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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.
Pediatricians, health care providers encounter requests to postpone vaccinations

Pediatricians, health care providers encounter requests to postpone vaccinations

Pediatricians are facing increasing pressure from some parents who want to spread out the recommended vaccine schedule for their children by postponing vaccines, pointing to a need for improved programs that support timely vaccinations, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus. [More]
Culture conditions in which stem cells are grown can affect genetic stability

Culture conditions in which stem cells are grown can affect genetic stability

The therapeutic promise of human stem cells is indisputably huge, but the process of translating their potential into effective, real-world treatments involves deciphering and resolving a host of daunting complexities. [More]
Authors examine potential reasons for the persistence of FC, other autism fads

Authors examine potential reasons for the persistence of FC, other autism fads

The communication struggles of children with autism spectrum disorder can drive parents and educators to try anything to understand their thoughts, needs and wants. Unfortunately, specialists in psychology and communication disorders do not always communicate the latest science so well. [More]
Village Capital, Texas Medical Center to join for Health IT Venture Forum

Village Capital, Texas Medical Center to join for Health IT Venture Forum

Join Village Capital and the Texas Medical Center on March 4, 2015, for our Health IT Venture Forum showcasing 8 enterprises bridging the "health-wealth" gap. [More]
Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids may optimize brain serotonin concentrations and function

Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids may optimize brain serotonin concentrations and function

Although essential marine omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D have been shown to improve cognitive function and behavior in the context of certain brain disorders, the underlying mechanism has been unclear. In a new paper published in FASEB Journal by Rhonda Patrick, PhD and Bruce Ames, PhD of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, serotonin is explained as the possible missing link tying together why vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acids might ameliorate the symptoms associated with a broad array of brain disorders. [More]
Carnegie Mellon study identifies intermediary neuron system that acts as synaptic cloaking device

Carnegie Mellon study identifies intermediary neuron system that acts as synaptic cloaking device

Neuroscientists believe that the connectome, a map of each and every connection between the millions of neurons in the brain, will provide a blueprint that will allow them to link brain anatomy to brain function. But a new study from Carnegie Mellon University has found that a specific type of neuron might be thwarting their efforts at mapping the connectome by temporarily cloaking the synapses that link a wide field of neurons. [More]
TSRI study finds no evidence of increased aggressive behavior toward strangers in autism model

TSRI study finds no evidence of increased aggressive behavior toward strangers in autism model

While aggression toward caregivers and peers is a challenge faced by many individuals and families dealing with autism, there has been much speculation in the media over the possibility of generally heightened aggression in those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A new study by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute found no evidence of increased aggressive behavior toward strangers in an animal model of the condition. [More]

Researchers find that unique emotion recognition treatment highly effective for children with HFASD

Researchers at the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College have found a unique emotion recognition treatment highly effective for high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). [More]
NYU Langone's Michael M. Halassa selected as winner of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship

NYU Langone's Michael M. Halassa selected as winner of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship

Michael M. Halassa, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Langone Medical Center's Neuroscience Institute, has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship. [More]
Study: Growth hormone can improve social impairment in patients with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Study: Growth hormone can improve social impairment in patients with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

A growth hormone can significantly improve the social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in patients with a related genetic syndrome, according to a pilot study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published yesterday on Pub Med, a public database of biomedical topics maintained by the National Institutes of Health (study originally published in the December 12 issue of the journal Molecular Autism). [More]
Research findings could someday lead to new treatments for patients with autism and cancer

Research findings could someday lead to new treatments for patients with autism and cancer

In recent years, scientists have found a surprising a connection between some people with autism and certain cancer patients: They have mutations in the same gene, one that codes for a protein critical for normal cellular health. Now scientists have reported in the ACS journal Biochemistry that the defects reduce the activity and stability of the protein. [More]
Researchers assemble comprehensive map of human epigenome

Researchers assemble comprehensive map of human epigenome

Virtually every cell in the body carries an identical genome. But how is it possible that each of the body's 200 different types of specialized cells - in the heart, brain, bone, skin and elsewhere - develops from the same DNA instruction book? [More]
Scientists map autism genetic pathway that regulates brain development

Scientists map autism genetic pathway that regulates brain development

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the February 18 issue of Neuron. [More]
First comprehensive maps and analyses of human epigenomes revealed

First comprehensive maps and analyses of human epigenomes revealed

Two dozen scientific papers published online simultaneously on Feb. 18, 2015 present the first comprehensive maps and analyses of the epigenomes of a wide array of human cell and tissue types. Epigenomes are patterns of chemical annotations to the genome that determine whether, how, and when genes are activated. [More]
Research may lead to future medical treatments for children with neurodevelopmental problems

Research may lead to future medical treatments for children with neurodevelopmental problems

Children born with a DNA abnormality on chromosome 16 already linked to neurodevelopmental problems show measurable delays in processing sound and language, says a study team of radiologists and psychologists. [More]
Fetal exposure to drugs can cause neurological problems

Fetal exposure to drugs can cause neurological problems

Research suggests that fetal exposure to chemicals or drugs can cause neurological problems. Babies whose mothers take the epilepsy drug valporic acid (VPA) during pregnancy, for example, appear to have an elevated risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. [More]
Saliva test holds promise to diagnose autism spectrum disorder in children

Saliva test holds promise to diagnose autism spectrum disorder in children

A spit test may one day be able to diagnose autism according to researchers at Clarkson University and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. [More]
Study shows that de novo mutations can be detected in human in vitro fertilized embryos using PGD

Study shows that de novo mutations can be detected in human in vitro fertilized embryos using PGD

Reprogenetics, the largest U.S. genetics laboratory specializing in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), announced today the publication of new clinical data in the March issue of Genome Research demonstrating that de novo single base mutations can be detected in embryos after in vitro fertilization (IVF). [More]
Scientists find seven new genes that can cause X-linked intellectual disability

Scientists find seven new genes that can cause X-linked intellectual disability

X-linked intellectual disability is a disorder that predominantly affects men and can have highly variable clinical manifestations. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have found seven new genes that can cause this genetic disease: Mutations of these genes on the X chromosome lead to various forms of intellectual disability. [More]
Mindfulness training can influence health via stress reduction pathways

Mindfulness training can influence health via stress reduction pathways

Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear. [More]