Autistic individuals are more likely to experience chronic physical and mental health problems than their peers without ASD. Additionally, those on the autism spectrum are more likely to report inadequacies in health care services provided to them.
Researchers have identified a mechanism shared by mutations in the SHANK3 and ADNP genes. The genes have been associated with the development of ASD and schizophrenia.
A brain organoid study reveals how a genetic mutation associated with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a profound form of autism, disrupts neural development. Using gene-editing technology, researchers recovered the function of the TCF4 gene and effectively restored neural structure and function.
The risk of self-harm presenting to emergency rooms is three times higher for boys with ASD compared to those not on the autism spectrum. Additionally, researchers found a four-fold increase in self-harm behaviors for both males and females with ADHD. Children with less than 80% school attendance also had a three times higher risk of self-harming behaviors.
Researchers discovered a bi-directional relationship between internalizing symptoms, social withdrawal, and gastrointestinal problems in children and teens on the autism spectrum, reporting the symptoms seem to impact one another simultaneously.
Vaccine hesitance waned over time, and the majority of caregivers and dependents with ASD received the COVID-19 vaccine following FDA approval. However, overall vaccine hesitancy influenced COVID-19 vaccine uptake in a minority of caregivers and dependents with ASD. Recent findings reveal that those on the autism spectrum are at greater risk of hospitalization following COVID-19 infection, and historically, a significant portion of parents of children with ASD are more likely to delay or decline any childhood vaccines.
Abnormalities in astrocytes may play a critical role in some of the behavioral symptoms experienced by those with autism.
Mutations to the EGR1 gene disrupt social behaviors in zebrafish models of ASD. Additionally, the mutation disrupts dopamine signaling from specific neurons, contributing to mood and social behavior disorders.
A new AI algorithm can predict whether a person is on the autism spectrum by examining their brain scans. The algorithm can also predict the severity of symptoms and could be used as an early detection tool for ASD.
A neuroimaging study of perinatal brains at 25 weeks of gestation reveals significant differences in brain structures in children who were later diagnosed with autism and those who were not. The findings add to the mounting evidence that ASD begins in early development.