Fatty acid metabolites; esophagitis; auditory processing

Here is a roundup of news and research spotted around the web for the week of 25 September.

  • Autistic adults have higher blood levels of fatty-acid metabolites, on average, than non-autistic adults. Autism Research
  • Many autism-linked genes encode immune-system proteins that contribute to neuronal and synaptic plasticity during development, according to a review. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
  • The study of animal vocalizations has undermined past views of language as a uniquely human trait. The New York Times
  • In mice missing the MECP2 gene — a model of Rett syndrome — loss of the MECP2 protein leads to changes in the proteome of cells throughout the body and appears to converge on lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function. Human Molecular Genetics
  • Two people in conversation move in response to each other; the one who leads the movements is more likely to make a positive impression on outside observers, unless the leader is autistic. Scientific Reports
  • Autistic children are more likely to have esophagitis than their non-autistic peers or those with a developmental disability are. Journal of Pediatrics
  • Among people with fragile X syndrome, those with more severe autism traits have more difficulty with adaptive behavior and higher blood levels of CYFIP1 mRNA than those with less severe traits. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
  • Alpha-Missense is a new artificial-intelligence tool based on AlphaFold that predicts where disease-causing mutations are likely to occur in a protein. Nature

    An illustration of a brain
    Wide reach: Loss of the gene MECP2 in mice leads to proteomic changes throughout the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Autistic people show similar patterns of regional brain activation during tasks designed to assess pragmatic skills and theory of mind, according to a meta-analysis of data from 35 imaging studies. Social Neuroscience
  • Harvard University has created a health-care toolkit for caregivers and advocates of autistic adults and an educational course for clinicians. Adult Autism Health Resources
  • Auditory processing in autistic adolescents is different from that of their non-autistic peers, and the difference is larger in those with lower IQs. Autism Research
  • A new method to investigate infant attention uses naturalistic settings rather than computer-screen stimuli and reports individual differences. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Autistic adults have more chronic health issues than non-autistic adults, encompassing many organ systems in the body, according to an online survey of 2,305 people. Molecular Autism
  • The prevalence of autism in a cohort of Swedish 12-year-olds is 1.1 percent; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder prevalence is 7.6 percent and is linked to parental obesity. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
  • Autistic people seek friendship and community; researchers have begun documenting how non-autistic people contribute to the so-called double-empathy problem, writes author Steve Silberman. Scientific American