News

Receptors in brain linked to schizophrenia, autism
Aug 11, 2015
The loss of a critical receptor, mGluR5, in a special class of inhibitory neurons may be responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and schizophrenia, according to new research by Salk scientists.
Autism and apraxia often coincide
May 27, 2015
Some children with autism should undergo ongoing screenings for apraxia because the 2 conditions often go hand-in-hand, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Over the course of a 3-year study, 64% of children initially diagnosed with autism were found to also have apraxia. The study also showed that the commonly used Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder accurately diagnoses autism in children with apraxia.
Study finds new ADHD genes, links susceptibility with autism and other neuropsychiatric conditions
Aug 11, 2011
New research has identified more genes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and shows that there is an overlap between some of these genes and those found in other neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder.
Brain imaging research reveals why autistic individuals confuse pronouns
Aug 01, 2011
A new brain imaging study published in the journal Brain provides an explanation as to why autistic individuals' use of the wrong pronoun is more than simply a word choice problem. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging found that errors in choosing a self-referring pronoun reflect a disordered neural representation of the self, a function processed by at least 2 brain areas—1 frontal and 1 posterior.
Weak synchronization in toddler brains may be a biological marker for autism
Jul 25, 2011
Scientists have found, for the first time, a method that can accurately identify a biological sign of autism in very young toddlers. By scanning the brain activity of sleeping children, the scientists discovered that the autistic brains exhibited significantly weaker synchronization between brain areas tied to language and communication, compared to that of nonautistic children.
New clinical trial to examine medication to treat social withdrawal in fragile X and autism patients
Jul 20, 2011
Children and adults with social withdrawal due to Fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and the most common known single gene cause of autism, may benefit from an experimental drug under study by pediatric neurologists at Rush Children’s Hospital at Rush University Medical Center.
Biomarker for autism discovered
Jul 12, 2011
Siblings of people with autism show a similar pattern of brain activity to that seen in people with autism when looking at emotional facial expressions. University of Cambridge researchers identified the reduced activity in a part of the brain associated with empathy and argue it may be a 'biomarker' for a familial risk of autism.
Study of twins suggests genetic component of autism spectrum disorders may be moderate
Jul 05, 2011
After evaluating twin pairs in which at least one child has autism or autism spectrum disorder, researchers suggest that the shared environment may play a more substantial role in development of the condition than shared genes do.
Research provides important insight into ‘systemizing’ theory of autism
Jun 20, 2011
A new study from Cambridge University has for the first time found that autism diagnoses are more common in an information-technology rich region. The study, published today in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, has important implications for service provision in different regions and for the ‘hyper-systemizing’ theory of autism.
Researchers discover many genetic keys needed to unlock autism
Jun 08, 2011
Hundreds of small genetic variations are associated with autism spectrum disorders, including an area of DNA that may be a key to understanding why humans are social animals, according to a multisite collaborative study led by researchers at Yale University.
Research reveals effectiveness of seizure treatments for children with autism
Jun 03, 2011
Physicians will have a better guide for more effectively managing treatment of children experiencing seizures related to autism with the results of a study by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Texas-Houston.
Sporadic mutations identified in children with autism spectrum disorders
May 16, 2011
Scientists at the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences have identified several sporadic or "de novo" genetic mutations in children with autism spectrum disorder.
The mirror neuron system in autism: broken or just slowly developing?
May 03, 2011
A new study published in Biological Psychiatry reports that the mirror system--a brain circuit that enables us to better understand and anticipate the actions of others--in individuals with autism is not actually broken, but simply delayed.
Study finds autism-related early brain overgrowth slows by age 2 years
May 03, 2011
Scientists using MRI observed that the brains of children with autism spectrum disorder are larger than those without autism, but this difference appears related to increased rates of brain growth before 2 years of age, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Screening very preterm infants for autism at 18 months often inaccurate
May 02, 2011
Extremely premature infants who screen positive for autism spectrum disorder at 18 months of age may not actually have autism. Rather, they may fail screening tests due to an unrelated cognitive or language delay, according to research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Denver.
Social bonding in prairie voles helps guide search for autism treatments
Apr 29, 2011
Researchers at the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience at Emory University are focusing on prairie voles as a new model to screen the effectiveness of drugs to treat autism.
5-minute screen identifies subtle signs of autism in 1 year olds
Apr 28, 2011
A 5-minute checklist that parents can fill out in pediatrician waiting rooms may someday help in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
New data shows half of all children with autism wander and bolt from safe places
Apr 20, 2011
A just released wandering and elopement survey found that approximately half of parents of children with autism report that their child elopes, with the behavior peaking at age 4 years. Among these families, nearly 50% say that their child went missing long enough to cause significant concern about safety.
Mortality rate is increased in persons with autism who also have epilepsy
Apr 15, 2011
A comprehensive investigation of brain tissue donated to the Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program (ATP), a postmortem brain tissue donation program, determined that one third of the brain donors with autism also had epilepsy, and co-morbidity data from the California State Department of Developmental Services revealed a higher than expected rate of mortality in individuals with both autism and epilepsy than for individuals with autism alone.
A world first: the discovery of a common genetic cause of autism and epilepsy
Apr 08, 2011
Researchers from the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal Research Centre have identified a new gene--synapsin gene (SYN1)-- that predisposes people to both autism and epilepsy.
Treatments show promise in reducing autism-related behaviors, but some have significant side effects
Apr 06, 2011
Some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders, but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms, according to a new report funded by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The research results were published online in the journal Pediatrics.
Interest in toys predicts effectiveness of autism treatment in toddlers
Mar 22, 2011
Toddlers who played with a limited number of toys showed more improvement in their communication skills following parent-guided treatment than those receiving other community-based treatments.