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Bone-marrow Transplant Reverses Rett Syndrome in Mice

Source: 
Nature Magazine
Date Published: 
March 17, 2012
Abstract: 

A bone-marrow transplant can treat a mouse version of Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder that affects roughly 1 in 10,000–20,000 girls born worldwide (boys with the disease typically die within a few weeks of birth).

Joe Buxbaum's Science & Sandwiches presentation

Date Published: 
March 12, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Dr. Joseph Buxbaum is the Director of the Seaver Autism Center. Dr. Buxbaum discusses the SHANK3 gene, which helps synapses to properly function. Around 1% of children with ASD have SHANK3 mutations, making it one of the most common single-gene causes of autism. Dr. Buxbaum also discusses Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF1), which is the second drug aimed at treating core symptoms of autism, and is currently being tested on humans.

Young Adults With Asperger Syndrome Frequently Suffer From Depression

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 7, 2012
Abstract: 

Given that almost 70% of young adults with Asperger syndrome have suffered from depression, it is vital that psychiatric care staff are aware of this so that patients are given the right treatment, reveals research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

For Children With Autism, Variability In Successful Social Strategies Revealed By Eye-Tracking

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 5, 2012
Abstract: 

Katherine Rice and colleagues, from the Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine, used eye-tracking technology to measure the relationship between cognitive and social disability in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the ability of children with ASD to pay attention to social interactions.

Dr. Alex Kolevzon develops treatments to target the core symptoms of autism

Date Published: 
March 1, 2012
Abstract: 

Dr. Kolevzon, Clinical Director of the Seaver Autism Center, develops new pharmacological treatments to target the core symptoms of autism. Dr. Kolevzon discusses his work with Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF1), which increases neural communication and may ameliorate issues of learning and memory in individuals with autism. Small trials of IGF1 have begun with children with SHANK3 deletion, a genetic condition held by ~1% of individuals with autism. If successful, Dr. Kolevzon and the Seaver Autism Center will conduct trials with the larger autism population.

Autism Not Diagnosed As Early In Minority Children

Source: 
NPR
Date Published: 
February 28, 2012
Abstract: 

Early diagnosis is considered key for autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children. Some new work is beginning to try to uncover why — and to raise awareness of the warning signs so more parents know they can seek help even for a toddler.

Training Parents Is Good Medicine for Children With Autism Behavior Problems, Study Suggests

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 24, 2012
Abstract: 

Children with autism spectrum disorders who also have serious behavioral problems responded better to medication combined with training for their parents than to treatment with medication alone, Yale researchers and their colleagues report in the February issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

ASF holds annual Grant Review Meeting

Source: 
Autism Science Foundation
Date Published: 
February 17, 2012
Abstract: 

On February 16th, the Autism Science Foundatiow held its meeting to review Pre- and Postdoctoral Grant Applications. 83 applications were considered this year, a giant increase over the 36 applications considered in 2011.

Dr. Matt State of Yale University was the meeting's chair. Other reviewers included:

Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, Seaver Autism Center at The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Eric Courchesne, UCSD
Dr. Sharon Humiston, University of Missouri
Dr. Bryan King, University of Washington
Dr. Eric London, New York Institute for Basic Research
Dr. Cathy Lord, Columbia University
Dr. David Mandell, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Kevin Pelphrey, Yale University
Dr. Craig Powell, UT-Southwestern
Dr. Celine Saulnier, Emory University
Dr. Elena Tenenbaum, Brown University
Dr. Sara Jane Webb, University of Washington

Grant recipients will be announced in March.

Minority Toddlers With Autism May Be More Delayed Than Affected Caucasian Peers

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 23, 2012
Abstract: 

The first prospective study of ethnic differences in the symptoms of autism in toddlers shows that children from a minority background have more delayed language, communication and gross motor skills than Caucasian children with the disorder. Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute concluded that subtle developmental delays may be going unaddressed in minority toddlers until more severe symptoms develop.

ASF Grantee Rhonda Charles uses mouse models to examine social behaviors in autism

Date Published: 
February 22, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Rhonda Charles is a 2010 ASF Grant Winner and a PhD Student in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Ms. Charles' work focuses on the AVPR1A gene, which affects social behavior and anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. Her ASF- funded study puts the human AVPR1A gene into a mouse model, a key step that must occur before we can introduce pharmacological treatments for individuals with autism affected by AVPR1A gene mutations.