Interleukin-4; psychosis in autistic adolescents; evoked response potentials in fragile X syndrome

Here is a roundup of news and research spotted around the web for the week of 6 November.

By Jill Adams
10 November 2023 | 3 min read
  • More than 140 genes linked to autism have cell-type-specific isoforms, according to a study in brain organoids. Cell Reports
  • Elevated levels of interleukin-4 during cerebellar development lead to less pruning and greater numbers of granule cells. Neuron
  • Executive function changes most profoundly during development between the ages of 10 and 15, after which it gradually stabilizes at an adult level, around age 18 to 20, according to an analysis of multiple datasets representing more than 10,000 people. Nature Communications
  • Girls often seek treatment for anxiety and mood disorders before being diagnosed with autism; for boys, otolaryngology concerns tend to precede autism diagnosis at a young age. Autism Research
  • The Modified Autism Checklist for Toddlers is an effective screen when used at 18-month well-child visits in primary care clinics in Singapore. Autism
  • Employing three different tools for identifying autism-linked gene variants from exome sequences provides richer data than any one tool alone. Scientific Reports

    Research images of brain scans from siblings
    Facial recognition: Evoked response potentials from children with fragile X syndrome (third from left) are greater than those from children with autism (far right) or those without autism (first two from left).
  • Autistic adolescents who are hospitalized for psychosis are more likely to report a recent stressor, such as a family disturbance, than are their autistic peers hospitalized for other psychiatric conditions. Autism Research
  • Psychiatrists should play a role in managing childhood obesity, given that weight gain is a common side effect of psychotropic medications, two clinicians write in a commentary. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Children with fragile X syndrome are hypersensitive to visual stimuli, as measured by evoked response potentials, whereas autistic children and their siblings often show attenuated responses. Autism Research
  • Obstetric and neonatal complications may mediate the link between maternal metabolic conditions, namely diabetes and obesity, and having a child with a neurodevelopmental condition. BMC Medicine
  • Health insurance and household income are better predictors of whether people make use of the social safety net in the United States than is having a child with a disability. Academic Pediatrics
  • A naturopathic physician in British Columbia, Canada, has relinquished his license after promoting fecal transplants as a treatment for autism, against medical standards. CBC
  • In general, autism traits tend to improve during adulthood, whereas health issues tend to worsen, according to an analysis of longitudinal data. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Mice exposed to maternal immune activation in utero, a model of autism, do not experience infantile amnesia, the loss of early memories. Science Advances
  • Autistic children who speak two languages have equivalent linguistic skills to non-autistic children, and better skills than their monolingual peers. Autism