In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at conversations around a study of trauma and autism traits in older adults, and an editorial that looks back at late child psychiatrist Sir Michael Rutter’s contributions to the field.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 3 January.
Oxytocin, cemented in the popular imagination as the “love molecule,” could serve as a treatment for some autistic people who naturally have low levels of the hormone, researchers say.
Mice that express a fluorescent synaptic receptor reveal the interactions between neurons in unprecedented detail.
The investigational drug arbaclofen makes autistic people’s brains respond to a visual task more like non-autistic people’s brains do.
In mice with a mutated copy of SHANK3, stress induces social deficits and alters gene expression in certain excitatory neurons. But eliminating a stress-related protein that regulates SHANK3 restores typical social functioning in the animals.
As 2021 comes to a close, Spectrum recaps some of the biggest trends in autism science this year: studies of sex differences, noncoding regions of the genome and points of convergence, as well as efforts to improve screening and participatory research.
On 26 January, Catherine Lord, distinguished professor of psychiatry and education at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Tony Charman, chair of clinical child psychology at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, will speak about the Lancet commission’s recommendations and the use of the term ‘profound autism.’