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Mothers Who Have Children with ASD Show Significantly Higher Levels of Fatigue

Source: 
Autism
Date Published: 
July 2013
Abstract: 

This study shows that parents who have children with ASD show significantly higher levels of fatigue when compared to mothers of typically developing children. The study argues the need for interventions that specifically target maternal fatigue.

Researchers Find Reduced Microbial Diveristy In Gut of Individuals with Autism

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
July 13, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers found that individuals with autism have significantly fewer kinds of bacteria in their intestines. However, there was no relationship found between microbial diversity and severity of GI problems.

Study Examines the Effects of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) on Autism Risk

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
July 3, 2013
Abstract: 

This study found that most in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures do not show an increase in the risk of autism. However, it found a small increase in the risk of autism in the most severe forms of male infertility that require surgical sperm retrieval.

Brain Imaging Study Shows Decreased Production of Chemical Messenger GABA in Individuals with Autism

Source: 
Neuroimage
Date Published: 
May 23, 2013
Abstract: 

A new brain imaging study shows that children with autism have low levels of GABA, a chemical that keeps brain signals in check. This is the third study in two years that supports the theory of decreased production of GABA.

Gluten Sensitivities May Cause GI Problems in Children with Autism

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
June 18, 2013
Abstract: 

A subset of children with autism displays increased immune reactivity to gluten, the mechanism of which appears to be distinct from that in celiac disease. The increased anti-gliadin antibody response and its association with GI symptoms points to a potential mechanism involving immunologic and/or intestinal permeability abnormalities in affected children.

Study Finds Hyperconnectivity in Certain Brain Regions in Individuals with Autism.

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
June 26, 2013
Abstract: 

During a brain study, researchers found that individuals with autism have specific areas of hyperconnectivity in the brain. This supports the theory that unique autistic behaviors stem from differences in brain wiring.

Two Studies Isolate Specific Brain Circuits That Underlie Compulsive Behaviors Seen in Individuals with OCD and Autism

Source: 
Science
Date Published: 
June 7, 2013
Abstract: 

Two studies successfully attempted to shut down and trigger compulsive behaviors in mice by using light to target certain brain circuits. These studies helped isolate the obsessive brain circuits believed to underlie compulsive behaviors in individuals with OCD and autism.

1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23744950
2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23744948

Genetic Variations in Chromosome 16 Region Affect More Males with Autism Than Females

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
April 18, 2013
Abstract: 

London study finds a higher rate of gene variations in the chromosome 16 region in males with autism compared to females.

Studies Show Key Steps of How Mutations to the MeCP2 Gene Cause Rett Syndrome

Source: 
Nature Neuroscience
Date Published: 
June 16, 2013
Abstract: 

Two collaborative papers reveal the key steps of how mutations to the MeCP2 gene cause Rett Syndrome by impairing the interaction between MeCP2 and the NCoR/SMRT co-repressor.

Fragile X Mutation May Produce Toxic Protein Clumps That Cause FXTAS

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
May 8, 2013
Abstract: 

University of Michigan study finds that a mild form of the fragile X mutation produces protein clumps that may trigger fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia.