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Current Autism Spectrum Disorders News and Events, Autism Spectrum Disorders News Articles.
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Study finds neglected mutations may play important role in autism spectrum disorder
Mutations that occur in certain DNA regions, called tandem repeats, may play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders, according to research led by Melissa Gymrek, assistant professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering and School of Medicine. The study, which was published in Nature on Jan. 14, was co-authored by UCLA professor of human genetics Kirk Lohmueller and highlights the contributions these understudied mutations can make to disease. (2021-01-13)

Scientists reveal mechanism that causes irritable bowel syndrome
KU Leuven researchers have identified the biological mechanism that explains why some people experience abdominal pain when they eat certain foods. The finding paves the way for more efficient treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other food intolerances. The study, carried out in mice and humans, was published in Nature. (2021-01-13)

What are the links between violence and mental illness? Update from Harvard Review of Psychiatry
When there is news of a violent attack, we sometimes hear that it could be related to mental illness - which may make us ask whether the violence could have been predicted or prevented. Current research and perspectives on associations between violence and mental illness are presented in the special January/February issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2021-01-13)

Mothers of children with Autism found to have significantly different metabolite levels
Blood sample analysis showed that, two to five years after they gave birth, mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) had several significantly different metabolite levels compared to mothers of typically developing children. That's according to new research recently published in BMC Pediatrics by a multidisciplinary team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Arizona State University, and the Mayo Clinic. (2021-01-13)

Cats may help increase empathy, decrease anxiety for kids with autism
While there is plenty of existing research emphasizing the benefits of dogs for children with autism, Carlisle's newest study has found cats may help increase empathy while decreasing separation anxiety for children with autism. (2021-01-12)

Suicide among individuals with autism spectrum disorder
National register data from Denmark were used to examine if people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have higher rates of suicide attempts and suicide compared to those without ASD and to identify potential risk factors. (2021-01-12)

Biomarkers in fathers' sperm linked to offspring autism
Epigenetic biomarkers in human sperm have been identified that can indicate a propensity to father children with autism spectrum disorder. In the study, researchers identified a set of genomic features, called DNA methylation regions, in sperm samples from men who were known to have autistic children. Then in a set of blind tests, they were able to use the presence of these features to determine whether other men had fathered autistic children with 90% accuracy. (2021-01-11)

Are autism drugs on the horizon?
Are Autism Drugs on the Horizon? Hebrew University Identifies Genetic Mutation Associated with Autism, Offering Hope for Effective Therapeutics (2021-01-11)

Advances in understanding autism, based on "mosaic" mutations
Two studies in today's Nature Neuroscience, led by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and Harvard Medical School (HMS), implicate mosaic mutations arising during embryonic development as a cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The findings open new areas for exploring the genetics of ASD and could eventually inform diagnostic testing. (2021-01-11)

Autism theory 25 years in the making
A unifying explanation of the cause of autism and the reason for its rising prevalence has eluded scientists for decades, but a theoretical model published in the journal Medical Hypotheses describes the cause as a combination of socially valued traits, common in autism, and any number of co-occurring disabilities. (2021-01-08)

Impact of COVID-19 on children with disabilities, caregivers and healthcare providers
Pediatric rehabilitation experts assess the impact of the pandemic on pediatric rehabilitation patients and the increasing use of telemedicine and provide insights and recommendations for mitigating the impact of the virus, in this special issue of the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (2021-01-04)

Risk of substance use disorder among patients with autism
Researchers used health insurance data from Taiwan to investigate the risk of substance use disorder among patients with autism spectrum disorder and its associations with risk of death. (2021-01-04)

Clinical criteria for diagnosing autism inadequate for people with genetic conditions
People with certain genetic conditions are likely to have significant symptoms of autism, even if they do not meet all diagnostic criteria, a study concludes. (2021-01-01)

Large transporter protein linked to schizophrenia
Scientists have suspected mutations in a cellular cholesterol transport protein are associated with psychiatric disorders, but have found it difficult to prove this and to pinpoint how it happens. Now, Kazumitsu Ueda of Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and colleagues in Japan have provided evidence that mice with disrupted ABCA13 protein demonstrate a hallmark behaviour of schizophrenia. The team investigated ABCA13's functions and published their findings in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. (2020-12-29)

Switching DNA functions on and off by means of light
Biochemists at Münster University have developed a new strategy for controlling the biological functions of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) by means of light and therefore provide a tool to investigate processes which take place in cells. The results have been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2020-12-28)

Common brain malformation traced to its genetic roots
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that Chiari 1 malformation can be caused by variations in two genes linked to brain development, and that children with large heads are at increased risk of developing the condition. (2020-12-28)

New mammal reference genome helps ID genetic variants for human health
A new reference genome assembly identified more than 85 million genetic variants in the rhesus macaque, the largest database of genetic variation for any one nonhuman primate species to date. (2020-12-23)

Scientists identify new gene involved in autism spectrum disorder
UT Southwestern scientists have adapted a classic research technique called forward genetics to identify new genes involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In a study published this week in eLife, the researchers used this approach in mice to find one such gene called KDM5A. (2020-12-23)

Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains
Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections -- the ones that are repeatedly introduced, such as how to avoid danger -- are nurtured and reinforced, while connections deemed unnecessary are pruned away. Adult brains undergo similar pruning, but it was unclear how or why synapses in the adult brain get eliminated. Now, a team of researchers based in Korea has found the mechanism underlying plasticity and, potentially, neurological disorders in adult brains. (2020-12-23)

Diversity, severity of autism symptoms linked to mutation locations
In children with certain autism mutations, the diversity and severity of symptoms are often related to the identity and properties of gene units, called exons, targeted by the mutations. (2020-12-22)

Maternal Immune Activation Induces Sustained Changes in Fetal Microglia Motility
Researchers at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine have revealed that alterations in fetal microglia resulting from maternal inflammation could contribute towards the onset of developmental and psychiatric disorders. These results can help clarify how changes in microglial process motility affect the development of the neural network, thus contributing towards the treatment of these disorders. (2020-12-22)

Optoelectronic devices that emit warm and cool white light
A single semiconducting material can produce white light by emitting light across the visible spectrum. (2020-12-21)

Targeted brain stimulation dulls social pain
Pairing brain stimulation with an emotion management technique blunts negative emotions, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. The combination may improve emotional regulation in people with psychiatric disorders. (2020-12-21)

What if clean air benefits during COVID-19 shutdown continued post-pandemic?
A new study poses a hypothetical question: What if air quality improvements in New York City during the spring COVID-19 shutdown were sustained for five years without the economic and health costs of the pandemic? Cumulative benefits during this period would amount to thousands of avoided cases of illness and death in children and adults, as well as associated economic benefits between $32 to $77 billion. (2020-12-21)

Computational model reveals how the brain manages short-term memories
Salk scientists have developed a new computational model showing how the brain maintains information short-term using specific types of neurons. Their findings, published in Nature Neuroscience on December 7, 2020, could help shed light on why working memory is impaired in a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, as well as in normal aging. (2020-12-17)

Researchers discover brain pattern that could improve mental health disorder diagnosis
A pattern in how the brain breaks down tryptophan, a common amino acid consumed through food, was discovered by researchers at UTHealth. (2020-12-17)

Big brains and white matter: New clues about autism subtypes
Researchers found that a long-accepted theory about brain size in some children with autism may not be true. In a separate study, they linked development of white matter with changes in autism symptom severity. (2020-12-17)

Improved macaque genome enhances biomedical utility
Using advanced sequencing technology, researchers present a new, improved and far more complete reference genome for the rhesus macaque - one of the most important animal models in biomedical research. (2020-12-17)

New insights into Fragile X syndrome and the fetal brain
Researchers at Tohoku University have revealed further insight into the fetal development of our brain and the potential causes of Fragile X syndrome (FSX). (2020-12-16)

How water helps the substrate into the enzyme
Researchers from Bochum and Berkeley have investigated why cages can increase the catalytic activity of enclosed molecules. Using terahertz spectroscopy and complex computer simulations, they showed that water encapsulated in a tiny cage has special properties - that are structurally and dynamically distinct from any known phase of water. The water forms a droplet inside the cage that facilitates the encapsulation of a host molecule, i.e. to access the catalytic centre. (2020-12-15)

Vitamin D the clue to more Autism spectrum disorder in boys
Professor Darryl Eyles and Dr Asad Ali from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute found vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy caused an increase in testosterone in the developing brain of male rats. Low vitamin D in mothers is one of the risk factors for Autism spectrum disorder, which is three times as common in boys. (2020-12-11)

Gut microbiota plays a role in brain function and mood regulation
Depression is a mental disorder that affects more than 264 million people of all ages worldwide. Understanding its mechanisms is vital for the development of effective therapeutic strategies. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm and the CNRS recently conducted a study showing that an imbalance in the gut bacterial community can cause a reduction in some metabolites, resulting in depressive-like behaviors. These findings, which show that a healthy gut microbiota contributes to normal brain function, were published in Nature Communications on December 11, 2020. (2020-12-11)

Psychiatric disorders explain increased risk for self-harm in autism spectrum disorders
A population-based study revealed reasons behind elevated suicide risk, attempted suicides, and other self-harm, which require special health care, among adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. Comorbid disorders, especially non-affective psychoses and affective and anxiety disorders, explained the risk. (2020-12-10)

Youth depression tied to higher risk of 66 diseases and premature death
Depressed children and teenagers have an increased risk of suffering from premature death and a wide range of illnesses later in life. That is according to a large observational study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The findings highlight the need to look for other potential diseases following childhood or adolescent depression. Other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and substance misuse, can explain part of the association. The study is published in JAMA Psychiatry. (2020-12-09)

Young people with autism show cognitive gains from childhood to early adult life
Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face a lifelong challenge characterized by qualitative impairments in both communication and social interaction. However a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that in a cohort of 126 individuals with ASD, IQ increased on average 7.48 points from ages 12 to 23 years old. (2020-12-09)

Rutgers reports first instance of COVID-19 triggering recurrent Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have reported the first instance of COVID-19 triggering a recurrence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome - a rare disorder where the body's immune system attacks nerves and can lead to respiratory failure and death. (2020-12-08)

Lab-grown human brain organoids mimic an autism spectrum disorder, help test treatments
UC San Diego researchers used brain organoids to identify two drug candidates that counteract the genetic deficiencies that cause Rett syndrome, a rare form of autism spectrum disorder. (2020-12-08)

Drinking linked to a decline in brain health from cradle to grave
The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol on brain health is compelling, but now experts have pin-pointed three key time periods in life when the effects of alcohol are likely to be at their greatest. (2020-12-03)

Active camouflage artificial skin in visible-to-infrared range
Cephalopods' exceptional ability to hide into any background has inspired researchers to replicate their fascinating ability to camouflage in the infrared (IR) and visible spectrum. Recent advances offered a number of physical mechanisms to reproduce the cloaking functionalities of cephalopods. However, most of works focused on either camouflaging in the visible or IR camouflage range only: not dual modes in a single device structure that can readily switch between the visible and IR mode according to a suitable situation. (2020-12-02)

Autism study suggests connection between repetitive behaviors, gut problems
In children with autism, repetitive behaviors and gastrointestinal problems may be connected, new research has found. The study found that increased severity of other autism symptoms was also associated with more severe constipation, stomach pain and other gut difficulties. (2020-12-02)

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