Autism Research

Decreased Amino Acid L-Tryptophan Metabolism In Patients With ASD

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
June 4, 2013
Abstract: 

The study found that individuals with ASD had significantly decreased metabolism of the amino acid L-Tryptophan compared to their control group and individuals with other neurodevelopmental disorders. This amino acid could be used as a potential indicator for a simple, early blood test for autism.

Ketogenic Diet Improves Multiple Autistic Behaviors in Mice

Source: 
PLOS One
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A Trinity study saw improvements in multiple autistic behaviors in BTBR mice fed a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet provided to the mice is a strict high fat, low carbohydrate and protein diet that is commonly used to treat epilepsy.

Study Shows 1/3 of All Children With Autism Have ADHD

Source: 
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

During its study, the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that 1/3 of participants who have autism were also diagnosed with ADHD. This could suggest a genetic link between the two conditions.

Effects of Increased Development in Peripheral Vision on Children with Autism's Reduced Ability to Make Eye Contact

Source: 
The European Journal of Neuroscience
Date Published: 
May 22, 2013
Abstract: 

In this study, children with ASD showed higher activity in the periphery of their visual field as compared to children without ASD. This higher activity and dependency on their peripheral vision could be explained by reduced ability early in life to control their eye movements.

Autism-associated Promoter Variant in MET Gene Impacts Functional and Structural Brain Networks

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
September 6, 2012
Abstract: 

The MET gene is shown to be a "potent modulator of key social brain circuitry in children and adolescents." Researchers found that effects of high MET gene expression is more pronounced in individuals with ASD.

FMR1 Knockout Mice Observed to have Hyperactive Neural Firing Rates

Source: 
Nature: Neuroscience
Date Published: 
June 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers at UCLA observed hyperactive firing rates in the brains of FMR1 knockout mice; mice engineered to have symptoms similar to those in ASD and Fragile X syndrome.

New Gene Variants Linked to Autism

Source: 
Nature
Date Published: 
May 28, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study using families from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) finds that individuals with autism are 20% more likely to have copy-number variations of specific genes.

Seaside Therapeutics Discontinues Arbaclofen (STX209) Extension Study

Source: 
The Boston Globe
Date Published: 
May 31, 2013
Abstract: 

Seaside Therapeutics has discontinued their extension study of Arbaclofen (STX209), a drug that showed promise in treating social impairment related to Fragile X syndrome.

Brain Responses to Words in 2-Year-Olds with Autism Predict Developmental Outcomes at Age 6

Source: 
PLoS ONE
Date Published: 
May 29, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers have demonstrated that brain responses to words in children with autism at age two may strongly predict cognitive ability, receptive language and adaptive behavior in those children at ages 4 and 6.

Compared to What? Early Brain Overgrowth in Autism and the Perils of Population Norms

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May 23, 2013
Abstract: 

A new report questions the evidence for atypical early brain growth in ASD, suggesting reports of abnormal head circumference (HC) growth may be due to a systematic bias in common HC norms rather than dysregulated early brain growth in ASD. The authors encourage future studies to use comparison data from typically developing and clinical control samples and several growth norms in parallel to avoid bias.