PPP and portrait hanging around neck.

    Personal touch: Wearing a portrait can help covered healthcare providers look more personable.

  • Mitochondria may be crucial to brain health and play a role in many neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions. Knowable
  • Interpreting and using pronouns is difficult for children, regardless of whether they are neurotypical or have autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Frontiers in Psychology
  • About 40 percent of white-matter variation in the brain can be correlated to common gene variants, some of which are linked to neurodevelopmental or psychiatric conditions. Science
  • Mice missing the ASH1L protein, which helps regulate gene expression, appear to model autism-like changes in sociability. Spectrum has previously reported that mutations in ASH1L alter how neurons grow and mature. Communications Biology
  • Neuronal excitability is atypical in the extended amygdala in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. eNeuro
  • Variants of the AP1G1 gene, which encode part of an adaptor protein complex and are linked to intellectual disability, appear to modify intracellular vesicle processing. American Journal of Human Genetics

Science and society

  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health has announced a $38 million consortium grant to study polygenic risk for complex conditions such as autism while increasing the diversity of genomic data. National Human Genome Research Institute
  • After the U.S. Navy awarded a college scholarship to Tory Ridgeway, who has autism and has long dreamed of military service, it rescinded the offer, citing “academic skills and developmental disorders.” NBC 4 Washington
  • A new law in Nevada provides increased funding, via Medicaid, for autistic children to receive applied behavior analysis therapy; current waitlist times are as long as three years. The Nevada Independent

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TAGS:   autism