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Study Warns Of Autism Risk For Children Of Obese Mothers

Source: 
NPR
Date Published: 
April 9, 2012
Abstract: 

A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.

Autism Science Foundation Announces 50% Increase in Pre- & Postdoctoral Grant Funding

Date Published: 
April 6, 2012
Abstract: 

Six postdoctoral and three predoctoral grants will be awarded to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism interventions, treatment targets, early diagnosis, biomarkers, and animal models. This represents a 50% increase over last year’s six pre- & postdoctoral grants.This year, ASF will fund $330,000 in fellowship grants. In three years of operations, the Autism Science Foundation has funded $790,000 in pre- and postdoctoral grants.

Nine new projects to be funded

(April 6, 2012 -- New York, NY)-- The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding autism research, today announced the recipients of its annual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships.  Six postdoctoral and three predoctoral grants will be awarded to student/mentor teams conducting research in autism interventions, treatment targets, early diagnosis, biomarkers, and animal models. This represents a 50% increase over last year’s six pre- & postdoctoral grants.

“Last week, when the CDC announced a 23% increase in autism prevalence, the autism community demanded more research to understand what is causing autism and to develop better treatments for individuals with autism,” said ASF Co-Founder Karen London. “We are proud to be able to increase our research funding in response to this national health crisis and we are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and make this funding increase possible.”

This year, ASF will fund $330,000 in fellowship grants. In three years of operations, the Autism Science Foundation has funded $790,000 in pre- and postdoctoral grants.

“ASF attracts excellent applicants across the board, and the top choices are exceptional people representing a broad set of perspectives on autism science,” said Dr. Matthew State, Chair of the ASF Scientific Advisory Board and the Donald J. Cohen Professor of Genetics and of Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center & Co-Director, Yale Program on Neurogenetics.

Two projects are co-funded by the FRAXA Research Foundation and the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation. Additional direct funding for ASF’s pre- and postdoctoral grant program was provided by Bailey’s Team and the Rural India Supporting Trust.

The following projects were selected for 2012 funding:

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

  • Inna Fishman/Ralph-Axel Muller: San Diego State University
    Examining Connectivity Patterns of Brain Networks Participating in Social Cognition in ASD
  • Karyn Heavner/Craig Newschaffer: Drexel University
    Evaluating Epidemiological and Biostatistical Challenges in the EARLI Investigation
  • Haruki Higashimori/Yongjie Yang: Tufts University
    Role of Astrocytic Glutamate Transporter GLT1 in Fragile X
    Co-funded by: FRAXA Research Foundation
  • April Levin/Charles Nelson: Children’s Hospital Boston
    Identifying Early Biomarkers for Autism Using EEG Connectivity
  • Klaus Libertus/Rebecca Landa: Kennedy Krieger Institute
    Effects of Active Motor & Social Training on Developmental Trajectories in Infants at High Risk for ASD
  • Oleksandr Shcheglovitov/Ricardo Dolmetsch: Stanford University School of Medicine
    Using Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells to Study Phelan McDermid Syndrome
    Co-funded by: Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation

Predoctoral Fellowships:

  • Nina Leezenbaum/Jana Iverson: University of Pittsburgh
    Postural and Vocal Development during the First Year of Life in Infants at Heightened Biological Risk for ASD
  • Jennifer Moriuchi/Ami Klin: Emory University Marcus Autism Center
    Gender and Cognitive Profile as Predictors of Functional Outcomes in School-Aged Children with ASD
  • Rebecca Simon/Karen Bales: University of California, Davis
    The Role of Serotonin in Social Bonding in Animal Models

Learn more about the projects selected for funding here - http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/current-grantees.

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org

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Contact Info:    

Dawn Crawford
Autism Science Foundation
dcrawford@autismsciencefoundation.org

Gene Studies of Autism Point to Mutations and Parents’ Age

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
April 4, 2012
Abstract: 

Three teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly the father.

IACC Releases Its 2011 Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research

Source: 
IACC
Date Published: 
April 2, 2012
Abstract: 

On April 2, in honor of the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day and HHS Autism Awareness Month the IACC has released its annual list of scientific advances that represent significant progress in the field.

With autism rising, researchers step up hunt for a cause

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
April 3, 2012
Abstract: 

For many families, the quest for the causes of autism has grown more urgent with the news that the estimated prevalence of the condition grew by 23% from 2006 to 2008, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said last week.

HHS Secretary Sebelius Appoints New IACC Members; ASF President Alison Singer Reappointed

Source: 
Autism Science Foundation Blog
Date Published: 
March 29, 2012
Abstract: 

The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the names of the fifteen individuals invited to participate as public members of the newly reauthorized Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). Among the 15 are Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, who was reappointed for a second term.

Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008

Source: 
MMWR (CDC)
Date Published: 
March 29, 2012
Abstract: 

Full text of today's CDC report indicating 1 in 88 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

1 in 88 Diagnosed with ASD, CDC Reports (1 in 54 Boys)

Source: 
Autism Science Foundation
Date Published: 
March 29, 2012
Abstract: 

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta today reported that 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys) is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous reports had pegged the number at 1 in 110.

Take Action in April

Abstract: 

Awareness of autism is no longer enough. We need to take action everyday in April. Visit the Autism Awareness Month page under the Get Involved section to learn more!

Awareness of autism is no longer enough. We need to take action everyday in April. Visit the Autism Awareness Month page under the Get Involved section to learn more!

Clinical trials of new treatments for Fragile X are accepting participants

Source: 
FRAXA Research Foundation
Date Published: 
March 22, 2012
Abstract: 

Experimental new drugs, AFQ056 (an mGluR5 antagonist from Novartis) and STX209 (arbaclofen from Seaside Therapeutics) are in large scale trials.