Repetitive Behavior

Autistic Brains Grow More Slowly

Source: 
Psych Central
Date Published: 
October 20, 2011
Abstract: 

UCLA researchers have found the connections between brain regions that are important for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys with autism than in non-autistic children...

UCLA researchers have found the connections between brain regions that are important for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys withautism than in non-autistic children.

A Systematic Review of Medical Treatments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Pediatrics, McPheeters et al.
Date Published: 
April 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Researchers at Vanderbilt University reviewed evidence regarding medical treatment of children 12 years old and younger with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was found that risperidone and aripiprazole for treatment of challenging and repetitive behaviors in children with ASDs. However, there are significant adverse effects of these medicines, including severe impairment or risk of injury, preventing their wider use. There is currently little evidence present to evaluate the use of other medical treatments for ASDs—neither their positive nor their negative effects.

Shank3 Mutant Mice Display Autistic-like Behaviors and Striatal Dysfunction

Source: 
Nature, Peça et al.
Date Published: 
March 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Currently, the neurological basis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is poorly understood. “Shank3 is a postsynaptic protein, whose disruption at the genetic level is thought to be responsible for the development of 22q13 deletion syndrome (Phelan-McDermid syndrome) and other non-syndromic ASDs”. In this study, mice with the Shank3 deletion were seen to exhibit “self-injurious repetitive grooming and deficits in social interaction.” Cellular, electrophysiological, and biochemical analyses revealed defects at striatal synapses and cortico-striatal circuits in Shank3 mutant mice. The study’s findings demonstrate that Shank3 plays a critical role in the development of neuronal connectivity. The study also established a causality between a disruption in the Shank3 gene and the beginning of autistic-like behaviors in mice.

Autistic Toddlers Prefer to Gaze at Geometric Patterns

Source: 
Bloomberg Business Week
Date Published: 
September 7, 2010
Abstract: 

Eye-tracking study reveals that a toddler's infatuation with geometric patterns instead of social interactions such as dancing, jumping and smiling could be an early sign of autism.

Immune System Troubles Could Spark Behavior Woes

Source: 
Bloomberg Businessweek
Date Published: 
May 27, 2010
Abstract: 

In the first scientific illustration of exactly how some psychiatric illnesses might be linked to an immune system gone awry, researchers report they cured mice of an obsessive-compulsive condition known as "hair-pulling disorder" by tweaking the rodents' immune systems.

Nutritional Risks of Picky Eaters May Be Higher in Autsim

Source: 
Reuters
Date Published: 
April 16, 2010
Abstract: 

Many kids are picky eaters but new research suggests the trait is even more common in autistic children who tend to refuse more foods and are more likely to restrict their diets to a smaller variety of foods than other children.

Gene Mutation is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Reseachers Find

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 24, 2010
Abstract: 

When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. The researchers also report that a drug affecting a specific type of nerve function reduced the obsessive behavior in the animals, suggesting a potential way to treat repetitive behaviors in humans

Lack of Efficacy of Citalopram in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and High Levels of Repetitive Behavior

Source: 
Archives of General Psychiatry, King, Hollander, Sikich, McCracken, Scahill, Bregman, Donnelly, Anagnostou, Dukes, Sullivan, Hirtz, Wagner, Louise Ritz; for the STAART Psychopharmacology Network
Date Published: 
June 2009
Year Published: 
2009

Citalopram (Celexa), a medication commonly prescribed to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was no more effective than a placebo at reducing repetitive behaviors, according to a multi-site clinical trial guided by lead author Bryan King, MD, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Seattle Children's Hospital and professor and vice chair of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Because citalopram is also prescribed for patients with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), these study results may challenge the widely held premise that repetitive behaviors in children with ASD are similar to repetitive behaviors often found in cases of OCD.