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Autism Spectrum

Eye test could help diagnose autism

A new study out in European Journal of Neuroscience could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, may indicate deficits in an area of the brain that plays an important role in emotional and social development. “These findings build upon a growing field of research that show that eye movement could serve as a window into a part of the brain that plays a role in a number of neurological and development disorders, such as Autism,” said John Foxe, Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Medical Center Del Monte Neuroscience Institute and co-author of the study. ASD is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that can vary in severity from person to...

Autism: Which children respond to oxytocin treatment?

Oxytocin treatment has been proven efficient in improving the social behavior of some children with autism, studies have found. A new clinical trial investigates which children will respond best to this treatment and why. Autism is a developmental disability that often leads to struggles in communication, reduced empathy, and social inadaptability to a greater or lesser degree.

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.

Pregnant Mothers Experiencing Stressors May Activate Neurological Disorders in Child

When mothers are exposed to trauma, illness, alcohol or other drug abuse, these stressors may activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that can go awry and activate conditions such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and some forms of autism. Until now, it has been unclear how much these stressors have impacted the cells of a developing brain. Past studies have shown that when an expectant mother exposes herself to alcohol or drug abuse or she experiences some trauma or illness, her baby may later develop a psychiatric disorder, including some forms of autism or post-traumatic stress disorder, later in life. But the new findings, published online inNeuron, identifies a molecular mechanism in the prenatal brain that may help explain how cells go awry when exposed to c...

The Epilepsy-Autism Link: A Brain Misfire That Causes Social Challenges

By Megdad M. Zaatreh, MD, Special to Everyday Health It is estimated that nearly 33 percent of people with autism spectrum disorder also have epilepsy. Until recently, there was only limited clinical research about the connection between these two neurological conditions. New research has found that adults with epilepsy are more likely to show signs of autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Up to this point, in many cases, epileptic adults may not have been properly diagnosed or treated for autism symptoms. The newly discovered connection between the two conditions was the result of a study that showed epileptic seizures short-circuit the neurological function in the brain that affects socialization and involves the same traits seen in autism  –  impairment of normal social interaction (eye conta...

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