Autism interventions tailored for Black Americans; gene therapy for Rett syndrome; KATNAL2 gene

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 8 July.

  • Eight studies in the past 25 years have addressed autism interventions specifically designed for Black Americans. Most of the studies were tailored to caregivers and their effectiveness remains unclear. Autism
  • The biotech company Taysha Gene Therapies has shared new data on the beneficial effects of its gene therapy on two adults and two children with Rett syndrome. Fierce Biotech
  • More is not necessarily better when it comes to frequency, duration or intensity of autism interventions. Spectrum has previously reported on the overall weakness of intervention research. JAMA Pediatrics
Illustration of an adult holding two pieces of paper with different shapes on them in front of a child.
More or less: The intensity of autism interventions does not appear to affect outcomes.
Illustration by Julien Posture
  • Mice carrying variants of the autism-linked gene KATNAL2 have altered ciliary motility that leads to enlargement of the cerebral ventricular spaces. A variety of KATNAL2 variants show up in autistic people with congenital hydrocephalus. Last year, Spectrum covered associations between ciliary dysfunction and autism. PNAS
  • A recent clinical trial of trofinetide in people with Rett syndrome has shown that improvement continues over 40 weeks of treatment without added safety risks. Spectrum covered the previous trial that ran for 12 weeks and earned the treatment’s 2023 FDA approval in the United States. Med

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