Autism Research

Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene

Source: 
The New York Times
Date Published: 
August 11, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers have recently discovered that two seemingly unrelated conditions, autism and cancer, share an unexpected connection. Some people with autism have specific mutated cancer or tumor genes that scientists believe caused their autism. While this does not apply to all people with autism, just the ones with the mutated gene, it is a very illuminating discovery in the field.

Autism Affects Sexes Differently

Source: 
Brain
Date Published: 
June 7, 2013
Abstract: 

A Cambridge study that used brain imaging samples of individuals with autism, led by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, found evidence that autism affects sexes differently. The study showed that women who have the condition demonstrate “neuroanatomical masculinization”, which suggests that women with autism have more masculine brains.

Dr. Baron-Cohen argues that this study reinforces that researchers "should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females."

News Article: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Education/Universities/Autism-affects-se...

Autism Science Foundation Issues New Request for Scientific Grant Proposals

Date Published: 
August 15, 2013

(August 15, 2013—New York, NY)--The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, today announced that it had issued a new request for scientific proposals. ASF is inviting applications for pre- and postdoctoral training awards from graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In the past four years, ASF has funded just under $1 million in pre and postdoctoral grants.

"We have increased our funding for pre and postdoctoral fellowships every year for the past four years and expect to expand it again this year” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation.  “We are committed to supporting outstanding young investigators who want to dedicate their careers to autism research.”

"We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and who make these grants possible" said Karen London, co-founder of ASF.

The proposed training must be scientifically linked to autism. Autism Science Foundation will consider for training purposes all areas of related basic and clinical research including but not limited to: human behavior across the lifespan (language, learning, communication, social function, epilepsy, sleep, repetitive disorders), neurobiology (anatomy, development, neuro-imaging), pharmacology, neuropathology, genetics, genomics, epigenetics, epigenomics, immunology, molecular and cellular mechanisms, studies employing model organisms and systems, and studies of treatment and service delivery. Applications must be received by November 15, 2013. Awards will be announced in March, 2014 for projects beginning July-September 2014.

Additional information about this RFA can be found at http://autismsciencefoundation.org/ ApplyForaGrant.html

Last month ASF announced the availability of Research Mini-Grants of up to $5000 to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.  Applications for mini grants are due by September 30, 2013. 

Additional information about this RFA can be found at http://autismsciencefoundation.org/apply-research-mini-grant.

The Autism Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation’s grant programs, and to read about projects funded through this mechanism in prior years, visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org

 

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Contact Info:    

Meredith Gilmer
Autism Science Foundation
mgilmer@autismsciencefoundation.org

 

Autism Science Foundation Issues Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants

Date Published: 
August 15, 2013

The Autism Science Foundation has issued a new request for proposals.

ASF is inviting applications for Research Enhancement Mini-Grants of up to $5000 to enable researchers to expand the scope or increase the efficiency of existing grants, or to take advantage of changes or findings that have occurred in or around the project that warrant more funding.    

"We want researchers to be able to move quickly when they've made the kind of breakthrough that just needs a bit more funding to exploit rapidly, said ASF president Alison Singer.  "We hope these mini grants will encourage scientists to take advantage of new opportunities that occur after a grant is already underway".

Applications must be received by September 30, 2013.  Read the full RFA here.

Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants

Abstract: 

RFA Released: July 15, 2013

Applications Due: September 30, 2013

The Autism Science Foundation invites applications for its Research Enhancement Mini Grants. This grant mechanism is designed to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.

Autism Science Foundation will make a number of awards determined by its available financial resources. The term of this award cannot exceed the term of the active grant nor the IRB/IACUC approval period on the underlying grant.

Grants of up to $5000 are available to enhance, expand or enrich currently-funded grants (including those funded by ASF). All projects must have prior IRB/IACUC approval. No portion of these funds shall be used to cover indirect university costs.

Brain Imaging Study Suggests Autism and Asperger's Syndrome May Be Biologically Distinct Conditions

Source: 
BMC Medicine
Date Published: 
June 26, 2012
Abstract: 

A brain imaging study out of Boston Children's Hospital suggests that autism and Asperger's syndrome are biologically distinct conditions. The study analyzes the patterns of brain connectivity in children with ASD and found that children with autism might have distinct neural signaling patterns. This study follows the release of the APA's new DSM-5 that classifies Asperger's under an umbrella diagnosis of ASD.

News Article: http://www.medicaldaily.com/aspergers-syndrome-and-autism-are-biological...

Caregiver Burden as People with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Transition into Adolescence and Adulthood in the United Kingdom

Source: 
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

This study conducted an observational study of 192 families caring for a young person (aged 14 to 24 years) with a childhood diagnosis of ASD or ADHD (n = 101 and n = 91, respectively) in the United Kingdom. A modified stress-appraisal model was used to investigate the correlates of caregiver burden as a function of family background (parental education), primary stressors (symptoms), primary appraisal (need), and resources (use of services).

Genetic Discovery Links Autism and Schizophrenia

Source: 
Nature Neuroscience
Date Published: 
August 4, 2013
Abstract: 

Nelson Freimer and colleagues at UCLA studied a population in an isolated area of Finland where Schizophrenia is more common than in the average Finnish population. In this small group, it was discovered that the presence of a deletion on part of chromosome 22 was much more prevalent than in the rest of the population. This deleted region normally contains an enzyme, TOP3B. This lack of TOP3B is also linked to disruptions that can lead to Fragile X Syndrome, showing there may be a biological link between Fragile X and Schizophrenia.

An article about this study can be found here:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23995-genetic-discovery-links-auti...

Excess Mortality and Causes of Death in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow Up of the 1980s Utah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

Source: 
J Autism Dev Disord
Date Published: 
May, 2013
Year Published: 
2013
Abstract: 

This study's purpose was to investigate mortality among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ascertained during a 1980s statewide autism prevalence study (n = 305) in relation to controls.

Service and Wider Societal Costs of Very Young Children with Autism in the UK

Source: 
J Autism Dev Disord
Date Published: 
May, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

This study describes the services used by 152 children aged 24-60 months with autism, report family out-of-pocket expenses and productivity losses, and explore the relationship between family characteristics and costs.