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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.
Folic acid intake during pregnancy could protect children from possible side-effect of antiepileptic drugs

Folic acid intake during pregnancy could protect children from possible side-effect of antiepileptic drugs

If pregnant women take antiepileptic drugs, the child can develop autistic traits. The administration of folic acid preparations appears to be a suitable means of preventing this serious side-effect. This finding is suggested by a Norwegian study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Copenhagen. [More]
Majority youths with autism or intellectual disability receive antipsychotics, study finds

Majority youths with autism or intellectual disability receive antipsychotics, study finds

About one in ten youths treated with an antipsychotic are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability. Conversely, one in six youths diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has been prescribed antipsychotics. [More]
Overcoming barriers in autism research: an interview with Gahan Pandina

Overcoming barriers in autism research: an interview with Gahan Pandina

There are currently no medications which address the core symptoms of ASD, and a significant barrier to their development is that researchers have historically lacked effective methods for measuring clinical outcomes. [More]
Study finds positive link between perceptual difficulty and insular cortex activity

Study finds positive link between perceptual difficulty and insular cortex activity

As the difficulty of making a decision based on sensory evidence increases, activity in the brain's insular cortex also increases, according to researchers at Georgia State University. [More]
External stimulation guides brain circuit’s early development

External stimulation guides brain circuit’s early development

A healthy brain has just the right ratio of cells that enhance signals (excitatory neurons) and cells that tone down signals (inhibitory neurons). These two sets of neurons start out looking exactly the same, so what determines their roles? [More]
Gene mutation linked to autism plays key role in formation, maturation of synapses

Gene mutation linked to autism plays key role in formation, maturation of synapses

A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that a gene mutation associated with autism plays a critical role in the formation and maturation of synapses -- the connections that allow neurons to communicate with each other. [More]
Prenatal fruit consumption linked to improved cognitive development in infants

Prenatal fruit consumption linked to improved cognitive development in infants

Most people have heard the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." It's an old truth that encompasses more than just apples--eating fruit in general is well known to reduce risk for a wide variety of health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. [More]
Telehealth can help parents improve social communication of autistic children

Telehealth can help parents improve social communication of autistic children

Parents struggling to find and afford therapy for their child with autism may eventually be able to provide that therapy themselves with the help of telehealth training. [More]
Clinical study examines efficacy of new interactive software game to treat pediatric food allergies

Clinical study examines efficacy of new interactive software game to treat pediatric food allergies

Elizabeth McQuaid, Ph.D., a staff psychologist from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, is leading the Phase II trial of an interactive software game developed to help children with food allergies better manage allergy symptoms, social situations and proper food avoidance. [More]
New autism classification system defines social communication ability levels among ASD children

New autism classification system defines social communication ability levels among ASD children

Children with autism have a wide range of ability to talk with other people, but it has been difficult to group children by their specific skills. [More]
Drexel study shows how microtubules play vital role in keeping neurons on proper trajectory

Drexel study shows how microtubules play vital role in keeping neurons on proper trajectory

As the human brain develops, neurons leave their birthplace and take a trip to distant locations. Once they reach their final destination, the neurons then send out axons and dendrites -- the branches that receive and send messages from other cells. [More]
University of Derby introduces new MOOC to provide better knowledge on autism, Asperger’s and ADHD

University of Derby introduces new MOOC to provide better knowledge on autism, Asperger’s and ADHD

A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to educate anyone interested in learning more about autism, Asperger’s and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been launched by the University of Derby. [More]
High level of folate in mothers may double infant's chances of developing autism

High level of folate in mothers may double infant's chances of developing autism

Women who plan on becoming pregnant are told they need enough of the nutrient folate to ensure proper neurodevelopment of their babies, but new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests there could be serious risks in having far too much of the same nutrient. [More]
New mouse model reveals underlying brain changes linked to autism's social, learning problems

New mouse model reveals underlying brain changes linked to autism's social, learning problems

A new mouse model of a genetically-linked type of autism reveals more about the role of genes in the disorder and the underlying brain changes associated with autism's social and learning problems. [More]
Increasing ghrelin levels during hunger can negatively affect decision making capabilities

Increasing ghrelin levels during hunger can negatively affect decision making capabilities

Never make a decision when you are hungry. The hormone ghrelin - that is released before meals and known to increase appetite - has a negative effect on both decision making and impulse control. Such were the results of a recently conducted study at Sahlgrenska University. [More]
Transcranial direct current stimulation proves effective for binge-eating disorder

Transcranial direct current stimulation proves effective for binge-eating disorder

Transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, has proved effective for binge-eating disorder for the first time, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. [More]
New article reviews guidelines for folic acid supplementation in pregnancy

New article reviews guidelines for folic acid supplementation in pregnancy

Future Science Group today announced the publication of a new article in Future Science OA, reviewing national and international guidelines for folic acid supplementation, and analyzing its potential risks and benefits in terms of maternal and fetal outcomes. [More]
New study finds genetic overlap between bipolar disorder and autism

New study finds genetic overlap between bipolar disorder and autism

A new study suggests there may be an overlap between rare genetic variations linked to bipolar disorder (BD) and those implicated in schizophrenia and autism. [More]
Scientists detect blood biomarker that may help in early diagnosis of children with ASD

Scientists detect blood biomarker that may help in early diagnosis of children with ASD

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a blood biomarker that may aid in earlier diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. [More]
Autistic children score almost exactly same as neurotypical kids in tests of learning new words

Autistic children score almost exactly same as neurotypical kids in tests of learning new words

A new study has found that children with autism are capable of learning new words the same way any child would—by following someone's gaze as they name an object. They just take longer to pick up the skill. [More]
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