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Autism Spectrum Disorder

World’s largest autism genome database shines new light on many ‘autisms’

isThe newest study from the Autism Speaks MSSNG project – the world’s largest autism genome sequencing program – identified an additional 18 gene variations that appear to increase the risk of autism. The new report appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. It involved the analysis of 5,205 whole genomes from families affected by autism – making it the largest whole genome study of autism to date.

Cerebrospinal fluid: Potential biomarker for autism found

Research published this week in Biological Psychiatry examines levels of cerebrospinal fluid in children and its potential link to autism. If confirmed by further studies, it would become the first biomarker for the condition.

Brain alterations in preterm babies may begin weeks before birth

Alterations in the developing brain that can put preterm babies at risk of autism, cerebral palsy, and other developmental disorders may begin in the womb. This is the finding of a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Preterm birth is defined as the birth of an infant prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. In the United States, around 1 in every 10 infants born in 2015 were preterm.

Autism is on the Rise, Or is it the Detection on the Rise

Is the increasing rise in cases of Autism due to more instances of the spectrum disorder, or are advances in diagnostics leading to more detection, and therefor, more known cases? Via Time A new study suggests changes in diagnostic rules have caused increases in autism cases The number of children diagnosed with autism has ballooned in recent years, but the reason for the increase is hotly debated. Some argue autism results when rare gene mutations are triggered by environmental factors like pollution, certain chemicals or even parental age. Others say it’s due to the fact that we’ve simply gotten much better at diagnosing it. Now, a large new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests the primary cause of the increase of autism spectrum disorder is actually due to changes in ...

AUTISM: Advancements in Understanding in 2014

Not long ago, Autism was a complete mystery and patients were often mis-diagnosed with other disorders and treated with unacceptable means. We now know that “Autism” it is a complex mixture of symptoms caused by a complex mixture of factors. Both Genetic and environmental factors contribute to a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). The often-used symbol for autism is a puzzle piece consisting of other puzzle pieces, and this is probably the best way to describe the spectrum disorder. In our quest for better understanding of the spectrum and individual cases, often questions answered only open new questions. In 2014, researchers learned more about Autism than ever before. Discoveries have ranged from addressing pre-natal development to adulthood. Below are 4 ways that ou...

Examining the Relationship Between Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

During the NDC Symposium-Neurobiology of Disease in Children: Session I: Clinical Aspects at the 43rd Annual Child Neurology Society Meeting, held in Columbus, OH, October 22-25, Roberto Tuchman, MD, delivered a presentation that looked some of the mechanisms shared by epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that lead to overlapping symptoms, and reviewed current research on the prevalence of co-morbid epilepsy and ASD in children. Tuchman is the director of the Brain Development Network at Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center, and professor I the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, FIU. He noted that ASD-epilepsy co-diagnosis is fairly common, with one study using data from the nationwide Norwegian Patient Regi...

First diagnostic criteria proposed for Christianson Syndrome

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it. A new study that doubles the number of cases now documented in the scientific literature provides the most definitive characterization of CS to date. The authors therefore propose the first diagnostic criteria for the condition. “We’re hoping that clinicians will use these criteria and that there will be more awareness among clinicians and the community about Christianson Syndrome,” said Brown University biology and psychiatry Assistant Professor Dr. Eric Morrow, senior author of the study in press in the Annals of Neurology. “We’re also hoping th...

Could Bacteria in the Gut Be Affecting Autism?

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have significantly different concentrations of certain bacterial-produced chemicals, called metabolites, in their feces compared to children without ASD. This research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, provides further evidence that bacteria in the gut may be linked to autism. “Most gut bacteria are beneficial, aiding food digestion, producing vitamins, and protecting against harmful bacteria. If left unchecked, however, harmful bacteria can excrete dangerous metabolites or disturb a balance in metabolites that can affect the gut and the rest of the body, including the brain,” says Dae-Wook Kang of the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University, an author on the study. Increasing evidenc...

Autism Linked to Gender Variance, Desire to Be Opposite Sex

Children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder or those who have attention deficit and hyperactivity problems are much more likely to wish to be another gender. So says John Strang of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, USA, leader of the first study to compare the occurrence of such gender identity issues among children and adolescents with and without specific neurodevelopmental disorders. The paper is published in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Children between 6 and 18 years old were part of the study. They either had no neurodevelopmental disorder, or they were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a medical neurodevelopmental disorder such as epilepsy, or neurofibr...

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