This week’s ASF podcast is a special treat – Dr. Daniel Geschwind from UCLA provides an understanding of the brains of people with autism, focusing on those with a mutation in chromosome 15. He goes over how they are similar and different (teaser: they are more similar) and answers questions from families about how this research is important for helping improve the lives of people across the spectrum. Listen to the podcast here.
This week’s podcast includes a summary of the new study, this time in an animal model, looking at microbiome transplantation. Because this was more of an experimental model, the researchers could be more rigorous in their design and look at things like behavior, brain activity, and specific biological pathways. While a mouse does not have autism, transplantation of the autism microbiome resulted in autistic-like behaviors. Second, a hopeful message of the value of participating in research on outcomes – those infants that were tracked prospectively showed improved outcomes later on, suggesting that all of the extra attention they get leads to a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in adaptive behavior. Even if you do not have a family history of autism – participate in research. It’s good for your child, and it’s good for other people’s children. Listen to the podcast here.