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Repetitive behaviors in adults with Autism Spectrum disorders significantly lessen with antidepressant treatment

Source: 
MedicalXpress
Date Published: 
December 5, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

Trained Peers Better at Aiding Autistic Kids with Social Skills

Source: 
PsychCentral
Abstract: 

A new study suggests training peers can help children with autism spectrum disorder improve their social skills, even more than a direct adult-led intervention.

Brain Enlargement Seen In Boys With Regressive Autism, But Not Early Onset Autism

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 29, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

Another Genetic Clue To Autism: Opposite Malfunctions Have Same Result

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 25, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

How Brain's Structure And Genes Affect Autism And Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 17, 2011
Abstract: 

Research just released shows that scientists are finding new tools to help understand neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and fragile X syndrome.

AUDIO: Alison Singer interviewed on WGN Radio Chicago

Abstract: 

The Founder and President of Autism Science Foundation, Alison Singer, joins Mike McConnell for conversation about autism including causes, cures and treatments for the condition.

Link: Interview with Alison Singer, The Founder and President of Autism Science Foundation

Researchers debut SHANK2 mouse, SHANK3 rat

Source: 
SFARI
Abstract: 

Researchers debut the SHANK2 mouse and SHANK3 rat at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. SHANK2 belongs to the same family as SHANK3, a well-established autism candidate gene.

Structure of language pathways differs in non-verbal autism

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
November 14, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

Diagnosing Autism Varies From Clinic To Clinic

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 11, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

VIDEO: Dr. Eric Courchesne explains the underlying brain biology of autism

Date Published: 
June 17, 2011
Year Published: 
2011
Abstract: 

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.