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'Residual echo' of ancient humans in scans may hold clues to mental disorders

Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a 'residual echo' from Neanderthal DNA in our genomes. Evidence from MRI scans suggests that such ancient genetic...Show More Summary

Eye test could help diagnose autism

A new study could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, may indicate deficits in an area of the brain that plays an important role in emotional and social development.

New insight into genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders

New insight into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders has been provided through new study. In this research, the first mouse model of a mutation in the ARID1B gene was created and then used to show that growth hormone treatments reverse some manifestations of the mutation.

Art therapy best practices for children with autism

A researcher is working with art therapists to find better ways to treat children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Researchers were able to develop a set of guidelines for delivering art therapy to children who have ASD.

Blueprint for adult visual system is present at birth

Research reveals the presence of a blueprint for the complex visual system already present at birth. The observations shed light on a long-standing mystery about how and when certain cardinal features of the visual system develop.

Tools help identify patients at risk for autism spectrum disorders

A tool intended to detect signs of autism in high-risk infants can be used to help identify and treat patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder, who most need early intervention. Moreover, they can identify these patients earlier than ever before, report researchers.

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism

Mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism, suggests a new study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies.

Structural insights into the modulation of synaptic adhesion by MDGA for synaptogenesis

The 3-D structure of MDGA1/Neuroligin-2 complex have been revealed by researchers, along with mechanistic insights into how MDGAs negatively modulate synapse development governed by Neurexins/Neuroligins trans-synaptic adhesion comp...

Exposing newborn mice to general anesthetic disrupts brain development

New research now shows that early postnatal mice exposed to isoflurane -- a standard and widely used inhaled general anesthetic agent -- leads to chronic, abnormal activation of the mTOR pathway, a signaling system critical for normal brain development.

Small-molecule therapeutic boosts spatial memory and motor function in Rett syndrome mice

Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder affecting learning and development, caused by a mutation in the MECP2 gene triggering decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Previous research has shown that treatment with...Show More Summary

Possible early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder

Measuring a set of proteins in the blood may enable earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study.

Adults with autism make more consistent choices

People with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) often show a reduced sensitivity to contextual information in perceptual tasks, but new research suggests that this reduced sensitivity may actually lead to more consistent choices in high-level decision-making tasks.

Elevated rate of autism symptoms found in children with Tourette syndrome

Around one in five children with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations, met criteria for autism, a study shows. But this prevalence may be more a reflection of similarity in symptoms than actual autism, according to the study's researchers.

System detects, translates sarcasm on social media

Researchers have developed a machine translation system for interpreting sarcastic statements in social media. It could one day help people on the autism spectrum, who often have difficulty interpreting sarcasm, irony and humor.

Serotonin improves sociability in mouse model of autism

Scientists have linked early serotonin deficiency to several symptoms that occur in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study examined serotonin levels, brain circuitry, and behavior in a mouse model of ASD. Experiments showed that increasing...Show More Summary

New statistical method finds shared ancestral gene variants involved in autism's cause

Researchers believe that theirs is the first rigorous statistical evidence that ancient variations in the human genome contribute to autism -- each, most likely, having a very small effect. The method investigatorss used in the new study...Show More Summary

Genetic gains and losses in Tourette syndrome uncovered

Researchers have identified structural changes in two genes that increase the risk of developing Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary motor and vocal tics.

Older dads have 'geekier' sons

Sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in, all characteristics typically seen in 'geeks,' suggests new British research.

Why do those with autism avoid eye contact?

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often find it difficult to look others in the eyes as they find eye contact uncomfortable or stressful. Now a study has shed light on the brain mechanisms involved in this behavior.

Predicting treatment effectiveness for adults with autism

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have identified certain brain regions that significantly correlate with an increase in social abilities following a virtual environment based training program. Adults on...Show More Summary

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