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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.
ADDF awards grant to support initiation of AGB101 Phase 3 trial for aMCI treatment

ADDF awards grant to support initiation of AGB101 Phase 3 trial for aMCI treatment

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation announced today a $900,000 grant to AgeneBio, a pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for neurologic and psychiatric diseases. The grant will support the initiation of an FDA-registered Phase 3 clinical trial of AGB101, a new therapeutic treatment for amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). [More]
Improving prefrontal cortex activity could help autistic people regulate emotions

Improving prefrontal cortex activity could help autistic people regulate emotions

Tantrums, irritability, self-injury, depression, anxiety. These symptoms are associated with autism, but they're not considered core symptoms of the disorder. Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine are challenging this assertion. They have used functional MRI to show that - when it comes to the ability to regulate emotions - brain activity in autistic people is significantly different than brain activity in people without autism. [More]
Study shows differences in play behavior, brain activation patterns and stress levels in autistic children

Study shows differences in play behavior, brain activation patterns and stress levels in autistic children

Brain scans confirm significant differences in play behavior, brain activation patterns and stress levels in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as compared with typically developing children. [More]
UCLA researchers find new treatment that restores normal social behavior in autism mice model

UCLA researchers find new treatment that restores normal social behavior in autism mice model

Among the problems people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle with are difficulties with social behavior and communication. That can translate to an inability to make friends, engage in routine conversations, or pick up on the social cues that are second nature to most people. Similarly, in a mouse model of ASD, the animals, like humans, show little interest in interacting or socializing with other mice. [More]
ENIGMA scientists discover eight genetic mutations that may erode or boost brain tissue

ENIGMA scientists discover eight genetic mutations that may erode or boost brain tissue

In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California led a global consortium of 190 institutions to identify eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain an average of three years. The discovery could lead to targeted therapies and interventions for Alzheimer's disease, autism and other neurological conditions. [More]
Personalized approaches to treating intellectual disability

Personalized approaches to treating intellectual disability

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have produced an approach that protects animal models against a type of genetic disruption that causes intellectual disability, including serious memory impairments and altered anxiety levels. [More]
Study offers possible explanation for differences between synchronization patterns in autism

Study offers possible explanation for differences between synchronization patterns in autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been studied for many years, but there are still more questions than answers. For example, some research into the brain functions of individuals on the autism spectrum have found a lack of synchronization between different parts of the brain that normally work in tandem. But other studies have found the exact opposite - over-synchronization in the brains of those with ASD. [More]

Brains of individuals with ASD display unique synchronization patterns

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been studied for many years, but there are still many more questions than answers. For example, some research into the brain functions of individuals with autism spectrum have found a lack of synchronization ('connectivity') between different parts of the brain that normally work in tandem. [More]
Researchers gain new insight into fragile X syndrome

Researchers gain new insight into fragile X syndrome

Scientists have gained new insight into fragile X syndrome -- the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability -- by studying the case of a person without the disorder, but with two of its classic symptoms. [More]
Disturbed gut microbiome linked to Parkinson’s disease

Disturbed gut microbiome linked to Parkinson’s disease

Research suggests that the intestinal microbiome may be altered in patients with Parkinson’s disease, with some alterations being specific to the motor subtype. [More]
Study: Century-old drug may help treat autism

Study: Century-old drug may help treat autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 to 2 percent of children in the United States. Hundreds of genetic and environmental factors have been shown to increase the risk of ASD. Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice. [More]

New brain-imaging technique may help identify autistic children in just two minutes

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have developed a brain-imaging technique that may be able to identify children with autism spectrum disorder in just two minutes. [More]
MRIGlobal awarded $54 million NIH contract to provide support for drug development

MRIGlobal awarded $54 million NIH contract to provide support for drug development

MRIGlobal today announced that it has been awarded a $54 million, 10-year program from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to provide support for the development and manufacturing of drug candidates for ultimate use in human clinical trials. [More]
Therapy Box releases app that allows people with limited vocal ability to use own voices

Therapy Box releases app that allows people with limited vocal ability to use own voices

The UK-based Therapy Box has released the first app that allows people who have limited vocal ability or are losing their voices due to ALS and other disabling conditions to replace generic text-to-speech synthesis with a synthesizer based on their own voice. The app breaks new ground via the integration of ModelTalker, a program developed by Tim Bunnell, PhD and colleagues at the Nemours Speech Research Laboratory in Wilmington, DE. [More]
Advanced techniques may lead to screening tool for early detection of autism in children

Advanced techniques may lead to screening tool for early detection of autism in children

Autism is a spectrum of closely related disorders diagnosed in patients who exhibit a shared core of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interact socially. Early detection of autism in children is the key for treatments to be most effective and produce the best outcomes. [More]

Circumcised boys more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder

Research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that circumcised boys are more likely than intact boys to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) before the age of 10. [More]
Neuroscientists move one step closer to solving how learning and memory work

Neuroscientists move one step closer to solving how learning and memory work

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found out how a protein crucial to learning works: by removing a biochemical "clamp" that prevents connections between nerve cells in the brain from growing stronger. [More]
McGill University researchers identify network of complex neurons in the brain

McGill University researchers identify network of complex neurons in the brain

Our ability to pay attention to certain things while ignoring distractions determines how good we are at a given task, whether it is driving a car or doing brain surgery. A research team at McGill University has for the first time convincingly identified a network of neurons in a particular area of the brain, the lateral prefrontal cortex, that interact with one another to promptly filter visual information while at the same time ignoring distractions. It's a discovery with potentially far reaching implications for people who suffer from diseases such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia. [More]
New findings may lay groundwork of novel treatment for people with Huntington's disease

New findings may lay groundwork of novel treatment for people with Huntington's disease

By adjusting the levels of a key signaling protein, researchers improved motor function and brain abnormalities in experimental animals with a form of Huntington's disease, a severe neurodegenerative disorder. [More]
LIBD announces significant advances in identifying causes of schizophrenia, brain disorders

LIBD announces significant advances in identifying causes of schizophrenia, brain disorders

The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) announces significant advances in identifying the causes of schizophrenia and related developmental brain disorders and translating these findings into new treatment strategies. [More]