Restricted, repetitive behavior, such as compulsive arranging and rigid adherence to routines, is a defining symptom of autism spectrum disorders. A 12-week study showed that the antidepressant fluoxetine produced a greater decrease in repetitive behaviors and more overall improvement than placebo in adults with autism spectrum disorders.
In the largest study of brain development in preschoolers with autism to date, a study by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers has found that 3-year-old boys with regressive autism, but not early onset autism, have larger brains than their healthy counterparts.
In most cases, autism is caused by a combination of genetic factors, but some cases, such as Fragile X syndrome, can be traced to a variation in a single gene that causes overproduction of proteins in brain synapses. Now a new study led by the same MIT neuroscientist who made that discovery, finds that tuberous sclerosis is caused by a malfunction at the opposite end of the spectrum: underproduction of the synaptic proteins.
Non-verbal children with autism show structural differences in key language areas of the brain compared with controls, according to a poster presented Saturday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
A new study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that the current gold standard of "best-estimate clinical diagnoses" for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders may not be the best method of diagnosis.
Submitted by Anonymous on November 10, 2011 - 00:00
June 17, 2011
A small study by Dr. Eric Courchesne found that male children with autism had larger brain weights and 67% more prefrontal brain neurons than children without autism.
Dr. Eric Courchesne, keynote speaker at IMFAR 2011, describes the underlying brain biology of autism and shares new findings showing differences in brain structure in people with autism. These changes originate in the second trimester of prenatal life when there is a tremendous overproduction of brain cells in individuals with autism that create patches of functional abnormality. Dr. Courchesne describes how early intervention alters brain connections and structure, and discusses the "recovery genetics" of autism, including new understanding about why some kids recover from autism while other children continue to struggle.