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Autism (sometimes called “classical autism”) is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have autism. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.
Researchers uncover important cellular functions that help regulate inflammation

Researchers uncover important cellular functions that help regulate inflammation

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have uncovered key cellular functions that help regulate inflammation -- a discovery that could have important implications for the treatment of allergies, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer. [More]
UiO researchers test new nasal spray device for treating mental illness

UiO researchers test new nasal spray device for treating mental illness

Researchers at the University of Oslo have tested a new device for delivering hormone treatments for mental illness through the nose. This method was found to deliver medicine to the brain with few side effects. [More]
Researchers reveal new pathway that governs proper sorting of essential synaptic proteins in neurons

Researchers reveal new pathway that governs proper sorting of essential synaptic proteins in neurons

Genetic analysis of human patients has shown that mutations in genes involved in synaptic communication can drive neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer's disease. [More]
NIH grants Clinical and Translational Science Award to UC San Diego

NIH grants Clinical and Translational Science Award to UC San Diego

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at University of California, San Diego has received a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) for approximately $52 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, part of the National Institutes of Health. [More]
CMU BrainHub scientists use non-invasive brain-imaging tool to detect basal ganglia pathways

CMU BrainHub scientists use non-invasive brain-imaging tool to detect basal ganglia pathways

Certain diseases, like Parkinson's and Huntingdon's disease, are associated with damage to the pathways between the brain's basal ganglia regions. The basal ganglia sits at the base of the brain and is responsible for, among other things, coordinating movement. It is made up of four interconnected, deep brain structures that imaging techniques have previously been unable to visualize. [More]
CMU engineers awarded NSF grant to study neural variability in motor learning

CMU engineers awarded NSF grant to study neural variability in motor learning

When we move, we rarely move in the exact same way twice. The National Science Foundation has awarded Carnegie Mellon University Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Steven Chase and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Byron Yu, and their long-time collaborator, University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor of Bioengineering Aaron Batista, an $869,000 grant to conduct basic research that will establish how variability in movement is encoded in the brain and how this variability contributes to learning and performance. [More]
Loss of critical receptor in the brain may be responsible for autism, schizophrenia

Loss of critical receptor in the brain may be responsible for autism, schizophrenia

The loss of a critical receptor in a special class of inhibitory neurons in the brain may be responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and schizophrenia, according to new research by Salk scientists. [More]

New project examines links between language and perception in people with ASD

How do children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) understand idioms and other figures of speech? A 4.15 million euro EU project based out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology is examining the links between language and perception in autistic individuals as just one of 15 cross-disciplinary projects designed to bring a better understanding to how our perception and language interact and change over time and in individuals. [More]
Sexting, Internet safety climb higher on list of major health concerns for children

Sexting, Internet safety climb higher on list of major health concerns for children

With more kids online and using cell phones at increasingly younger ages, two issues have quickly climbed higher on the public's list of major health concerns for children across the U.S: sexting and Internet safety. [More]
DISC-1: schizophrenia's "Rosetta Stone" gene? An interview with Professor Kevin Fox

DISC-1: schizophrenia's "Rosetta Stone" gene? An interview with Professor Kevin Fox

The DISC-1 gene has been studied intensively over the years because people with mutations in DISC1 have a high likelihood of mental illness. DISC-1 was known to be associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major clinical depression and autism. [More]
CHOP-led national clinical research network approved for $8.6 million funding award by PCORI

CHOP-led national clinical research network approved for $8.6 million funding award by PCORI

PEDSnet, a national clinical research network co-led by a pediatric researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was approved for an $8.6 million, three-year funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. [More]
First self-assessment test developed to help clinicians diagnose autism in adults

First self-assessment test developed to help clinicians diagnose autism in adults

Psychologists from Cardiff University have developed the first self-assessment test designed to help clinicians diagnose autism in adults. [More]
UNC researchers show how a genetic mutation disables molecular switch and causes autism

UNC researchers show how a genetic mutation disables molecular switch and causes autism

Last December, researchers identified more than 1,000 gene mutations in individuals with autism, but how these mutations increased risk for autism was unclear. Now, UNC School of Medicine researchers are the first to show how one of these mutations disables a molecular switch in one of these genes and causes autism. [More]
Discovery may lead to new ways to diagnose, treat brain cancer

Discovery may lead to new ways to diagnose, treat brain cancer

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute have uncovered a link between the genomes of cells originating in the neural crest and development of tumors — a discovery that could lead to new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. [More]
Lax state vaccination laws influence immunization and disease outbreak rates

Lax state vaccination laws influence immunization and disease outbreak rates

Lax state vaccination laws contribute to lower immunization rates and increased outbreaks of preventable diseases--like whooping cough and measles--according to a new study from the University of Georgia. [More]
Positive, nonconfrontational approach can convince parents to vaccinate their children

Positive, nonconfrontational approach can convince parents to vaccinate their children

Many people who are skeptical about vaccinating their children can be convinced to do so, but only if the argument is presented in a certain way, a team of psychologists from UCLA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported today. [More]
Study reveals new gene that plays crucial role in ASD

Study reveals new gene that plays crucial role in ASD

A study carried out by the Laboratoire Neurobiologie des Interactions Cellulaires et Neurophysiopathologie (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université), in collaboration with clinicians from Marseilles Public Hospitals (AP-HM) and scientists from the Salk Institute in San Diego (US), has revealed a new gene that plays a crucial role during early development in humans and whose under-expression may induce certain autistic traits. [More]
Researchers uncover strong evidence for genetic causes of cerebral palsy

Researchers uncover strong evidence for genetic causes of cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in children. It has historically been considered to be caused by factors such as birth asphyxia, stroke and infections in the developing brain of babies. [More]

UCLA skills program improves social functioning in young adults with autism

Researchers at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA have found that a social skills program for high-functioning young adults with autism spectrum disorder significantly improved the participants' ability to engage with their peers. [More]
Interactive Autism Network to join National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network

Interactive Autism Network to join National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network

The Interactive Autism Network, a project of the Kennedy Krieger Institute supported by the Simons Foundation, was approved today for a three-year $1.6 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to be part of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. [More]
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