Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD – Slide of the Week

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the hypothesis that women with autism have poorer health compared with men with autism, and compared with women without autism. Utilizing electronic health records drawn from a single health care system serving over 2 million individuals, 2119 adults with diagnosed autism spectrum disorders were compared with age- and sex-matched controls. When considering health care utilization, we found evidence of multiplicative risk for conditions within some domains (i.e., nutrition conditions, neurologic disease, psychiatric conditions, and sleep disorders) such that women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experienced double jeopardy-meaning they had greater rates of health care utilization within a domain than what would separately be expected by virtue of being a woman and having ASD.

Richard J Davidson, PhD – Slide of the Week

The uncinate fasciculus is a white matter tract that may facilitate emotion regulation by carrying connections from the prefrontal cortex to regions of the temporal lobe, including the amygdala. Depression and anxiety are associated with reduced uncinate fasciculus fractional anisotropy (FA) – a diffusion tensor imaging measure related to white matter integrity.

Bradley T Christian, PhD – Slide of the Week

Adults with Down syndrome (DS) are predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and reveal early amyloid beta (Aβ) pathology in the brain. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides an in vivo measure of Aβ throughout the AD continuum. Due to the high prevalence of AD in DS, there is need for longitudinal imaging studies of Aβ to better characterize the natural history of Aβ accumulation, which will aid in the staging of this population for clinical trials aimed at AD treatment and prevention.

Christopher L. Coe, PhD – Slide of the Week

Over the last decade, multiple studies have highlighted the essential role of gut microbiota in normal infant development. However, the sensitive periods during which gut bacteria are established and become associated with physical growth and maturation of the brain are still poorly defined. This study tracked the assembly of the intestinal microbiota during the initial nursing period, and changes in community structure after transitioning to solid food in infant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

Sriram Boothalingam, PhD – Slide of the Week

Hearing impairment (HI) is an epidemic affecting over 1.5 billion individuals of all ages. Globally, unaddressed HI causes losses of ~US$1 trillion each year. Addressing HI requires early detection which current hearing screening tools are inadept at doing efficiently. Specifically, current hearing screening tools can either only index the sensory cells in the inner ear or require measurement of brainstem electroencephalography (EEG) to index the sensory cells and the auditory nerve which require additional resources. 

Barbara B. Bendlin, PhD – Slide of the Week

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid and neurofibrillary tangles, and this pathology can be detected using neuroimaging or fluid biomarkers prior to the development of dementia. The Alzheimer’s disease process also involves neurodegeneration which eventually leads to cognitive decline and dementia, however typical approaches for measuring neurodegeneration (such as T1-weighted imaging), may not be sensitive to neurodegeneration in the asymptomatic disease stage.

Xinyu Zhao, PhD – Slide of the Week

Voluntary running enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis, with consequences for hippocampal-dependent learning ability and mood regulation. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that voluntary running induces unique and dynamic gene expression changes specifically within the adult-born hippocampal neurons, with significant impact on genes involved in neuronal maturation and human diseases. We identify the regulator of G protein signaling 6 (RGS6) as a key factor that mediates running impact on adult-born neurons.

Donna Werling, PhD – Slide of the Week

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is consistently diagnosed 3 to 5 times more frequently in males than females, a dramatically sex-biased prevalence that suggests the involvement of sex-differential biological factors in modulating risk. The genomic scale of transcriptomic analyses of human brain tissue can provide an unbiased approach for identifying genes and associated functional processes at the intersection of sex-differential and ASD-impacted neurobiology.