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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 present new studies on cognition and reasoning at CNS conference in San Francisco

Researchers present new studies on cognition and reasoning at CNS conference in San Francisco

Even rats can imagine: A new study finds that rats have the ability to link cause and effect such that they can expect, or imagine, something happening even if it isn't. [More]
Study: Blood test may help diagnose Fragile X syndrome related disorders in women

Study: Blood test may help diagnose Fragile X syndrome related disorders in women

A blood test may shed new light on Fragile X syndrome related disorders in women, according to a new study published in the March 25, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Fragile X is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and the most frequent genetic cause of autism. [More]
New Autism-Causing Genetic Variant Identified

New Autism-Causing Genetic Variant Identified

Using a novel approach that homes in on rare families severely affected by autism, a Johns Hopkins-led team of researchers has identified a new genetic cause of the disease. The rare genetic variant offers important insights into the root causes of autism, the researchers say. And, they suggest, their unconventional method can be used to identify other genetic causes of autism and other complex genetic conditions. [More]
Broad Institute of MIT researcher honored for groundbreaking research using new gene editing tool

Broad Institute of MIT researcher honored for groundbreaking research using new gene editing tool

The newest gene editing tool - called CRISPR-Cas9 - is leading to new research possibilities in cell biology and neuroscience. This includes the ability to make transgenic animal models more quickly, which helps researchers better study diseases that affect thousands of people each year. [More]

Confluence pharmaceuticals signs co-development and marketing agreement with AOP orphan for fragile X syndrome drug

Confluence is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutic treatments for Fragile X Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. AOP is an Austrian based company specializing in the development and marketing of medicines for rare and complex diseases. [More]
New methodology isolates functional differences between autistic, non-autistic brains

New methodology isolates functional differences between autistic, non-autistic brains

The functional differences between autistic and non-autistic brains have been isolated for the first time, following the development of a new methodology for analysing MRI scans. [More]
Expansion of medical system has led people to feel less healthy over time, study finds

Expansion of medical system has led people to feel less healthy over time, study finds

Across much of the Western world, 25 years of expansion of the medical system has actually led to people feeling less healthy over time, a new study has found. [More]
CMU scientists trace the brain processes that occur while learning new technical concepts

CMU scientists trace the brain processes that occur while learning new technical concepts

For the first time, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have traced the brain processes that occur during the learning of technical concepts. Published in NeuroImage, the findings reveal how new technical knowledge is built up in the brain during the course of different learning stages. [More]
Anesthetics interfere with certain proteins in excitatory neurons that transmit signals

Anesthetics interfere with certain proteins in excitatory neurons that transmit signals

Anesthetics have been used in surgical procedures for more than 150 years, but the mechanisms by which inhaled anesthesia actually work are poorly understood. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have discovered that anesthetics bind to and interfere with certain proteins in excitatory neurons, which are necessary for these neurons to transmit signals involved in anesthesia and the perception of pain. [More]
Researchers identify new gene variants that could contribute to sporadic motor neurone disease

Researchers identify new gene variants that could contribute to sporadic motor neurone disease

Researchers have identified a new host of gene variants that could make people vulnerable to sporadic motor neurone disease, according to a report published today in the journal, Scientific Reports. [More]
European scientists identify gene linked with certain types of early-onset epilepsy

European scientists identify gene linked with certain types of early-onset epilepsy

Certain types of early-onset epilepsy are caused by previously unknown mutations of a potassium channel gene, KCNA2. The mutations disrupt the electrical balance in the brain in two ways. In some patients, the flow of potassium is greatly reduced; while in others, it is raised enormously. Both states can lead to hard-to-treat epileptic seizures. Mental and motor development can come to a stop, or even to regress. [More]

International experts to present latest child development research at SRCD's Biennial Meeting

The Society for Research in Child Development will hold its Biennial Meeting in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 19 - 21, 2015. This meeting brings together thousands of child development experts from around the world to present about the latest interdisciplinary research. [More]
New evidence links autism risk genes to better cognitive function

New evidence links autism risk genes to better cognitive function

Genes linked with a greater risk of developing autism may also be associated with higher intelligence, a study suggests. [More]
Scientists find blood-based genomic biomarkers that could help identify young boys with ASD

Scientists find blood-based genomic biomarkers that could help identify young boys with ASD

In a study published in the current online issue of JAMA Psychiatry, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, report finding a highly accurate blood-based measure that could lead to development of a clinical test for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in males as young as one to two years old. [More]
New study reveals differences in brain structure according to how trusting people are of others

New study reveals differences in brain structure according to how trusting people are of others

A recent study from the University of Georgia shows differences in brain structure according to how trusting people are of others. [More]
Study calls for improved accessibility to care for transgender youth with gender dysphoria

Study calls for improved accessibility to care for transgender youth with gender dysphoria

A new study has confirmed that transgender youth often have mental health problems and that their depression and anxiety improve greatly with recognition and treatment of gender dysphoria. [More]
Phthalate exposure in pregnancy adversely affects masculinization of male genitals in babies

Phthalate exposure in pregnancy adversely affects masculinization of male genitals in babies

Exposure to hormone-altering chemicals called phthalates - which are found in many plastics, foods and personal care products - early in pregnancy is associated with a disruption in an essential pregnancy hormone and adversely affects the masculinization of male genitals in the baby, according to research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. [More]
Multimodal approach to distinguish people with autism spectrum disorder

Multimodal approach to distinguish people with autism spectrum disorder

In an ancient Indian parable, a group of blind men touches different parts of a large animal to find what it is. Only when they share the descriptions of an ear, tail, trunk and leg do they know it is an elephant. [More]
Oxytocin may be a potential therapeutic target for improving social function in psychiatric disorders

Oxytocin may be a potential therapeutic target for improving social function in psychiatric disorders

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown inducing the release of brain oxytocin may be a viable therapeutic option for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. [More]
UCLA life scientists develop new method to find genetic markers for many diseases

UCLA life scientists develop new method to find genetic markers for many diseases

UCLA life scientists have created an accurate new method to identify genetic markers for many diseases -- a significant step toward a new era of personalized medicine, tailored to each person's DNA and RNA. [More]
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