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Lack of joy from music linked to brain disconnection

Have you ever met someone who just wasn't into music? They may have a condition called specific musical anhedonia, which affects three-to-five per cent of the population. Researchers have discovered that people with this condition showed reduced functional connectivity between cortical regions responsible for processing sound and subcortical regions related to reward.

With eyes or noses? How young children use sensory cues to make social decisions

Children begin using olfactory information to help guide their responses to emotionally-expressive faces at about age five, research shows. These findings advance understanding of how children integrate different types of sensory information to direct their social behavior.

Autism breakthrough: One protein's sweeping influence on development of autism revealed

A drop in one protein is enough to cause autism, according to the results of a new study. Scientists were able to trigger autistic-like behavior in mice that were engineered to have lower levels of the nSR100 protein, which had previously been found to be reduced in the brains of patients with ASD.

Autism brain response theory a dead end

A new study challenges the hypothesis that nerve cells in the brains of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders do not reliably and consistently respond to external stimuli.

Brains of people with autism spectrum disorder share similar molecular abnormalities

The brains of people with autism, despite different causes, tend to have the same molecular “signature,” new evidence suggests.

Neural stem cells serve as RNA highways too

Scientists have caught the first glimpse of molecules shuttling along a sort of highway running the length of neural stem cells, which are crucial to the development of new neurons. This new view has given them an intriguing clue that...Show More Summary

Autism-linked protein crucial for feeling pain

Sensory problems are common to autism spectrum disorders. Some individuals with autism may injure themselves repetitively -- for example, pulling their hair or banging their heads -- because they're less sensitive to pain than other people. New research points to a potential mechanism underlying pain insensitivity in autism.

Brain pattern flexibility and behavior

Researchers have analyzed how brain regions are connected to each other to facilitate high-level cognitive reasoning.

New form of autism found: New genetic cause of ASD

Autism spectrum disorders affect around one percent of the world's population and are characterized by a range of difficulties in social interaction and communication. In a new study, a research team has identified a new genetic cause of ASD.

Bullying rates remain higher for children with disabilities, even as they mature

More than 22 percent of children ages 12-18 say they have been bullied in school within the last month; a significant portion of those children have disabilities. However, little research exists on how bullying rates for individual children change over time. Show More Summary

Vitamin D supplements may benefit children with autism spectrum disorder

Vitamin D supplementation improved symptoms of autism in a recent trial, report researchers.

Shared epigenetic changes underlie different types of autism

Those with both rare and common types of autism spectrum disorder share a similar set of epigenetic modifications in the brain, according to a study. More than 68% of individuals with different types of autism spectrum disorder show evidence of the same pattern of a chemical modification of the protein scaffold around which DNA wraps. Show More Summary

Toddlers with autism don't avoid eye contact, but do miss its significance

A new study helps put to rest a longstanding controversy and question about children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eye-tracking measures developed by the group demonstrate that young children with autism do not avoid eye contact on purpose; instead, they miss the significance of social information in others’ eyes.

Autism Employment: The Importance of Mentors

If your child appears to have skills or a real interest in a specific area, someone who works in that field can help the child realize the application of his interests.

Two new tools to enhance effectiveness of behavioral therapy in children with autism

Two approaches have been revealed by researchers that have the potential to help a large number of children with autism spectrum disorder through behavioral therapy.

Scientists discover clues to altered brain wiring in autism

Autism is an agonizing puzzle, a complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors. One piece of this puzzle that has emerged in recent years is a biochemical cascade called the mTOR pathway that regulates growth in the developing brain. Show More Summary

Automated assessment of early autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder is usually diagnosed in early childhood, but genetic detection of this brain disorder could mean more timely interventions that improve life for the patient and their carers. Research suggests that machine learning might be used to analyze genetic data that points to an ASD diagnosis before symptoms become obvious.

Can therapy dogs assist in motivating children on the autism spectrum?

A behavioral analyst who works with therapy dogs suggests using canines as a reward for completed tasks could be useful when working with children on the autism spectrum.

Parent-led early intervention for autism is the first to show reduction in symptom severity through to ages 7-11

An early intervention for autism aimed at helping parents communicate with their child has been shown to have an effect on reducing the severity of autism symptoms, and this reduction continued for six years after the end of treatment, according to a study. Show More Summary

Finding the clues for better autism treatments

New research sheds light on what might be going wrong in the regulation of genes that govern the brain’s connectivity. The study's intention is to identify new clues to improve treatments for autism.

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