Autism Science

Voices May Not Trigger Brain's Reward Centers in Children with ASD

Source: 
PNAS
Date Published: 
June 17, 2013
Abstract: 

This Stanford study identifies an underconnectivity between the voice-selective cortex and the reward centers in the brain. This could suggest why children with autism have trouble grasping the social and emotional aspects of human speech.

Brain Imaging Reveals Thicker Cortex with More Folds in Autism Brains

Source: 
Brain: A Journal of Neurology
Date Published: 
June 2013
Abstract: 

Brain imaging study reveals individuals with autism have a ticker cortex with more folds. This suggests that differences in cognitive abilities of people with autism could be due to unique brain structures.

Meta-Analysis of The Effects of Risperidone or Aripiprazole on Individuals with ASD

Source: 
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date Published: 
January 2013
Abstract: 

This study analyzes the efficacy and secondary effects of the drugs, Risperidone and Aripipazole.

Arboclofen Has Potential to Improve Social Function and Behavior in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Science Translational Medicine
Date Published: 
September 9, 2012
Abstract: 

Research on animal models suggests that STX209 (arboclofen) might improve neurobehavioral function in patients affected with Fragile X Syndrome.

PCBs Identified as Possible Environmental Risk Factor Contributing to Autism

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives
Date Published: 
July 12, 2012
Abstract: 

Study identifies Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB), which are widely used as dielectric and coolant fluids, as a candidate environmental risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

First Prospective Study on the Effect of Shank3 Deficiency on Phelan-McDermid Syndrome

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
June 11, 2013
Abstract: 

ASF Scientific Advisory Board Member, Joe Buxbaum, directed the first prospective study on the effects of Shank3 deficiency on a subtype of autism called 22q13 Deletion Syndrome, also known as Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

Individuals With Autism Have a Unique Gene Expression In Their Gastrointestinal Tissue.

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
March 8, 2013
Abstract: 

This Wake Forest Study compared the gene expression of gastrointestinal tissue in individuals with autism and compared it to individuals with Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis and a control group. The study showed those with autism had a unique gene expression in their gastrointestinal tissue compared to the other groups studied.

Working Memory Deficits in High-functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Neuropsychological and Neuroimaging correlate

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
June 4, 2013
Abstract: 

This new review of neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies suggests that system specific problems of spatial working memory are often seen in adolescents with ASD. Additionally, researchers found that "neuroimaging studies indicate a more global working memory processing or connectivity deficiency, rather than a focused deficit in the prefrontal cortex."

Neuronal Connectivity as a Convergent Target of Gene-environment Interactions that Confer Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
Date Published: 
March, 2013
Abstract: 

This review briefly summarizes the evidence implicating dysfunctional signaling via Ca2 +-dependent mechanisms, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3K) and neuroligin–neurexin–SHANK as convergent molecular mechanisms in ASD, and then discusses examples of environmental chemicals for which there is emerging evidence of their potential to interfere with normal neuronal connectivity via perturbation of these signaling pathways.

Tipping the Balance of Autism Risk: Potential Mechanisms Linking Pesticides and Autism

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives
Date Published: 
July, 2012
Abstract: 

On the basis of experimental and observational research, certain pesticides may be capable of inducing core features of autism, but little is known about the timing or dose, or which of various mechanisms is sufficient to induce this condition.