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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.

Impaired recycling of mitochondria in autism?

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic disorder that causes autism in about half of those affected, could stem from a defect in a basic system cells use to recycle their mitochondria, report scientists. They believe their findings open new treatment possibilities not just for TSC, but possibly for other forms of autism and some neurologic disorders.

Single gene linked to some cases of autism spectrum disorder

Scientists have linked mutations in a single gene to autism in people who have a rare tumor syndrome typically diagnosed in childhood. The findings, in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), may lead to a better understanding of the genetic roots of autism in the wider population.

Folinic acid could help children with autism communicate better

Prescription doses of folinic acid, which is a reduced form of a B vitamin known as folate, could help improve the language and communication skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These are the preliminary findings from a placebo-controlled trial in which children were randomized to receive either high-dose folinic acid or a placebo.

Gene links risk of psychiatric disease to reduced synapse numbers

Mutations in a gene linked with brain development may dispose people to multiple forms of psychiatric disease by changing the way brain cells communicate, new research has revealed.

Shakespeare play helps children with autism communicate

Children with ASD often have trouble understanding non­verbal behavior in social interactions and struggle to communicate. Many avoid eye contact and miss visual cues, making it difficult to maintain peer relationships and share enjoyment of mutual interests. Show More Summary

Building a better rat maze could help us all cooperate

A fully-automated rat maze could help scientists better understand how individuals cooperate, and how this process may go awry in the brains of people with disorders ranging from autism to schizophrenia.

You fingers show your athletic potential and anxiety

By comparing your index and ring fingers, a neuroscientist can tell if you are likely to be anxious, or if you are likely to be a good athlete.

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