Autism Research

Arboclofen Has Potential to Improve Social Function and Behavior in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Science Translational Medicine
Date Published: 
September 9, 2012
Abstract: 

Research on animal models suggests that STX209 (arboclofen) might improve neurobehavioral function in patients affected with Fragile X Syndrome.

PCBs Identified as Possible Environmental Risk Factor Contributing to Autism

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives
Date Published: 
July 12, 2012
Abstract: 

Study identifies Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB), which are widely used as dielectric and coolant fluids, as a candidate environmental risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

First Prospective Study on the Effect of Shank3 Deficiency on Phelan-McDermid Syndrome

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
June 11, 2013
Abstract: 

ASF Scientific Advisory Board Member, Joe Buxbaum, directed the first prospective study on the effects of Shank3 deficiency on a subtype of autism called 22q13 Deletion Syndrome, also known as Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

Individuals With Autism Have a Unique Gene Expression In Their Gastrointestinal Tissue.

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
March 8, 2013
Abstract: 

This Wake Forest Study compared the gene expression of gastrointestinal tissue in individuals with autism and compared it to individuals with Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis and a control group. The study showed those with autism had a unique gene expression in their gastrointestinal tissue compared to the other groups studied.

Working Memory Deficits in High-functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Neuropsychological and Neuroimaging correlate

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
June 4, 2013
Abstract: 

This new review of neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies suggests that system specific problems of spatial working memory are often seen in adolescents with ASD. Additionally, researchers found that "neuroimaging studies indicate a more global working memory processing or connectivity deficiency, rather than a focused deficit in the prefrontal cortex."

Neuronal Connectivity as a Convergent Target of Gene-environment Interactions that Confer Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
Date Published: 
March, 2013
Abstract: 

This review briefly summarizes the evidence implicating dysfunctional signaling via Ca2 +-dependent mechanisms, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3K) and neuroligin–neurexin–SHANK as convergent molecular mechanisms in ASD, and then discusses examples of environmental chemicals for which there is emerging evidence of their potential to interfere with normal neuronal connectivity via perturbation of these signaling pathways.

Tipping the Balance of Autism Risk: Potential Mechanisms Linking Pesticides and Autism

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives
Date Published: 
July, 2012
Abstract: 

On the basis of experimental and observational research, certain pesticides may be capable of inducing core features of autism, but little is known about the timing or dose, or which of various mechanisms is sufficient to induce this condition.

Maternal Periconceptional Folic Acid Intake and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Delay in the CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) Case-control Study.

Source: 
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Date Published: 
May 30, 2012
Abstract: 

Maternal periconceptional folic acid intake may reduce ASD risk in those with inefficient folate metabolism

Advancing Maternal Age is Associated with an Increasing Risk for Autism: A Review and Meta-Analysis

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May, 2012
Abstract: 

The results of this meta-analysis support an association between advancing maternal age and risk of autism. The association persisted after the effects of paternal age and other potential confounders had been considered, supporting an independent relation between higher maternal age and autism.

Abnormal Placenta Folds Could Be Indicator of Autism

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
April 22, 2013
Abstract: 

This study suggests that the placentas from women whose fetuses are at elevated risk for autism are markedly different from control placentas. Specifically, the identification of an increase in folds in the placenta could be used to identify children at risk of being autistic.