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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: Week of 19 August 2019

by  /  23 August 2019

August 19th

Research roundup

  • Autistic people are four times as likely as controls to have low cholesterol, and those with the lowest cholesterol levels have high rates of intellectual disability, anxiety and depression, according to a new study. Autism Research
  • Combination therapy with the dementia drug donepezil and the nutrient choline improved receptive language skills in autistic children in a small clinical trial. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
  • More than 100 genes in fruit flies are involved in the process of learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli; some are evolutionarily related to human genes linked to intellectual disability and autism. Biological Psychiatry
  • Vocalization differences in 9-month-old babies with fragile X syndrome may predict language skills and autistic traits. Autism Research
  • Teens born before 32 weeks gestation show more social and cognitive control issues than their full-term peers. The Journal of Pediatrics
  • More than 80 percent of the people enrolled in the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program are from groups historically underrepresented in biomedical research. New England Journal of Medicine
  • An analysis suggests caution is warranted when interpreting data that link air pollution to bipolar disorder. PLOS Biology
  • Mice deficient in caspase-2 show anxiety and difficulty forgetting information that is no longer useful, suggesting the protein plays a role in cognitive flexibility. Nature Communications
  • The antitumor drug everolimus did not affect intellectual or neuropsychological functioning in children with tuberous sclerosis complex in a clinical trial. Neurology

Science and society

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cannot keep up with the deceptive advertising of products containing cannabidiol, and no agency oversees the quality of such products. The New York Times
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a consumer update advising that drinking bleach does not cure autism, cancer or HIV. Vice
  • Government officials in Ontario, Canada, have announced new regulations for practitioners of applied behavior analysis for autistic children. Ottawa Citizen
  • Children with inflammatory bowel disease need mental health screening, according to a commentary on findings that psychiatric diagnoses occur at high rates among them. JAMA Pediatrics
  • An autistic teen has developed a smartphone app to help others on the spectrum track their moods and plan for energy-intensive activities to prevent exhaustion. Forbes
  • Many U.S. hospitals charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for premium genetic sequencing to predict disease risk beyond what at-home kits can do. STAT
  • The psychedelic drug MDMA shows promise as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and is in phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S. Kaiser Health News
  • Neuroimaging studies tend to exclude left-handed people, potentially skewing results. Discover
  • Neuropsychology expert Sven Bölte argues that researchers must interact with the autism community and advocate for inclusion. Autism
  • Neuroimaging researchers have identified at least six subtypes of depression. Science 

Autism and the arts

  • A theater production at Michigan State University designed for autistic people incorporates sensory-friendly elements and audience participation. Mirage News
  • Azul for Better Living, a Florida organization, provides autistic people with the opportunity to create and show fashion designs. WPTV