Autism Science

Day and Nighttime Excretion of 6-sulphatoxymelatonin in Adolescents and Young Adults with Autistic Disorder

Source: 
Psychoneuroendocrinology
Date Published: 
December, 2012
Abstract: 

Low melatonin excretion was observed in autism, both at daytime, nighttime, and during 24h collection. Nocturnal excretion of melatonin was negatively correlated with autism severity in the overall level of verbal language, imitative social play, and repetitive use of objects.

Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Research in Developmental Disabilities
Date Published: 
October, 2012
Abstract: 

The results indicate that quality of sleep, especially sleep duration, may be related to problems with day-time cognitive and adaptive functioning in children with autism and PDD-NOS.

Negative Allosteric Modulation of the mGluR5 Receptor Reduces Repetitive Behaviors and Rescues Social Deficits in Mouse Models of Autism

Source: 
Science Translational Medicine
Date Published: 
April 25, 2012
Abstract: 

Using a mouse model with behaviors relevant to the three diagnostic behavioral symptoms of autism, researchers used a genetic approach to reduce repetitive behaviors and partially reverse the striking lack of sociability in these mice.

Microglia Sculpt Postnatal Neural Circuits in an Activity and Complement-dependent Manner

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
May 24, 2012
Abstract: 

This article demonstrated that microglia, immune cells of the brain and spinal cord, have a role in reshaping the connections between cells during postnatal development.

Decreased Amino Acid L-Tryptophan Metabolism In Patients With ASD

Source: 
Molecular Autism
Date Published: 
June 4, 2013
Abstract: 

The study found that individuals with ASD had significantly decreased metabolism of the amino acid L-Tryptophan compared to their control group and individuals with other neurodevelopmental disorders. This amino acid could be used as a potential indicator for a simple, early blood test for autism.

Ketogenic Diet Improves Multiple Autistic Behaviors in Mice

Source: 
PLOS One
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A Trinity study saw improvements in multiple autistic behaviors in BTBR mice fed a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet provided to the mice is a strict high fat, low carbohydrate and protein diet that is commonly used to treat epilepsy.

Study Shows 1/3 of All Children With Autism Have ADHD

Source: 
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
June 5, 2013
Abstract: 

During its study, the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that 1/3 of participants who have autism were also diagnosed with ADHD. This could suggest a genetic link between the two conditions.

Effects of Increased Development in Peripheral Vision on Children with Autism's Reduced Ability to Make Eye Contact

Source: 
The European Journal of Neuroscience
Date Published: 
May 22, 2013
Abstract: 

In this study, children with ASD showed higher activity in the periphery of their visual field as compared to children without ASD. This higher activity and dependency on their peripheral vision could be explained by reduced ability early in life to control their eye movements.

Autism-associated Promoter Variant in MET Gene Impacts Functional and Structural Brain Networks

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
September 6, 2012
Abstract: 

The MET gene is shown to be a "potent modulator of key social brain circuitry in children and adolescents." Researchers found that effects of high MET gene expression is more pronounced in individuals with ASD.

FMR1 Knockout Mice Observed to have Hyperactive Neural Firing Rates

Source: 
Nature: Neuroscience
Date Published: 
June 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers at UCLA observed hyperactive firing rates in the brains of FMR1 knockout mice; mice engineered to have symptoms similar to those in ASD and Fragile X syndrome.