Autism Research

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Joins Autism BrainNet Tissue Bank

Source: 
Newswise
Date Published: 
May 29, 2014
Abstract: 

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has joined Autism BrainNet, a new network of research institutions created to collect, store and distribute postmortem brain tissue resources that will help scientists gain a deeper understanding of the causes, treatment and cure of autism spectrum disorder, which now affects an estimated one in 68 children. Launched by the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks, Autism BrainNet recently joined with the Autism Science Foundation to unveil the Autism BrainNet registration site, It Takes Brains (www.TakesBrains.org)

Takeaways from IMFAR 2014

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 22, 2014
Abstract: 

Top three takeaways from IMFAR 2014: autism is growing up, the future looks promising, and scientists are getting social.

School in Upstate NY Saves Autistic Queens Man from Troubled Life

Source: 
NY Daily News
Date Published: 
May 19, 2014
Abstract: 

A great story featuring the Center for Discovery, and including a picture of ASF President Alison Singer's daughter, Jodie.

Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Government Oversight Committee Meets Today

Date Published: 
May 20, 2014
Abstract: 

Today at 9:00am the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform meets for a hearing entitled "Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders". A live stream of the hearing is available at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/examining-federal-response-autism-spe...

Click here for a letter to the commitee from ASF President Alison Singer.

It Takes Brains: Autism BrainNet registration site launches

Source: 
Medical Xpress
Date Published: 
May 16, 2014
Abstract: 

The Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation today announced the launch of the Autism BrainNet registration site, It Takes Brains (www.takesbrains.org). Autism BrainNet is a consortium of academic sites funded collaboratively by the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks to collect, store and distribute brain tissue resources necessary for researchers to understand the underlying neurobiology and genetics of autism.

Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X Share immune Changes

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 6, 2014
Abstract: 

Two autism-related disorders — fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex — share disruptions in the immune system despite major differences in the individual genes affected, reports a study in Molecular Autism. An abnormally regulated immune system is linked to some forms of autism, but exactly how genetic changes in the immune system contribute to autism is unclear.

Mothers of Children with Autism Share Their Sensory Problems

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 2, 2014
Abstract: 

A small study published 3 April in Molecular Autism found that 98 percent of mothers of children with autism have unusual responses to sensory stimuli, including light, sound and touch. Up to 90 percent of children with autism show sensory problems, fixating on or avoiding certain smells, sounds or textures. As a result, the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists abnormal sensitivity in one or more of the five senses as a core diagnostic feature of autism. It’s unclear whether genetics contributes to these sensory patterns, but a larger study examining the relationship between unusual sensory response, autism traits and additional disorders in family members may clarify the link.

Risperidone Use in Children with Autism Carries Heavy Risks

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
April 28, 2014
Abstract: 

Risperidone, the first drug approved for children with autism and the most widely used, improves some children’s behavior but can have severe side effects, suggests an informal analysis of the drug’s use. These side effects can include weight gain, drowsiness, hormonal changes and, in rare cases, involuntary movements.

Autism: What We Know. What is Next?

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 1, 2014
Abstract: 

This project begins a conversation concerning what we know and what we need to learn about autism and related developmental disorders. SFARI’s chief scientist, Gerald Fischbach, wrote the original draft, with the intent of providing an outline of recent research advances and suggestions about next steps. The document incorporates several different methodologies, ranging from molecular biology to behavior, in hopes of building bridges between them. We hope it will serve as a valuable resource for experts in autism research and also as a helpful guide for those just entering the field.

Neither the claims about what we know nor the questions raised are complete lists. Autism research is advancing rapidly. In our hopes that “What we know” will become a living document, we invite you to suggest additions, deletions, corrections or wholesale rearrangements. Please email your comments to WWK@sfari.org. And please check back for future iterations of this document as it expands and evolves.

The PDF version of this document can be found here.