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Genetic Discovery Links Autism and Schizophrenia

Source: 
Nature Neuroscience
Date Published: 
August 4, 2013
Abstract: 

Nelson Freimer and colleagues at UCLA studied a population in an isolated area of Finland where Schizophrenia is more common than in the average Finnish population. In this small group, it was discovered that the presence of a deletion on part of chromosome 22 was much more prevalent than in the rest of the population. This deleted region normally contains an enzyme, TOP3B. This lack of TOP3B is also linked to disruptions that can lead to Fragile X Syndrome, showing there may be a biological link between Fragile X and Schizophrenia.

An article about this study can be found here:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23995-genetic-discovery-links-auti...

New Study Deciphers Potential Roles of Oxytocin in Brain Function

Source: 
Nature
Date Published: 
August 4, 2013
Abstract: 

An NYU study explored the role of oxytocin in the brain's ability to filter wanted stimuli from unwanted stimuli. The researchers suggest that the neurohormone, oxytocin, is not only used to reduce unwanted background noise but also plays a key function in strengthening desired signals.

Cholesterol connection to Rett Syndrome

Source: 
Nature Genetics
Date Published: 
July 28, 2013
Abstract: 

Professor Monica Justice has written a study on a connection between cholesterol and Rett Syndrome. Statin drugs, known to lower cholesterol, were shown to increase mobility, overall health scores, and lifespan in mice with Rett Syndrome.

Teacher-Implemented Joint Attention Intervention: Pilot Randomized Controlled Study for Preschoolers with Autism

Source: 
J Consult Clin Psychol
Date Published: 
August, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

This study investigated the effectiveness of public preschool teachers implementing a validated intervention (the Joint Attention and Symbolic Play/Engagement and Regulation intervention; JASP/ER) on a core deficit of autism, initiating joint attention.

Dr. Jennifer Elder Provides Commentary on Current Research for the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet

Date Published: 
August 1, 2013
Abstract: 

Dr. Jennifer Elder provides an evidence-based discussion about the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet in her guest blog post for the blog series "Comorbid Conditions with Autism". Dr. Elder's goal was to highlight what current research says about the GFCF diet so families can make an informed decision if it is right for them.

Dr. Susan Hyman Discusses GI Problems in Children with Autism for a Guest Blog Post

Date Published: 
July 30, 2013
Abstract: 

Dr. Susan Hyman addressed many important questions about GI problems associated with autism for our guest blog series "Comorbid Conditions with Autism". In the post, she provided an informed update on current evidence-based research in the area of GI problems and autism.

Synaptic Dysfunction in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Associated with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.

Source: 
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol
Date Published: 
March 1, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

The human studies unveiled the sensitivity of cognitive function to precise levels of different proteins.

Controversial Study Suggests That An Ear Muscle In Children with Autism Responds to Lower Decibel Sounds Than Typical Controls

Source: 
Autism Research and Treatment
Date Published: 
July 3, 2013
Abstract: 

A controversial study suggests that an ear muscle in children with autism responds to sounds that are a few decibels lower compared to typically developing children. Some researchers suggest this could be used as a simple clinical biomarker for autism but some scientists disagree.

Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants

Abstract: 

The Autism Science Foundation invites applications for its Research Enhancement Mini Grants. This grant mechanism is designed to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.

Request for Applications: 2013 Research Enhancement Mini Grants

RFA Released: July 15, 2013

Applications Due: September 30, 2013

The Autism Science Foundation invites applications for its Research Enhancement Mini Grants. This grant mechanism is designed to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants. 

Autism Science Foundation will make a number of awards determined by its available financial resources. The term of this award cannot exceed the term of the active grant nor the IRB/IACUC approval period on the underlying grant. 

Grants of up to $5000 are available to enhance, expand or enrich currently-funded grants (including those funded by ASF). All projects must have prior IRB/IACUC approval. No portion of these funds shall be used to cover indirect university costs. 

Is Maternal Influenza or Fever During Pregnancy Associated with Autism or Developmental Delays?

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

Though neither ASD nor DD was associated with influenza, both were associated with maternal fever during pregnancy. However, the fever-associated ASD risk was attenuated among mothers who reported taking antipyretic medications but remained elevated for those who did not.