Current Autism News and Events

Current Autism News and Events, Autism News Articles.
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Biomarkers in mother's plasma predict a type of autism in offspring with 100% accuracy
UC Davis MIND Institute researchers used machine learning to crunch 10,000 autoantibody pattern combinations to identify maternal biomarkers associated with a sub-type of autism. The findings have implications for early diagnosis and intervention. (2021-01-25)

Mental health conditions alarmingly high among children with autism
Nearly 78 per cent of children with autism have at least one mental health condition and nearly half have more than that. Mental health conditions were present in 44.8 per cent of pre-school age children with autism--a group among which prevalence had not previously been established using a large, population-based sample. Only 14.1 per cent of children without autism (ages 3-17) had mental health conditions. (2021-01-19)

Prenatal BPA exposure may contribute to the male bias of autism spectrum disorder
Autism has a higher prevalence in males than females. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common chemical found in plastics, our food, and even the human placenta. Higher prenatal exposure to BPA is thought to increase the risk of autism. Researchers have, for the first time, identified autism candidate genes that may be responsible for the sex-specific effects of BPA. (2021-01-19)

New study shows correlation between teen obesity and mental health issues
Half of all young people treated for severe obesity have neuropsychiatric problems, according to a new study by researchers from Lund University and Gothenburg, Sweden, among others. Two thirds of the teens suffered from some type of mental health problem, as reported by themselves or their parents. (2021-01-19)

Special interests can be assets for youth with autism
COLUMBIA, Mo. - When he was in middle school, teachers would give Sam Curran a list of words to type in a computer to practice his vocabulary. (2021-01-15)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

National Autism Indicators Report: health and health care of individuals with autism
In the recently published sixth report in the National Autism Indicators Report series, researchers from Drexel University's A.J. Drexel Autism Institute highlight a holistic picture of what health and health care look like across the life course for people on the autism spectrum. (2020-12-01)

Treating brain diseases now possible
POSTECH research team led by Professor Kyong-Tai Kim uncovers the mechanism that regulates local expression of key molecules in brain development and neurodegenerative diseases. (2020-12-01)

A large-scale tool to investigate the function of autism spectrum disorder genes
Scientists have developed a technology to investigate the function of many different genes in many different cell types at once, in a living organism. They applied the large-scale method to study dozens of genes associated with autism spectrum disorder, identifying how specific cell types in the developing mouse brain are impacted by mutations. The ''Perturb-Seq'' method is an efficient way to identify potential biological mechanisms underlying disease and is broadly applicable to other organs. (2020-11-30)

Antibiotic exposure in children under age 2 associated with chronic conditions
Children under age 2 who take antibiotics are at greater risk for childhood-onset asthma, respiratory allergies, eczema, celiac disease, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a paper written jointly by Mayo Clinic and Rutgers researchers. While previous studies have looked at the association of antibiotics with single diseases, this is the first to look at the association across many diseases. (2020-11-16)

The future's uncertain - but noradrenaline can help us adapt
A brain chemical called noradrenaline is responsible for our responses to uncertain situations - helping us to learn quickly and adapt our behaviour, a new study has found. (2020-11-13)

Managing the microbiome raises new hope for autism
Analysis of 619 plasma metabolites in a new study show a distinctive metabolic profile in autistic children prior to microbial transfer therapy The procedure helps modify gut microbiota, improving symptoms gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms of the disease. Careful investigation of metabolites in blood and feces, as opposed to simply tabulating microbial species in the gut, is crucial when trying to tease out the complex bacterial interactions, which can form both collaborative and competing networks, depending on the particulars of their environment. (2020-11-13)

Hearing test may detect autism in newborns
University of Miami and Harvard Medical School researchers who explored responses to the standard hearing test administered to millions of newborns around the world are closing in on a way to detect early indicators of autism--perhaps as early as at birth. (2020-11-12)

Fish give insight on sound sensitivity in autism
Scientists at The University of Queensland used zebrafish that carry the same genetic mutations as humans with Fragile X syndrome and autism, and discovered the neural networks and pathways that produce the hypersensitivities to sound in both species. (2020-11-10)

'Goldilocks' neonatal immune response may protect against autism
The causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - including genetic and environmental factors - are not entirely understood. New research however, shows that the lowest risk for ASD is associated with mid-levels of an immune marker measured at birth - whereas too much or not enough were linked to increased risk. The study hinges on the idea that the developing brain may be particularly vulnerable to disturbances in immune signaling and exposure to inflammation. (2020-11-10)

Do cesarean delivery's effects on birth hormones impact a newborn's neurodevelopment?
Cesarean section delivery and vaginal delivery lead to different hormonal exposures that may affect a newborn's development, according to an article published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology. (2020-11-04)

Monkey see others, monkey do: How the brain allows actions based on social cues
Researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan have shown that when monkeys make decisions based on social cues provided by other monkeys, information flow from one part of the brain (the ventral premotor cortex) to another (medial prefrontal cortex) is vital. When this neuronal pathway is silenced temporarily, monkeys cannot catch the social cues and end up behaving like autistic monkeys. (2020-11-02)

Mouse studies link some autism to brain cells that guide sociability and platonic love
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that new experiments with genetically engineered mice have found clear connections among a range of autism types and abnormalities in brain cells whose chemical output forges platonic (non-sexual) feelings of love and sociability. (2020-10-29)

Possible triggers of autism symptoms and motor issues identified for several rare diseases
* Study identifies possible genetic triggers for debilitating symptoms of several rare diseases * These conditions, including Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, have few treatments * The results could eventually lead to more effective and personalised therapies (2020-10-29)

Antiseizure medication in pregnancy associated with twice the risk of autism in child
Women with epilepsy who take the antiseizure drug valproic acid while pregnant are at more than double the risk of having children with autism spectrum disorder and nearly double the risk of having children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study in the October 28, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (2020-10-28)

Reduced flexible behavior in autistic individuals is driven by less optimal learning
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show reduced flexible behavior on a probabilistic reversal learning task, underpinned by less optimal learning within each developmental stage, according to a study published October 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Daisy Crawley of King's College London and Lei Zhang of University of Vienna, and colleagues. (2020-10-27)

New genes related to autism spectrum disorder
The lack of some genes in the BEC/TCEAL cluster could be related to some alterations associated with the autism spectrum disorder, according to a preclinical study published in the journal Genome Biology, and led by Professor Jordi Garcia Fernàndez, from the Faculty of Biology and the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona (IBUB), and researcher Jaime Carvajal, from the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology - University Pablo de Olavide (CSIC-UPO). (2020-10-26)

Cord blood DNA can hold clues for early ASD diagnosis and intervention
Specific regions in cord blood DNA can help identify kids who might develop autism, according to a UC Davis MIND Institute study. The findings from the study may hold clues for early autism diagnosis and intervention. (2020-10-22)

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