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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.
Simple, non-invasive test may help screen young children for hearing deficits linked to autism

Simple, non-invasive test may help screen young children for hearing deficits linked to autism

Researchers have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with Autism that may impact their ability to recognize speech. [More]
Study reveals evidence of categorical and dimensional models of ASD in the brain

Study reveals evidence of categorical and dimensional models of ASD in the brain

A study in Biological Psychiatry provides a new understanding of brain alterations in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may help researchers and clinicians better define the disorder. [More]
New technology allows researchers to temporarily shut down brain area to better understand function

New technology allows researchers to temporarily shut down brain area to better understand function

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers at the California National Primate Research Center, or CNPRC, at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain. [More]
Advances in NIRS technologies offer reduced health-care costs, better patient comfort

Advances in NIRS technologies offer reduced health-care costs, better patient comfort

The latest advances in near-infrared spectroscopy technologies are enabling development of new capabilities in diagnosis and treatment of disease, offering reduced health-care costs, portability, increased sensitivity, higher patient comfort, and better quality of life. [More]
New brain map reveals landscape of the cerebral cortex

New brain map reveals landscape of the cerebral cortex

The age of exploration has long passed, but there is at least one area still largely uncharted: the human brain. [More]
Researchers identify stress mechanism in the brain that appears to act as social switch

Researchers identify stress mechanism in the brain that appears to act as social switch

Meeting new people can be both stressful and rewarding. Research at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, reported today in Nature Neuroscience, suggests that a molecule involved in regulating stress in the brain may also help determine how willing we are to leave the safety of our social group and strike up new relationships. [More]
Pet dogs can reduce stress in families of children with ASD

Pet dogs can reduce stress in families of children with ASD

Owning a pet dog reduces stress and significantly improves functioning in families who have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), new research has shown. [More]
Alterations in genomic region linked to risk of ASD have distinctive effects on cognition, study reports

Alterations in genomic region linked to risk of ASD have distinctive effects on cognition, study reports

A new study in Biological Psychiatry reports that variations in 16p11.2, a region of the genome associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have distinct effects on cognition. The findings highlight the diversity of people with ASD. [More]
Immune system signaling can directly affect social behavior

Immune system signaling can directly affect social behavior

Using a systems-biology approach, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School made a startling discovery that immune system signaling can directly affect, and even change, social behavior in mice and other model animals. [More]
Researchers publish comprehensive molecular atlas of primate brain development in Nature

Researchers publish comprehensive molecular atlas of primate brain development in Nature

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have published an in-depth analysis of a comprehensive molecular atlas of brain development in the non-human primate. [More]
Researches create mini-brain model of idiopathic ASD characterized by early neuronal overgrowth

Researches create mini-brain model of idiopathic ASD characterized by early neuronal overgrowth

The vast majority of cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are idiopathic - the cause is unknown. [More]
Researchers find immune system directly affects, controls social behavior

Researchers find immune system directly affects, controls social behavior

In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the immune system directly affects - and even controls - creatures' social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. [More]
Machine learning can improve autism screening and diagnostics

Machine learning can improve autism screening and diagnostics

Approximately one in 68 people are on the autism spectrum. Experts are unanimous on this: early intervention is critical for improving communication skills and addressing behavioral issues. [More]
Selfish mutant mtDNA exploits cellular defenses to cause many diseases

Selfish mutant mtDNA exploits cellular defenses to cause many diseases

Mitochondrial disorders are a chameleon-like set of diseases that take many different forms and vary widely from individual to individual. [More]
Diversity of gut bacteria may affect brain health

Diversity of gut bacteria may affect brain health

The surprising and potentially wide-ranging effects that the levels and diversity of bacteria living in the gut have on overall human health, inflammation, and specifically brain health are the focus of a provocative interview with Dr. David Perlmutter in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, a journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
New NIH grant to help advance Purdue University autism technology

New NIH grant to help advance Purdue University autism technology

Federal funding will help advance a Purdue University autism technology that helps communication and language development for children and families affected by severe, nonverbal autism and other communicative challenges. [More]
Scientists use stem cell techniques to unravel biology of autism

Scientists use stem cell techniques to unravel biology of autism

The brains of some people with autism spectrum disorder grow faster than usual early on in life, often before diagnosis. [More]
Researchers identify astroglia-mediated mechanism for causing FXS symptoms in mice

Researchers identify astroglia-mediated mechanism for causing FXS symptoms in mice

A study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience led by Yongjie Yang of Tufts University School of Medicine identifies an astroglial trigger mechanism as contributing to symptoms of fragile X syndrome in mice. [More]
Novel technique could help discover genes linked to complex traits in any animal model

Novel technique could help discover genes linked to complex traits in any animal model

Mice are one of the most commonly used laboratory organisms, widely used to study everything from autism to infectious diseases. Yet genomic studies in mice have lagged behind those in humans. [More]

Researchers identify factors influencing timing of ASD diagnosis in Australian children

A new study has found many Australian children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may not be diagnosed until long after initial signs appear, prompting calls for improvements to the diagnostic process. [More]
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