Community Newsletter: Families in Crisis; genetic mystery; determinants of health | Spectrum

Illustration by Laurène Boglio

We are in crisis. People wait years to get the #autism services they need. Families are suffering,” he tweeted Sarabeth Browder-Fingertassociate professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in Worcester, this week.

The question, she explains in an Autism Research comment, is that “long waiting lists for diagnostic assessments and a limited specialist workforce have created significant delays”. As a solution, she suggests an approach where pediatric primary care physicians “can accept or reject autism in children for whom the diagnosis is clear and refer more complex cases for specialized evaluations.”

To get children quick access to the services they need, Ashley Darcy-Mahonydirector of infant research at George Washington University’s Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute in Washington, DC, also suggested “including PNPs, Psych Mental Health NPs, and some of the work has done with Welcome visits.”

Helen Tager-Flussbergdirector of Boston University’s Center for Excellence in Autism Research, tweeted that it was “so important to change our system now and preventing delays for future children and families.”

This next topic sheds light on a mysterious genetic area related to autism.

“Both common and rare genetic variants are relevant to autism. But are they biologically convergent?” Dan Weinergraduate student at Harvard University asked in a thread describing his and his colleagues’ new paper in Natural geneticswhich Spectrum covered preprint of in previous Community newsletter.

The team found that the short arm of chromosome 16 (which contains the 16p11.2 region, home to several copy number variations associated with autism) harbors “the largest excess of the common polygenic influences of autism.” The results tell “a story of unexpected convergence at 16p, a region of long-standing mystery in autism research,” according to Weiner.

Moving on to explore different types of regions, analysis in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health from school-based data from more than 7 million pupils, examining the ‘incidence of autism in England as a function of geography and sociodemography’.

“A new paper is out! We analyze social determinants of health on cases of #autism,” tweeted the author of the study Andres Roman-Urestarazu, director of research in psychology and behavioral sciences at the University of Cambridge in England. “We found that the odds of #autism diagnoses rose by up to 1,664% in England due to ethnicity, gender and socio-economic deprivation.”

“These findings are consistent with earlier studies in the US – see Peter Bearman’s CA studies,” Tager-Flusberg tweeted.

highlighting one of the researchers’ images, ,The probability of getting

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That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you’ve seen in the area of ​​autism research, feel free to email us at [email protected].

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