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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."

Abnormal Placenta Folds Could Be Indicator of Autism

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
April 22, 2013
Abstract: 

This study suggests that the placentas from women whose fetuses are at elevated risk for autism are markedly different from control placentas. Specifically, the identification of an increase in folds in the placenta could be used to identify children at risk of being autistic.

Important Molecular Targets of the Autism-Linked RORA Gene Identified

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
May 22, 2013
Abstract: 

Scientists from George Washington University identified hundreds of molecular targets of the RORA gene. Of these molecular targets, 426 are linked to autism by the AutismKB database.

Decreased Amino Acid L-Tryptophan Metabolism In Patients With ASD

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
June 4, 2013
Abstract: 

The study found that individuals with ASD had significantly decreased metabolism of the amino acid L-Tryptophan compared to their control group and individuals with other neurodevelopmental disorders. This amino acid could be used as a potential indicator for a simple, early blood test for autism.

Ketogenic Diet Improves Multiple Autistic Behaviors in Mice

Source: 
PLOS One
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A Trinity study saw improvements in multiple autistic behaviors in BTBR mice fed a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet provided to the mice is a strict high fat, low carbohydrate and protein diet that is commonly used to treat epilepsy.

Study Shows 1/3 of All Children With Autism Have ADHD

Source: 
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

During its study, the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that 1/3 of participants who have autism were also diagnosed with ADHD. This could suggest a genetic link between the two conditions.

Effects of Increased Development in Peripheral Vision on Children with Autism's Reduced Ability to Make Eye Contact

Source: 
The European Journal of Neuroscience
Date Published: 
May 22, 2013
Abstract: 

In this study, children with ASD showed higher activity in the periphery of their visual field as compared to children without ASD. This higher activity and dependency on their peripheral vision could be explained by reduced ability early in life to control their eye movements.

FMR1 Knockout Mice Observed to have Hyperactive Neural Firing Rates

Source: 
Nature: Neuroscience
Date Published: 
June 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers at UCLA observed hyperactive firing rates in the brains of FMR1 knockout mice; mice engineered to have symptoms similar to those in ASD and Fragile X syndrome.