Spotted around the web: Ketamine trial, do-it-yourself video setup, culturally sensitive therapy

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 12 September.

Research roundup  

  • Ketamine can improve sociability, repetitive behaviors and sensory sensitivities in children with ADNP syndrome, an autism-linked genetic condition, according to a small clinical trial. Spectrum covered ketamine use in people with autism or related conditions in June. HGG Advances 
  • More than two-thirds of autistic adults have anxiety or depression, which correlates with reduced quality of life and daily functioning. Frontiers in Psychology 
  • Researchers share instructions for a do-it-yourself video setup to record animal behavior without special parts or electronics expertise. eNeuro 
  • When autism research projects include community members, researchers retain decision-making power and autistic people are tokenized, according to interviews with researchers, providers and community members. Frontiers in Psychology 
  • Rats exposed to valproic acid in utero, an animal model of autism, show decreased long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, which correlates with changes in social behaviors. Brain Communications 
  • On Wednesday, the Autism Science Foundation announced the launch of an open “Participate in Research” directory. Scientists can list research studies in the directory, which families can search by age, location or topic of interest. Participate in Research

    A computer microchip and a camera on a table.
    Do-it-yourself: An instructional guide to building your own animal behavior recording setup comes with detailed photos.
  • Memantine lessens obsessive-compulsive behaviors in children with autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder or both, according to a small clinical study. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications 
  • A mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway mediates how the autism-linked protein CHD8 functions as a transcription activator. bioRxiv 
  • Children with congenital heart disease are more likely to have a neurodevelopmental condition than those in the general population. Cardiology in the Young 
  • The variability observed in inbred mice is greater between litters than within litters, suggesting environmental factors influence development. A 2021 Spectrum article offers tips to control for this ‘litter effect.’ bioRxiv 

Science and society 

  • Mental health therapists should adapt their clinical care to people’s cultural backgrounds. Undark  
  • The Autism Care Network in the United States and Canada, funded by Autism Speaks, has added five new sites to inform treatment and spur new research. Disability Scoop 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted Acadia Pharmaceuticals’ new drug application for trofinetide to treat Rett syndrome. Spectrum reported on the drug’s clinical trial results earlier this year. MarketWatch 
  • Neurodiverse girls and women are more likely to be misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression rather than autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The Conversation 
  • Funders and publishers are increasingly asking researchers to include two sexes in their basic research studies. Nature 
  • Well-known, high-status scientists have a greater chance of getting a paper accepted for publication than those with less recognizable names. Science