Autism Science

New Behavioral Test Uncovers Autism Mouse's Stubbornness

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
October 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers have developed a new test that reveals complex repetitive behaviors in BTBR mice, a mouse strain with features resembling those of autism, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Repetitive behavior is common in autism, and usually comes in two forms: repetitive actions, such as hand flapping or rocking, and higher-order symptoms, such as an insistence on sameness, or restricted interests. This second form is difficult to produce in mice, but these researchers believe they have been able to do it.

Kids with Cerebral Palsy More Likely to Have Autism

Source: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date Published: 
October 1, 2013
Abstract: 

New research from the CDC and published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology found significantly high rates of autism among children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Of the 147,000 children studied, seven percent of the children with cerebral palsy were also diagnosed with autism, compared to a little greater than one percent of kids who have autism in the general population.

Deleted Genes Offer Autism Clues

Source: 
American Journal of Human Genetics
Date Published: 
October 3, 2013
Abstract: 

Research published in the American Journal of Human Genetics found that people with ASDs often have just one copy of certain genes, when typically-developing people have two. This "mis-wiring" could alter the activity of nerve cells in the brain. The study found that the most commonly missing genes were linked to autophagy - a kind of waste-disposal and renewal process for cells. This study was led by Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, who is on ASF's Scientific Advisory Board.

Superior Math Skills Can Accompany Autism

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
October 3, 2013
Abstract: 

Some children with autism show unique patterns of brain activation while solving math problems, particularly in a brain region normally used for face processing, suggests a study in Biological Psychiatry. They also seem to use more sophisticated mental strategies to solve these problems than do their typically developing peers, the researchers found.

Kids with Autism Often Have Trouble Sleeping

Source: 
Archives of Disease in Children
Date Published: 
September 23, 2013
Abstract: 

The results of a recent study will probably come as no surprise to most parents of children with autism: children with ASDs have more sleep problems than their peers. In fact, between ages 2.5 and 11.5, kids with autism average 43 fewer minutes of sleep per night when compared to their typically-developing peers. The next step is to research how less sleep may play a part in behavior problems.

Autism Symptoms Change Over Time

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Abstract: 

Siblings of children with autism who are later diagnosed with the disorder themselves become more active, less adaptable and less likely to approach others over time, according to a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The results reinforce the observation that autism symptoms evolve as children age, the researchers say.

Study Finds No Link Between ASDs and Celiac Disease

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September 25, 2013
Abstract: 

A new nationwide study conducted in Sweden and published in JAMA Psychiatry found there to be no link between celiac disease and autism spectrum disorders. There was, however, some evidence that people who have been diagnosed with autism are more sensitive to gluten, even though they don't have celiac disease. The design of the study did not allow for a conclusion that gluten sensitivity caused autism, nor vice versa.

Autism Drugs in Some Countries have Serious Side Effects

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 20, 2013
Abstract: 

The most popular drugs prescribed for autism in some countries often have serious side effects or have not been vetted in robust clinical trials, finds a survey published in the journal Psychopharmacology. Additionally, children with ASDs take more drugs than adults with ASDs. ADHD in children with autism may play a factor in this.

People with Autism Don't Always "Catch" Yawns

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 17, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study finds that people with autism often miss facial cues that lead other people to "catch" yawns. Because individuals with autism often avoid looking at other people's faces, they may not pick up on the cues, such as closed eyes, that would encourage them to yawn. However, when asked to look at someone's face as they yawn, people with autism do yawn just as often as people without autism.

Grandfather's Age Linked to Autism

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
August 1, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that men who fathered children at age 50 or older were nearly twice as likely to have a grandchild with autism compared to men who had children at a younger age. The study focused on age-related aspects and sought to control any other variables, such as socioeconomic status.