Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Halted vasopressin trial, intact visible reminiscence, a brand new method to examine feelings | Spectrum


Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Illustration by Laurène Boglio

Welcome to the primary month-to-month version of Null and Noteworthy. We’ve doubled the publication’s frequency to ship extra notable null outcomes and replications direct to your inbox.

Thanks, as at all times, in your suggestions, and please proceed to ship your ideas, concepts, attention-grabbing research and cat photographs to [email protected]. Let’s dive in.

Vasopressin vagaries:
Research in each rodents and folks hyperlink the hormone vasopressin to autism, however the findings are removed from clear: Autistic folks present each unusually excessive and low ranges. Use of the hormone as a remedy, or remedy goal, is even murkier.

A brand new examine of the vasopressin suppressor balovaptan — the biggest randomized managed trial of any remedy in autistic adults thus far — discovered that the drug fared worse than a placebo at enhancing social communication as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Conduct Scales. The researchers had deliberate to provide balovaptan or a placebo each day to 322 autistic adults in six international locations for twenty-four weeks however stopped after solely half of the members reached that mark, because the outcomes have been already clear.

Measuring components recognized to affect placebo results, resembling members’ stress ranges or expectations of advantages, may assist tease out who may really profit from the drug, a commentary accompanying the examine famous.

The findings have been printed in The Lancet Psychiatry in February.

Reminiscence working:
Visible working reminiscence tends to enhance from childhood by maturity, however it was unclear whether or not the identical holds true in folks with autism — till now. Researchers gave a working reminiscence activity to 66 autistic and 80 non-autistic folks, cut up into roughly equal teams of youngsters, adolescents and adults. The members needed to point out modifications in a sequence of both coloured squares or line-filled shapes. Inside every age group, folks with and with out autism have been equally adept at figuring out modifications within the sequences, and reminiscence improved equally throughout age teams in each autistic and non-autistic folks.

The findings have been printed in Autism Analysis in February.

Observing feelings:
Autistic folks’s facial expressions differ from, and have a tendency to seem extra destructive than, these of non-autistic folks, some analysis exhibits. However a lot of this work has targeted on autistic folks’s perceptions of non-autistic folks’s feelings and will use strategies not designed with autistic folks in thoughts.

A brand new examine put 37 autistic and 39 neurotypical youngsters within the Montreal Stimulating Play State of affairs, a setup designed by the examine investigators to replicate autistic youngsters’s pursuits and behaviors. Two outdoors observers rated the kids’s facial expressions throughout play classes as exhibiting constructive, impartial, destructive or unknown feelings.

Autistic and neurotypical youngsters confirmed no variations within the size, period or quantity of constructive, destructive and impartial feelings they expressed; solely autistic youngsters, nevertheless, confirmed feelings of unknown high quality, suggesting a necessity to higher perceive the total vary of emotion expressions in such youngsters, the researchers write.

The findings have been printed in Autism in February.

Et al.:

  • Ladies with the hormonal situation polycystic ovary syndrome could also be extra prone to have an autistic youngster than these with out the situation, based on a meta-analysis of research involving a complete of greater than one million ladies that echoes earlier findings. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Well being Care
  • A examine in 112 pairs of an identical twins confirms that some environmental components earlier than and shortly after start, resembling having a low start weight, improve a toddler’s probabilities of having autism. Molecular Autism
  • A overview together with greater than 640,000 folks provides extra proof to earlier findings that autistic individuals are at an elevated danger of an early dying from any trigger; an editorial accompanying the examine notes that the danger “calls for” a greater public well being technique. JAMA Pediatrics
  • Neither an infection with nor vaccination in opposition to influenza throughout being pregnant will increase the probability of getting a toddler with autism. Medical Infectious Ailments
  • Utilizing movies is an efficient method to prepare supervisors to provide suggestions to therapists who work with autistic youngsters, based on a replication of a 2019 examine on the strategy. Journal of Utilized Conduct Evaluation

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