Autism Science

Examining and Interpreting the Female Protective Effect against Autistic Behavior

Source: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 
February 19, 2013
Abstract: 

This study examined the hypothesis that a protective component of the female sex protects females from autistic behavioral impairment. The results indicate that greater familial risk may be associated with ASD in females, and males may require fewer familial risk factors to reach a similar impairment threshold. The authors hope the study will provide insight into the ASD sex ratio and aid future genetic research.

Age of First Words Predicts Cognitive Ability and Adaptive Skills in Children with ASD

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
February 1, 2013
Abstract: 

Producing words by 2 years of age strongly predicted better outcomes in this study of language acquisition and later functioning in children with ASD. The authors suggest that the "acquiring useful language by age 5" criterion for positive prognosis can be updated.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Reclassified: A Second Look at the 1980s Utah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
January 1, 2013
Abstract: 

According to this study, DSM-IV-TR criteria capture more individuals with ASD and intellectual disability than DSM III criteria. The authors examined records from a statewide epidemiological study in the 80s and found that 59% of participants who were considered ‘not autistic’ in the original study likely were autistic based on current DSM criteria and clinician review methods used in CDC studies.

SFARI Gene

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
February 21, 2013
Abstract: 

SFARI Gene is an integrated resource for the autism research community. It is a publicly available, curated, web-based, searchable database for autism research. This resource is built on information extracted from the studies on molecular genetics and biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The genetic information includes data from linkage and association studies, cytogenetic abnormalities, and specific mutations associated with ASD.

Sex Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Current Opinion in Neurology
Date Published: 
February 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A review of current research shows that ASD affects females less frequently than males and suggests this difference may be due to several sex-differential genetic and hormonal factors.

Sequencing Studies Implicate Inherited Mutations in Autism

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
January 23, 2013
Abstract: 

SFARI: Rare, inherited mutations contribute to a significant proportion of autism cases according to two new studies published in Neuron.

Elevated Maternal C-reactive Protein and Autism in a National Birth Cohort

Source: 
Molecular Psychiatry
Date Published: 
January 22, 2013
Abstract: 

Large national birth cohort study links elevated maternal C-reactive protein (a marker of systemic inflammation) to increased autism risk.

Impaired Coordination of Brain Activity in Autism Involves Local, as Well as Long-Range, Signaling

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
January 14, 2013
Abstract: 

MEG study finds diminished long-range and local functional connectivity as individuals with ASD viewed faces. The study challenges the popular assumption that only long-range connectivity is reduced in ASD.