ADNP syndrome; the pangenome; gender on the spectrum

Here is a roundup of news and research spotted around the web for the week of 10 July.

  • In a mouse model of ADNP syndrome, performance on a learning and memory task is linked to changes in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Molecular Psychiatry
  • The recently published human pangenome, which includes complete genomes of 47 people from diverse ancestries, could advance scientists’ understanding of the genetics of health and disease. JAMA
  • Fetal inflammatory syndrome appears to be linked to autism and conduct disorder, according to a review of medical records. Translational Psychiatry
  • Autism-linked genes appear to converge on the cellular processes involving microtubules and cell proliferation, as well as synaptic and chromatin function. Spectrum covered related findings in February. Development
  • Auditory-processing challenges in autistic children are evident at 3 years of age and are linked to problems in adaptive behavior later in childhood. Autism Research
  • In eukaryotes, RNA-guided systems include DNA endonucleases, which rely on Fanzor proteins and may be used to deliver targeted gene therapy. Nature
  • For copy number variants in chromosomal regions 16p11.2 and 22q11.2, gene pairs often explain gene-behavior linkages better than single genes do. PLOS Genetics
  • Autistic teenagers are more likely than their non-autistic peers to have obesity, neurological conditions, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and the prevalence of obesity and dyslipidemia increase by early adulthood. Autism Research

    10 side-by-side images of human cortical neurons
    Totally tubular: Axons in human stem-cell-derived cortical neurons are dotted with autism-linked proteins.
  • Autistic children have elevated levels of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and attention problems, and autistic girls have higher rates than autistic boys. Psychological Medicine
  • Standard questions about gender identity do not capture the range of identities in people with autism. Autism in Adulthood
  • Measures of attention and motor skills in the first six months of life appear to be more reliable predictors of an eventual autism diagnosis than are social or communication behaviors, according to a review of studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  • Subtypes of somatostatin interneurons have distinct distributions and axonal shapes, and specific connections to pyramidal cells. Neuron
  • Autism researchers should recruit sex-balanced cohorts in their studies, argues an autism expert who details the consequences of excluding or underrepresenting girls and women. Autism Research
  • Autistic people tend to recognize faces whether they are upside down or right side up more adeptly than do non-autistic people, although performance variability is high, according to a review of studies. JAMA Psychiatry
  • Autistic preschoolers in inclusive classrooms engage with teachers and peers less than non-autistic preschoolers. Autism Research
  • Neurodivergent graduate students in STEM fields report feeling pressure to conform to neurotypical norms and mask neurodivergent traits. Frontiers in Psychology
  • Autistic children who have autistic siblings tend to have higher cognitive abilities and milder traits than do autistic children with no family history of autism. Autism Research