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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.
TAU research highlights neuroprotective potential of protein-protectant drug candidate SKIP

TAU research highlights neuroprotective potential of protein-protectant drug candidate SKIP

Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, is frequently mutated in children on the autism spectrum. In older men and women, ADNP expression in the blood is correlated with cognition and further altered in Alzheimer's disease. [More]
Study shows how structural differences in the brain may relate to behavior differences in males and females

Study shows how structural differences in the brain may relate to behavior differences in males and females

Differences in the neural wiring across development of men and women across ages, matched behavioral differences commonly associated with each of the sexes, according to an imaging-based study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published February 1 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. [More]
Yale study examines sex-related social differences in infants at risk for autism

Yale study examines sex-related social differences in infants at risk for autism

Infant girls at risk for autism pay more attention to social cues in faces than infant boys, according to a Yale School of Medicine study -- the first one known to prospectively examine sex-related social differences in at-risk infants. [More]
Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

A group of neurobiologists from Russia and the USA, including Dmitry Smagin, Tatyana Michurina, and Grigori Enikolopov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, have proven experimentally that aggression has an influence on the production of new nerve cells in the brain. [More]
LouLou Foundation, Penn Med set up Program of Excellence to develop treatments for children with CDKL5

LouLou Foundation, Penn Med set up Program of Excellence to develop treatments for children with CDKL5

The London-based LouLou Foundation and the Orphan Disease Center of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have established a Program of Excellence to develop effective treatments for children with CDKL5, a rare X-chromosome-linked genetic disorder that causes severe neuro-developmental impairment and early-onset, difficult-to-control seizures. [More]
Study reveals fetal origin for social and repetitive behavior deficits

Study reveals fetal origin for social and repetitive behavior deficits

Fetal development has been known to play an important role in social interaction, a fundamental behavior found in nearly all organisms, and later adult social behaviors. Autism, a highly heritable neurodevelopment disorder that causes difficulties with social interactions, has been postulated to be caused by neuron overgrowth in the prenatal period, although the precise timing and cause of this overgrowth has been unknown. [More]
Electronic medical data could help verify link between maternal obesity and diabetes to autism

Electronic medical data could help verify link between maternal obesity and diabetes to autism

Scientists show they can use electronic medical records and birth information to verify and strengthen an already suspected link between autistic children and pregnant mothers with obesity and diabetes. [More]
New UEA-led research initiative aims to improve understanding of deictic communication in humans

New UEA-led research initiative aims to improve understanding of deictic communication in humans

A major new €3.5 million research initiative led by the University of East Anglia will aim to improve understanding of a fundamental part of communication in humans. [More]
Children born to obese women with diabetes at higher risk of developing autism

Children born to obese women with diabetes at higher risk of developing autism

Children born to obese women with diabetes are more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than children of healthy weight mothers without diabetes, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. [More]
Certain viral infections during pregnancy could cause behavioral changes in offspring

Certain viral infections during pregnancy could cause behavioral changes in offspring

A study published in the journal Science found that activation in pregnant mice of a particular immune response, similar to what may occur with certain viral infections during pregnancy, alters the brain structure of the mouse offspring and causes behavioral changes, reminiscent of those observed in humans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). [More]
Men with ASD have differences in brain connections

Men with ASD have differences in brain connections

Research at King's College London has revealed subtle brain differences in adult males with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which may go some way towards explaining why symptoms persist into adulthood in some people with the disorder. [More]
Immune signaling molecule in infected mothers linked to behavioral abnormalities in offspring

Immune signaling molecule in infected mothers linked to behavioral abnormalities in offspring

In 2010, a large study in Denmark found that women who suffered an infection severe enough to require hospitalization while pregnant were much more likely to have a child with autism (even though the overall risk of delivering a child with autism remained low). [More]
New findings offer roadmap for development of novel therapies to target common brain disorders

New findings offer roadmap for development of novel therapies to target common brain disorders

Scientists have pinpointed the cells that are likely to trigger common brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and intellectual disabilities. [More]
Genes that influence people's health also have impact on some cognitive functions

Genes that influence people's health also have impact on some cognitive functions

Genes that influence people's health also shape how effectively they think, a study shows. Scientists found that genes associated with diseases including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and autism also have an impact on some cognitive functions. [More]
Children with sensory processing disorder have altered pathways for brain connectivity

Children with sensory processing disorder have altered pathways for brain connectivity

Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that boys and girls with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have altered pathways for brain connectivity when compared to typically developing children, and the difference predicts challenges with auditory and tactile processing. [More]
Variations in RANBP1 gene may disrupt brain signaling in neuropsychiatric conditions

Variations in RANBP1 gene may disrupt brain signaling in neuropsychiatric conditions

Scientists have identified a gene that appears to play a significant role in raising a person's risk of having more severe subtypes of autism that co-occur with other genetic diseases, such as the chromosomal disorder 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. [More]
New Georgia Tech research center launched to manufacture living cells for cell-based therapies

New Georgia Tech research center launched to manufacture living cells for cell-based therapies

A $15.7 million grant from the Atlanta-based Marcus Foundation has helped launch a new Georgia Institute of Technology research center that will develop processes and techniques for ensuring the consistent, low-cost, large-scale manufacture of high-quality living cells used in cell-based therapies. [More]
Optical technologies could lead to novel treatments for neurological diseases

Optical technologies could lead to novel treatments for neurological diseases

Optical technologies previously used to look at the stars in the sky will be miniaturized to look inside the brain, and could lead to new treatments for neurological diseases. [More]
Gene linked to autism lays groundwork for crucial brain structure during prenatal development

Gene linked to autism lays groundwork for crucial brain structure during prenatal development

A gene linked to mental disorders helps lays the foundation for a crucial brain structure during prenatal development, according to Salk Institute research published January 14, 2016 in Cell Reports. [More]
UCLA discovery could lead to new therapies for autism

UCLA discovery could lead to new therapies for autism

UCLA scientists have discovered that an overlooked region in brain cells houses a motherlode of mutated genes previously tied to autism. Recently published in Neuron, the finding could provide fresh drug targets and lead to new therapies for the disorder, which affects one in 68 children in the United States. [More]
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