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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.

Perinatal Exposure to Air Pollutants May Increase Risk for ASD.

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives
Date Published: 
June 18, 2013
Abstract: 

Study finds correlation that suggests that women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy have a higher chance of having a child with autism.

Voices May Not Trigger Brain's Reward Centers in Children with ASD

Source: 
PNAS
Date Published: 
June 17, 2013
Abstract: 

This Stanford study identifies an underconnectivity between the voice-selective cortex and the reward centers in the brain. This could suggest why children with autism have trouble grasping the social and emotional aspects of human speech.

Minority Children with Autism Are Significantly Less Likely to Use Specialty Care

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
June 17, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston found that minority children are significantly less likely to use specialty care for complications with the disorder when compared to kids from white families. The most significant difference was for GI and nutrition services.

Brain Imaging Reveals Thicker Cortex with More Folds in Autism Brains

Source: 
Brain: A Journal of Neurology
Date Published: 
June 2013
Abstract: 

Brain imaging study reveals individuals with autism have a ticker cortex with more folds. This suggests that differences in cognitive abilities of people with autism could be due to unique brain structures.

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.