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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 identify process in the brains of mice that may explain repetitive actions in Rett patients

Researchers identify process in the brains of mice that may explain repetitive actions in Rett patients

Three-year-old Naomi slaps her forehead a few times, bites her fingers and toddles across the doctor's office in her white and pink pajamas before turning her head into a door with a dull thud. [More]
Neuroscientists discover genetic 'lingua franca' that allows the brain to interpret sensory input

Neuroscientists discover genetic 'lingua franca' that allows the brain to interpret sensory input

Sight, touch and hearing are our windows to the world: these sensory channels send a constant flow of information to the brain, which acts to sort out and integrate these signals, allowing us to perceive the world and interact with our environment. [More]
Researchers propose new explanation for symptoms of fragile X syndrome

Researchers propose new explanation for symptoms of fragile X syndrome

Until recently, scientists thought they understood one of the underlying causes of fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability in the United States. [More]
CBN neuroscientists awarded NIMH grant to develop novel genome engineering research tools

CBN neuroscientists awarded NIMH grant to develop novel genome engineering research tools

The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University has received a two-year, exploratory grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop transformative genome engineering research tools. [More]
Researchers explore ways to enhance autism therapy sessions using AISOY robot

Researchers explore ways to enhance autism therapy sessions using AISOY robot

Researchers at the Universidad Miguel Hernández and AISOY Robotics are collaborating to expand the potential of their robot assistant for the treatment of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). [More]
Study finds novel link between tactile sensations of individuals with ASD and social difficulties

Study finds novel link between tactile sensations of individuals with ASD and social difficulties

The sense of touch may play a more crucial role in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than previously assumed. The main findings of the doctoral research of Eliane Deschrijver, which are now published, show that individuals with ASD may have difficulties to determine which tactile sensations belong to the action of someone else. [More]
New biomarker test helps detect autoimmune-induced neuropsychiatric disorders

New biomarker test helps detect autoimmune-induced neuropsychiatric disorders

A research team from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, led by Madeleine Cunningham, Ph.D., in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health, has developed the first-of-its-kind biomarker test to help detect autoimmune-induced neuropsychiatric disorders. [More]
Mathematical model explains molecular events linked to learning and memory formation

Mathematical model explains molecular events linked to learning and memory formation

A team of researchers has built a mathematical model that describes the molecular events associated with the beginning stage of learning and memory formation in the human brain. [More]
New mouse model helps identify potential drug target for hard-to-treat social aspects of ASD

New mouse model helps identify potential drug target for hard-to-treat social aspects of ASD

A study of a new mouse model identifies a drug target that has the potential to increase social interaction in individuals with some forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The team published their work in Biological Psychiatry. [More]
Genetic vulnerability, exposure to ultrasound may predispose to increased autism severity

Genetic vulnerability, exposure to ultrasound may predispose to increased autism severity

For children with autism and a class of genetic disorders, exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to increased autism severity, according to a study by researchers at UW Medicine, UW Bothell and Seattle Children's Research Institute. [More]
UCR researcher creating first reading intervention program designed for children with ASD

UCR researcher creating first reading intervention program designed for children with ASD

If you can't understand them, the words on this page have no meaning. They can't share a new fact, they can't bring you pleasure and they can't provide the information you need to function in life. [More]
New game advances research into gut microbes

New game advances research into gut microbes

You may not think of yourself in this way - but in some ways your body is just a host for hundreds of trillions of microbes (including bacteria) that colonize us in fairly unique combinations in our guts, inside our various orifices and on the surface of our skin. [More]
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

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]
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