Autism Research

Autistic Kids Who Best Peers at Math Show Different Brain Organization

Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
August 16, 2013

Children with autism and average IQs consistently demonstrated superior math skills compared with nonautistic children in the same IQ range, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

New Technique Maps Topography of Autism Brain Connections

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 
July 22, 2013

A technique borrowed from geography bolsters the idea that altered wiring of the brain’s gray matter plays a role in autism, according to a new report. This is the first study to examine intrinsic connectivity in the living brain.

Autism Four Times Likelier When Mother's Thyroid is Weakened

Annals of Neurology
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013

A study from the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and Erasmus Medical Centre discovered that mothers who do not produce enough of a thyroid hormone, thyroxine, are nearly four times more likely to have a child with autism. In the past, this hormone has been shown to be important in the migration of fetal brain cells during embryo development.

Diagnosis of Toddlers with ASD supported by changes to symptom structure in DSM-5

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May 13, 2013

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry analyzes the changes made to the DSM-5 in regards to autism symptom structure in toddlers with ASD. The DSM-5 model was found to be a superior fit to the data than other models used during toddler assessment.

An article about this study in Medical News Today can be found here

Multinational Resource Combines Autism Risk Factors

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 5, 2013

A new database compiles health data from seven countries, greatly expanding sample size for epidemiological autism studies. This project, the International Collaboration for Autism Registry Epidemiology (iCARE), combines data from 80,000 individuals diagnosed with autism from the years 1967 to 2009.

Adults Ages 18-25 Needed for Brain Imaging Study

Aug 13 2013
America/New York
Philadelphia, PA
The Study of Visual Perception and Neural Encoding at the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is looking for participants!   



What are the goals of this research study?   

Our brains manage to represent an enormous variety of things that we see. The goal of the study is to better understand how the brain encodes all this visual information, and how some people's brains (such as individuals with an autism spectrum disorder) might work differently to represent the same thing.  


Who can be a part of this research study? 

Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 may take part. We need individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as adults without ASD for comparison purposes.     


What will we be asked to do?
Participants will need to make at least two visits to the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Visits will be scheduled at the convenience of the participant. Depending on a participant's needs, most participants will complete the study in two to three visits.

Participants in this study will receive social, behavioral, intelligence (IQ), and other standardized testing. Eligible participants will have brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI; and electroencephalography, EEG) while they perform visual tasks.

Individuals who take part will receive a comprehensive evaluation and feedback report.


What are the benefits of taking part in this research study?

There are no direct benefits of taking part in this study.


Are there any costs to take part in the study 

There is no cost to participate. Participants will be paid for their time and reimbursed for their travel expenses.

I want to help! Who do I call?

If you are interested in learning more about participation, please respond by phone or email with your phone number and the best time to reach you, and one of the members of the study team will contact you.




Induced Labor Associated with Autism Risk

JAMA Pediatrics
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013

A study posted in JAMA Pediatrics shows an association with induced and augmented labor with an increased risk of autism. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied over 625,000 live births, of which 5,500 were documented as having autism. The study adds, ”While these results are interesting, further investigation is needed to differentiate among potential explanations of the association, including underlying pregnancy conditions requiring the eventual need to induce/augment, the events of labor and delivery...and the specific treatments and dosing used."

Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene

The New York Times
Date Published: 
August 11, 2013

Researchers have recently discovered that two seemingly unrelated conditions, autism and cancer, share an unexpected connection. Some people with autism have specific mutated cancer or tumor genes that scientists believe caused their autism. While this does not apply to all people with autism, just the ones with the mutated gene, it is a very illuminating discovery in the field.

Autism Affects Sexes Differently

Date Published: 
June 7, 2013

A Cambridge study that used brain imaging samples of individuals with autism, led by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, found evidence that autism affects sexes differently. The study showed that women who have the condition demonstrate “neuroanatomical masculinization”, which suggests that women with autism have more masculine brains.

Dr. Baron-Cohen argues that this study reinforces that researchers "should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females."

News Article:

Autism Science Foundation Issues New Request for Scientific Grant Proposals

Date Published: 
August 15, 2013

(August 15, 2013—New York, NY)--The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, today announced that it had issued a new request for scientific proposals. ASF is inviting applications for pre- and postdoctoral training awards from graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders. In the past four years, ASF has funded just under $1 million in pre and postdoctoral grants.

"We have increased our funding for pre and postdoctoral fellowships every year for the past four years and expect to expand it again this year” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation.  “We are committed to supporting outstanding young investigators who want to dedicate their careers to autism research.”

"We are so grateful to all our donors and volunteers who have come together to support autism research and who make these grants possible" said Karen London, co-founder of ASF.

The proposed training must be scientifically linked to autism. Autism Science Foundation will consider for training purposes all areas of related basic and clinical research including but not limited to: human behavior across the lifespan (language, learning, communication, social function, epilepsy, sleep, repetitive disorders), neurobiology (anatomy, development, neuro-imaging), pharmacology, neuropathology, genetics, genomics, epigenetics, epigenomics, immunology, molecular and cellular mechanisms, studies employing model organisms and systems, and studies of treatment and service delivery. Applications must be received by November 15, 2013. Awards will be announced in March, 2014 for projects beginning July-September 2014.

Additional information about this RFA can be found at ApplyForaGrant.html

Last month ASF announced the availability of Research Mini-Grants of up to $5000 to expand the scope, increase the efficiency and improve final product dissemination of active autism research grants.  Applications for mini grants are due by September 30, 2013. 

Additional information about this RFA can be found at

The Autism Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation’s grant programs, and to read about projects funded through this mechanism in prior years, visit




Contact Info:    

Meredith Gilmer
Autism Science Foundation