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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.
Family-based cognitive behavioral therapy may be key to improve sleep in children with ASD

Family-based cognitive behavioral therapy may be key to improve sleep in children with ASD

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term form of therapy that focuses on changing how a person thinks about and reacts to specific situations. Used by therapists for decades, it has been proven effective for treating a number of problems including insomnia. [More]
Gameplay patterns on iPad could help identify children with autism

Gameplay patterns on iPad could help identify children with autism

Autism could be diagnosed by allowing children to play games on smart phones and tablets, a study involving the University of Strathclyde has found. [More]
Skin cells derived from autistic donors grow faster than those from control subjects

Skin cells derived from autistic donors grow faster than those from control subjects

Brain cells grow faster in children with some forms of autism due to distinct changes in core cell signaling patterns, according to research from the laboratory of Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, chair of the department of genetics and genome sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. [More]
SSRI treatment improves cognitive and social functioning in young children with fragile X

SSRI treatment improves cognitive and social functioning in young children with fragile X

Treatment with sertraline may provide nominal but important improvements in cognition and social participation in very young children with fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and the leading single-gene cause of autism, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. [More]
NIPS researchers reveal new mechanisms by which microglia sculpt neural circuits

NIPS researchers reveal new mechanisms by which microglia sculpt neural circuits

Microglia are cells that combat various brain diseases and injuries by swallowing foreign or disruptive objects and releasing molecules that activate repair mechanisms. [More]
Neuroscientists show how nerve cells synchronize rhythmically to connect parts of the brain

Neuroscientists show how nerve cells synchronize rhythmically to connect parts of the brain

Neuroscientists at the German Primate Center show how nerve cells communicate with each other in neural networks. [More]
Diabetes drug linked to decreased weight gain in children with autism spectrum disorder

Diabetes drug linked to decreased weight gain in children with autism spectrum disorder

The diabetes medication metformin hydrochloride was associated with decreased weight gain in a small clinical trial of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder who were taking atypical antipsychotics to treat symptoms of irritability and agitation, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry. [More]
New research discovers how opposite-sex hormonal therapy influences the brain

New research discovers how opposite-sex hormonal therapy influences the brain

Women and men often show marked differences as regards mental illnesses. In order to learn more about this phenomenon, a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF explored how opposite-sex hormonal therapy applied to transgender individuals influences the brain. [More]
New MRI method detects low zinc levels to help identify healthy prostate tissue from cancer

New MRI method detects low zinc levels to help identify healthy prostate tissue from cancer

A novel MRI method that detects low levels of zinc ion can help distinguish healthy prostate tissue from cancer, UT Southwestern Medical Center radiologists have determined. [More]
Prenatal exposure to organochlorine chemicals linked to increased odds of autism in children

Prenatal exposure to organochlorine chemicals linked to increased odds of autism in children

Chemicals used in certain pesticides and as insulating material banned in the 1970s may still be haunting us, according to new research that suggests links between higher levels of exposure during pregnancy and significantly increased odds of autism spectrum disorder in children. [More]
Early-life infections may be risk factor for developmental disorders later in life

Early-life infections may be risk factor for developmental disorders later in life

The Zika virus now active in numerous countries, and the severe birth defects associated with it, makes it clear that infection in pregnant women can have immediate and devastating effects on the developing baby. [More]
Personalised wristband devices can help adults diagnosed with autism manage anxiety

Personalised wristband devices can help adults diagnosed with autism manage anxiety

Personalised wearable digital technology can help adults diagnosed with autism understand and manage their anxiety. [More]
NIH researchers design new set of assays for initial screening of patients with Fragile X syndrome

NIH researchers design new set of assays for initial screening of patients with Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome, the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and a frequent cause of autism, is characterized by abnormalities of the FMR1 gene that are difficult to analyze. [More]
Drugs designed to target nervous system could control inflammation in the gut, study shows

Drugs designed to target nervous system could control inflammation in the gut, study shows

There's a reason it's called a gut feeling. The brain and the gut are connected by intricate neural networks that signal hunger and satiety, love and fear, even safety and danger. These networks employ myriad chemical signals that include dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter most famous for its role in reward and addiction. [More]
MPFI researchers induce and visualize formation of new synapses in real time in live animals

MPFI researchers induce and visualize formation of new synapses in real time in live animals

The formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses between neurons during early development gives rise to the neuronal networks that enable sensory and cognitive functions in humans. [More]
New model of Williams syndrome may shed light on neurobiology of the human social brain

New model of Williams syndrome may shed light on neurobiology of the human social brain

In a study spanning molecular genetics, stem cells and the sciences of both brain and behavior, researchers at University of California San Diego, with colleagues at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and elsewhere, have created a neurodevelopmental model of a rare genetic disorder that may provide new insights into the underlying neurobiology of the human social brain. [More]
Researchers develop machine-learning program that helps identify hundreds of ASD-related genes

Researchers develop machine-learning program that helps identify hundreds of ASD-related genes

Investigators eager to uncover the genetic basis of autism could now have hundreds of promising new leads thanks to a study by Princeton University and Simons Foundation researchers. [More]
New article discusses how imbalances in gut microbiome may be linked to neurological disorders

New article discusses how imbalances in gut microbiome may be linked to neurological disorders

A growing body of scientific and medical evidence continues to shed light on the complex interaction between metabolic pathways affected by microrganisms living in the human gut and gene expression, immune function, and inflammation that can contribute to a range of cognitive, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. [More]
Kaiser Permanente study provides new insights into how autism affects siblings

Kaiser Permanente study provides new insights into how autism affects siblings

A new Kaiser Permanente study found that the risk of younger siblings developing an autism spectrum disorder is 14 times higher if an older sibling has ASD. The study, which was published today in Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, also found the risk level was consistent across gestational age at birth. [More]
Scientists find efficient and easy way to mass produce GABAergic neurons for laboratory use

Scientists find efficient and easy way to mass produce GABAergic neurons for laboratory use

Scientists from Singapore have streamlined the process of using human stem cells to mass produce GABAergic neurons (GNs) in the laboratory. [More]
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