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Sorting out risk genes for brain development disorders

Gene discovery research is uncovering similarities and differences underlying a variety of disorders affecting the developing brain, including autism, attention deficits, tics, intellectual impairments, developmental delays and language difficulties. Show More Summary

Removing barriers to early intervention for autistic children: A new model shows promise

Acting on recommendations from the South Carolina Act Early Team, South Carolina changed its policies to pay for early intensive behavioral intervention in children under three revealed to be at high risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a two-stage screening process. Show More Summary

Drugs that alter inhibitory targets offer therapeutic strategies for Autism, Schizophrenia

Memories are formed at structures in the brain known as dendritic spines, which communicate with other brain cells through 'synapses.' Researchers recently discovered that an inhibitory brain receptor triggers synaptic pruning in adolescence. Show More Summary

New brain target for potential treatment of social pathology in autism spectrum disorder

Researchers have induced empathy-like behavior by identifying then manipulating a brain circuit in an experimental model, an indication that new strategies may help people with autism spectrum disorder gain social abilities.

MRIs predict which high-risk babies will develop autism as toddlers

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent of those infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two years of age.

Brain stem volume linked to aggression in autism

New research from autism experts is providing clues into the link between aggression and autism -- clues the team hopes will eventually lead to more effective intervention.

How does the brain make perceptual predictions over time? There's a theory for that

A neuroscientist offers a new framework to explain how the brain makes predictions. He outlines how “prediction” may be a general principle of cortical function—along with the already-established role of inference.

Clear communication can make doctor visits successful for children with autism

Doctor visits can be a challenge for patients with autism, their families and health care providers. A new report offers several steps providers and families can take to make medical visits more successful. She says that all of them require good communication between the provider and parent before, during and after medical visits.

Lasting autistic traits in women with anorexia

Women with anorexia display clear autistic traits, even once the eating disorder is under control and they have achieved a normal weight, according to research. The similarities between anorexia and autism in women are also seen in a part of the brain which process social skills.

Social biases contribute to challenges for those with autism

Negative first impressions formed by potential social partners may reduce the quality of social experiences for people with autism, new research concludes. In the study, non-autistic participants reported their first impressions of individuals with autism from videos of them during social interaction.

Adults with autism see interests as strengths, career paths

Adults on the autism spectrum see their interests as possible fields of study and career paths, as well as ways to mitigate anxiety, finds a new study.

Researchers generate rat model of autism

A study has found that oxytocin improves behavioral and electrophysiological deficits in a novel Shank3-deficient rat.

Early brain changes in fragile X syndrome, study shows

A new study is giving researchers a first look at the early stages of brain development in patients with Fragile X syndrome, a disorder that causes mild to severe intellectual disability and is the most common genetic cause of autism spectrum disorder.

Autism may begin early in brain development

An overload of neural connections typically observed in autistic brains begins early in mammalian development, when key neurons in the brain region known as the cerebral cortex begin to form their first circuits, new research shows.Show More Summary

Autism researchers discover genetic 'Rosetta Stone'

Distinct sets of genetic defects in a single neuronal protein can lead either to infantile epilepsy or to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), depending on whether the respective mutations boost the protein's function or sabotage it, according to a new study.

Brain shape linked to personality differences

The shape of your brain can influence personality traits, according to a new study.

Common medication restores social deficits in autism mouse model

Reducing the function of the autism-associated gene Pcdh10 leads to impairments in social behavior, according to a study. Reducing Pcdh10 function also disrupted the structure and function of circuitry in the amygdala, a brain region implicated in the behavior symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Some specialized neurons are for processing faces

Neurons specialized for processing faces in the human brain are controlled by attention, according to a new study.

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.

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