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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.
New CUMC study finds DNA anomalies in kids with chronic kidney disease

New CUMC study finds DNA anomalies in kids with chronic kidney disease

A significant proportion of children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have unsuspected chromosomal imbalances, including DNA anomalies that have been linked to neurocognitive disorders, according to a new Columbia University Medical Center study. [More]
UC Irvine professor explores the link between autism and ADHD

UC Irvine professor explores the link between autism and ADHD

For the better part of the last decade, a growing body of research has been revealing more and more similarities between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism. [More]
Zinc deficiency can activate Hedgehog signaling pathway

Zinc deficiency can activate Hedgehog signaling pathway

Zinc deficiency - long associated with numerous diseases, e.g. autism, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancers - can lead to activation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway, a biomolecular pathway that plays essential roles in developing organisms and in diseases, according to new research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. [More]
Johns Hopkins researchers link sperm with specific 'epigenetic tags' to autism

Johns Hopkins researchers link sperm with specific 'epigenetic tags' to autism

In a small study, Johns Hopkins researchers found that DNA from the sperm of men whose children had early signs of autism shows distinct patterns of regulatory tags that could contribute to the condition. A detailed report of their findings will be published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology on April 15. [More]
Johns Hopkins researchers named recipients of Hartwell’s 2014 Individual Biomedical Research Award

Johns Hopkins researchers named recipients of Hartwell’s 2014 Individual Biomedical Research Award

Gul Dolen, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Eili Y. Klein, Ph.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine, are among 12 recipients of The Hartwell Foundation’s 2014 Individual Biomedical Research Award competition, the foundation announced on April 1. [More]
DFG selects 10 researchers to receive 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

DFG selects 10 researchers to receive 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

This year's recipients of the most important prize for early career researchers in Germany have been announced. The selection committee, appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has chosen ten researchers, five women and five men, to receive the 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes. [More]
fMRI can predict language development outcomes in ASD toddlers

fMRI can predict language development outcomes in ASD toddlers

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers say it may be possible to predict future language development outcomes in toddlers with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), even before they've been formally diagnosed with the condition. [More]
Study looks at connections between cerebral cortex and cerebellum in children with autism

Study looks at connections between cerebral cortex and cerebellum in children with autism

In early childhood, the neurons inside children's developing brains form connections between various regions of brain "real estate." As described in a paper published last week in the journal Biological Psychiatry, cognitive neuroscientists at San Diego State University found that in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, the connections between the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum appear to be overdeveloped in sensorimotor regions of the brain. [More]
Scientists identify brain molecule that triggers schizophrenia-like behaviors, brain changes

Scientists identify brain molecule that triggers schizophrenia-like behaviors, brain changes

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecule in the brain that triggers schizophrenia-like behaviors, brain changes and global gene expression in an animal model. The research gives scientists new tools for someday preventing or treating psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. [More]

UV researchers study neurobiological link between ASD and epilepsy

Researchers at the University of Veracruz (UV), in the west coast of Mexico, study the neurobiological link between the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and epilepsy, in order to understand the reason why the brain of an autistic child is 20-30 percent more susceptible to seizures that an infant without this condition. [More]

New study sheds light on linguistic characteristic of autistic children

A new study by a linguistics professor and an alumnus from The University of Texas at Austin sheds light on a well-known linguistic characteristic of autistic children — their reluctance to use pronouns — paving the way for more accurate diagnostics. [More]
CHLA infectious diseases specialist discusses how parents can prevent measles outbreak

CHLA infectious diseases specialist discusses how parents can prevent measles outbreak

Since December, there have been more than 130 confirmed cases of measles in the state of California, most of them connected to an outbreak that originated in a Southern California amusement park. Many of the infected persons were not vaccinated against the extremely contagious virus, which manifests itself through rash, fever and coughing. [More]
Mouse model may help understand the physiology behind complex brain disorders

Mouse model may help understand the physiology behind complex brain disorders

Complex brain disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, still puzzle scientists because their causes lie hidden in early events of brain development, which are still poorly understood. [More]
Researchers examine effects of aging on older people with autism

Researchers examine effects of aging on older people with autism

Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center are conducting a unique study on the effects of aging on older people who have Autism. [More]
Researchers test effects of light therapy on brain function

Researchers test effects of light therapy on brain function

Following up on promising results from pilot work, researchers at the VA Boston Healthcare System are testing the effects of light therapy on brain function in veterans with Gulf War Illness. [More]
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]
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