Functional convergence of autism genes; mortality rates; motor skills

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 15 January.

  • Many genes linked to autism have downstream effects that indicate their convergence on functions such as microtubule biology and RNA-binding proteins, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • To help set research and service priorities for the future, the U.S.-based Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is seeking public comments through 14 February regarding physical and mental conditions that co-occur with autism.
  • People with autism and intellectual disability have 2.83 times the mortality rate of people without the two diagnoses; those with autism alone have 1.71 times the mortality rate, according to an analysis of autistic people in the United Kingdom over a 30-year period. The Lancet Regional Health-Europe
Cell cycles: Autism genes affect neuroprogenitor cell activity over time: Some are cycling (orange and blue); some are differentiating (green); and some are in an intermediate state (red).
  • People with PTEN gene variants and a neurodevelopmental condition such as autism tend to have more genome-wide homozygous gene variants than do people with cancers related to their PTEN gene variants, according to a preprint. Research Square
  • Autistic children with poor motor skills show slower development of social skills three years later than do their peers with better motor skills. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • A large U.K.-based study of maternal risk factors such as infection, anxiety and depression found no association with neurodevelopmental conditions in children. Psychological Medicine
  • Children who are later diagnosed with autism show less progress in using gestures while talking between ages 1 and 2 than do their peers who aren’t diagnosed but have a family history of autism. Autism Research