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Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children

New blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and consequently children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives.Show More Summary

Lab-grown human cerebellar cells yield clues to autism

Increasing evidence has linked autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with dysfunction of the brain's cerebellum, but the details have been unclear. In a new study, researchers used stem cell technology to create cerebellar cells known as Purkinje cells from patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic syndrome that often includes ASD-like features.

Cognitive enhancement therapy improves outcomes for adults with autism

Few research efforts have focused on interventions for adults, but a new six-year collaborative trial tested two treatments for adults with autism -- and found strong, but different, results.

Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share molecular traits, study finds

Most medical conditions are largely defined by their physical symptoms. Psychiatric illnesses, however, are largely defined by a person's behavior. A new study challenges that distinction, identifying many shared -- and distinct -- patterns of gene expression in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Show More Summary

How a Book Helped Me Get My Brain Back

Know someone suffering from a concussion or MTBI? Learning about neuroplasticity and reading The Ghost In My Brain might offer hope and practical insight for treatment.

Language is learned in brain circuits that predate humans

It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose. Now, new evidence strongly suggests that language is in fact learned in brain systems that are also used for many other purposes and even pre-existed humans.

What makes kids with autism less social than their typically developing peers?

Scientists have looked closely at electrical activity in the brains of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, and typical development, or TD, to discern differences in the respective groups' reward systems. Recent findings provide...Show More Summary

Adults with autism show a diminished brain response to hearing their own name

Previously, research has shown that children at risk of an autism diagnosis respond less to hearing their own name. Now, a new study shows for the first time that the brain response to hearing one’s own name is also diminished in adults with an autism diagnosis.

Symptoms in neurologic disease reversed in model

Rett syndrome is a devastating genetic, neurologic disorder that typically affects girls, resulting in severe disability and often accompanied by autistic behavior. Most Rett patients will live into middle age and require specialized full-time care. Show More Summary

Zebrafish study hints at possible connection between autism and migraine meds

Exposure to a compound used to treat migraines and seizures causes characteristics associated with autism, groundbreaking research with zebrafish has demonstrated.

On Consciousness

Where does consciousness come from? Is it just within us, or is it in all life? Is it in all things?

Happy Mother’s Day, Maman. Joyeuse Fête des Mères!

When people see what life with my son, Jeremy, entails they often ask, “How do you do it? How do you handle raising a child so impacted by autism, besides having Rebecca?”

Nearly imperceptible fluctuations in movement correspond to autism diagnoses

A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that nearly imperceptible changes in how people move can be used to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

Autism Parent Memoirs: Illuminating or Exploitive?

How is it that non autistic parents can hail a memoir of raising an autistic child, even as actual autistic people rise up in outrage at how hurtful and destructive the book is?

Selecting sounds: How the brain knows what to listen to

How is it that we are able -- without any noticeable effort -- to listen to a friend talk in a crowded café or follow the melody of a violin within an orchestra? Scientists have developed a new approach to how the brain singles out a specific stream of sound from other distracting sounds.

Atlas of developing human brain launched by researchers

Scientists have taken the first step towards a comprehensive atlas of gene expression in cells across the developing human brain, making available new insights into how specific cells and gene networks contribute to building this most...Show More Summary

Right-handed or left-handed? Hand preference during gestation

Are you born or do you become right-handed or left-handed? A study shows that hand preference is already well defined at the 18th gestational week. The predictive capacity of the method used seems a good starting point for the early recognition of pathologies characterized by cerebral asymmetries, such as depression, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.

Low vitamin D levels at birth linked to higher autism risk

Low vitamin D levels at birth are associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) at the age of 3 years.

How having too much or too little of CHRNA7 can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders

Using new pluripotent stem cell technology, researchers have discovered unexpected effects on calcium flux on neurons from patients with neuropsychiatric disorders carrying either fewer or extra copies of the CHRNA7 gene.

Autism and the smell of fear

Autism typically involves the inability to read social cues. We most often associate this with visual difficulty in interpreting facial expression, but new research suggests that the sense of smell may also play a central role in autism.

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