Screening

Describing the Brain in Autism in Five Dimensions-Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assisted Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Multiparameter Classification Approach

Source: 
Journal of Neuroscience, Ecker et al
Date Published: 
December 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The study tested a group of 20 high functioning adults with autism, together with 20 control adults, to determine whether MRI scans can detect autism. Using left hemisphere cortical thickness, the algorithm could achieve 90% accuracy, however the right hemisphere was worse at differentiating between the two groups. The study shows that it is feasible to use analytic techniques in MRI to investigate differences in the autistic brain.

Children With Autism Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 30, 2010
Abstract: 

Children with autism are far more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than are typically developing children, a new study by researchers at UC Davis has found. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that cumulative damage and oxidative stress in mitochondria, the cell's energy producer, could influence both the onset and severity of autism, suggesting a strong link between autism and mitochondrial defects.

Do Handwriting Problems with Autistic Children Continue into their Teen Years?

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 16, 2010
Abstract: 

A new study suggests that the handwriting problems that affect children with autism are likely to continue into their teenage years. The research found that the teenagers with autism earned 167 points out of 204 total possible points on the handwriting assessment, compared to the 183 points scored by teens in the group without autism. These results showed statistical significance in the study. The teenagers with autism also had motor skill impairments.

How the Brain is Wired for Attention

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 2, 2010

University of Utah (U of U) medical researchers have uncovered a wiring diagram that shows how the brain pays attention to visual, cognitive, sensory, and motor cues. The research provides a critical foundation for the study of abnormalities in attention that can be seen in many brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder.

A Model for Neural Development and Treatment of Rett Syndrome Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Source: 
Cell, Marchetto et al
Date Published: 
November 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases in which different combinations of genetic mutations may contribute to the phenotype. Using Rett syndrome (RTT) as an ASD genetic model, we recapitulate early stages of a human neurodevelopmental disease, using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from RTT patients' fibroblasts, which essentially creates a "disease in a dish". The data uncovered early alterations in developing human RTT neurons and suggest evidence of an unexplored developmental window, before disease onset, in RTT syndrome where potential therapies could be successfully employed. Our model represents a promising cellular tool for drug screening, diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Neurogenetics Research Sheds Light on the Causes of Neurological Disease

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
October 21, 2010
Abstract: 

The last two decades have seen tremendous progress in understanding the genetic basis of human brain disorders. Research developments in this area have revealed fundamental insights into the genes and molecular pathways that underlie neurological and psychiatric diseases. In a new series of review articles, experts in the field discuss exciting recent advances in neurogenetics research and the potential implications for the treatment of these devastating disorders.

New Autism Susceptibilty Genes Identified

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
June 10, 2010
Abstract: 

Mount Sinai researchers and the Autism Genome Project Consortium (AGP) announced that they have identified new autism susceptibility genes that may lead to the development of new treatment approaches. These genes, which include SHANK2, SYNGAP1, DLGAP2 and the X-linked DDX53-PTCHD1 locus, primarily belong to synapse-related pathways, while others are involved in cellular proliferation, projection and motility, and intracellular signaling

Mental Maturity Scan Tracks Brain Development

Source: 
Eurek Alert
Date Published: 
September 9, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers utilize a new methodology when looking at brain scanning data that may be able to help track and monitor developmental disorders.

Infants Gaze May Be an Early, but Subtle, Marker for Autism Risk

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
September 1, 2010
Abstract: 

Kennedy Krieger Institute have announced new study results showing an early marker for later communication and social delays in infants at a higher-risk for autism may be infrequent gazing at other people when unprompted. The study also found that six-month-old high-risk infants demonstrated the same level of cause and effect learning skills when compared to low-risk infants of the same age.

Researchers Connect APC Protein to Autism and Mental Retardation

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
August 24, 2010
Abstract: 

A clue to the causes of autism and mental retardation lies in the synapse, the tiny intercellular junction that rapidly transfers information from one neuron to the next. According to neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine, with students from the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, a protein called APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) plays a key role in synapse maturation, and APC dysfunction prevents the synapse function required for typical learning and memory.