Autism Science

Autism-associated promoter variant in MET impacts functional and structural brain networks.

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
Sept. 6, 2012
Abstract: 

Findings highlight how genetic stratification may reduce heterogeneity and help elucidate the biological basis of complex neuropsychiatric disorders such as ASD.

Special Report: Connectivity

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
March 25, 2013
Abstract: 

This special report from the Simons Foundation looks at neural connectivity theories of autism.

Association of Maternal Exposure to Childhood Abuse With Elevated Risk for Autism in Offspring

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
March 20, 2013
Abstract: 

This study examined the relationship between maternal childhood abuse and autism in children in a large population-based sample. Maternal abuse was significantly associated with increased autism risk even after researchers controlled for perinatal risk factors, including gestational diabetes, smoking during pregnancy, preeclampsia, exposure to intimate partner violence and premature birth.

Mother's Drive Helps Research on Rare Autism-linked Mutation

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
March 14, 2013
Abstract: 

A mother with two sons with autism helps advance research on neuroligin-4 mutations.

Developmental Meta-Analysis of the Functional Neural Correlates of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
December 26, 2012
Abstract: 

According to this recent meta-analysis of fMRI studies, autism-related changes in brain activity may continue to develop with age.

Evaluating Changes in the Prevalence of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

Source: 
Public Health Reviews
Date Published: 
March 14, 2013
Abstract: 

In effort to stimulate more research to better understand ASD trends, ASF President Alison Singer and other stakeholders discuss the increase in ASD prevalence and share their knowledge and opinions.

Why Are There So Many Unsubstantiated Treatments in Autism?

Source: 
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date Published: 
December 27, 2012
Abstract: 

An estimated 32-92% of parents use complementary/alternative treatments for their children with ASD despite the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of these methods. In this article, researchers issue a call for a standardized way to select and evaluate treatments. Barriers to successful treatment, including high costs, limited availability, parental compliance and poor recommendations from professionals are discussed.

Physical Aggression in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Date Published: 
December 27, 2012
Abstract: 

The prevalence of physical aggression was 53% across a sample of nearly 1600 children and adolescents with ASD. Girls and boys were equally likely to display aggressive behaviors. The researchers suggest sleep problems, self-injury and sensory problems may increase risk for physical aggression, and argue for better identification and treatment of these conditions.

Mothers Fight to Pass Ava's Law for Autism Coverage

Source: 
CNN
Date Published: 
March 12, 2013
Abstract: 

"If passed, Ava's Law would require insurance companies to pay for "evidence-driven treatment" -- or treatment that's been scientifically shown to help kids with an autism spectrum disorder. The law would not affect the self-insured plans offered by bigger companies, which cover about 60% of insured people in the state, according to the Georgia Office of Insurance."

Elevated Repetitive Behaviors are Associated with Lower Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
March 1, 2013
Abstract: 

This pilot study examined the relationship between repetitive behaviors (RBs) and cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress, in individuals with ASD. Multiple salivary cortisol samples were taken over three days for 21 children with ASD with high and low levels of RBs. Children in both groups showed the same pattern of cortisol change throughout the day, but the overall cortisol levels in the high RB group were significantly lower, suggesting RBs may work to soothe and decrease stress.