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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Reversing autism with a cancer drug

Researchers may have found a promising new treatment for a genetic form of autism. Using experimental cancer drugs, scientists reversed the condition in mice.   It may soon be possible to reverse and even prevent autism.

Early-Life Seizures Prematurely Wake Up Brain Networks Tied to Autism

Antiepileptic Drug May Keep Synapses ‘Silent’ Longer So Brain Can Develop Normally, Penn Study Suggests   Early-life seizures prematurely switch on key synapses in the brain that may contribute to further neurodevelopmental delay in children with autism and other intellectual disabilities, suggests a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine published online in Cell Reports. Importantly, the study shows that an existing targeted therapy may keep those synapses “silent” after seizures to allow the brain to develop normally during a critical time in a person’s life. “Silent” synapses become active with experience, and removal of the reservoir of these synapses due to seizures results in a decreased capacity to engage these synapses in later learning.   Seizures from epilepsy earl...

Can Marijuana Treat Autism? These Clinical Trials Aim to Find Out

A growing number of clinical trials are looking into whether compounds in marijuana can be used to treat some of the symptoms of autism.   One of these clinical trials was just announced at the University of California, San Diego, and others are slated to take place in New York at Montefiore Medical Center and New York University, and in Israel at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.   These trials were prompted, in part, by the success of other clinical trials investigating whether cannabis could effectively and safely treat other neurological disorders, including two rare forms of epilepsy and a condition called fragile X syndrome. [7 Ways Marijuana May Affect the Brain]

Autism? All You Need To Know About It.

About 1% of adults have Autism and autism is much more common in boys than in girls, with a male: female ratio of 4:1   Autism is a developmental disorder in which affected persons have problems with their emotions and behaviors, as well as delays in their social and communication skills.   Most people with autism, appear normal, except that, they behave, act and react differently.

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.

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...

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