Behavior

Immune System Troubles Could Spark Behavior Woes

Source: 
Bloomberg Businessweek
Date Published: 
May 27, 2010
Abstract: 

In the first scientific illustration of exactly how some psychiatric illnesses might be linked to an immune system gone awry, researchers report they cured mice of an obsessive-compulsive condition known as "hair-pulling disorder" by tweaking the rodents' immune systems.

Shadows May Distract Autistic Children

Source: 
MSNBC
Date Published: 
May 20, 2010
Abstract: 

Children with autism literally see shadows differently from their counterparts, a new study reveals. While people can look at the shadow of an object and often figure out what the object is, shadows interfere with how autistic children recognize objects.These new findings shed light on the sensory abnormalities that accompany and possibly even help cause autism, researchers added.

Popular Autism Diet Does Not Demonstrate Behavioral Improvement

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
May 20, 2010
Abstract: 

A popular belief that specific dietary changes can improve the symptoms of children with autism was not supported by a tightly controlled University of Rochester study, which found that eliminating gluten and casein from the diets of children with autism had no impact on their behavior, sleep or bowel patterns.

GI Problems and Autism Link? Experts Say No

Source: 
ABC News
Date Published: 
April 16, 2010
Abstract: 

British Medical Journal examined the continued belief by many of a possible connection between the developmental disorder and the chronic inflammatory bowel disease, that was first dubbed "autistic enterocolitis" by British physician Dr. Andrew Wakefield. But beyond Wakefield's account, the evidence of any connection between bowel disease and autism is slim, the editorial stated.

Nutritional Risks of Picky Eaters May Be Higher in Autsim

Source: 
Reuters
Date Published: 
April 16, 2010
Abstract: 

Many kids are picky eaters but new research suggests the trait is even more common in autistic children who tend to refuse more foods and are more likely to restrict their diets to a smaller variety of foods than other children.

Gene Mutation is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Reseachers Find

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 24, 2010
Abstract: 

When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. The researchers also report that a drug affecting a specific type of nerve function reduced the obsessive behavior in the animals, suggesting a potential way to treat repetitive behaviors in humans

Disorder Out of Chaos

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
February 19, 2010
Abstract: 

The American Psychiatric Association, with its release this week of proposed revisions to its authoritative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is recommending that Asperger’s be dropped. If this revision is adopted, the condition will be folded into the category of “autism spectrum disorder,” which will no longer contain any categories for distinct subtypes of autism like Asperger’s and “pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified” (a category for children with some traits of autism but not enough to warrant a diagnosis).

The change is welcome, because careful study of people with Asperger’s has demonstrated that the diagnosis is misleading and invalid, and there are clear benefits to understanding autism as one condition that runs along a spectrum.

Oxytocin Improves Social Behavior of Patients, French Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 17, 2010
Abstract: 

Autism is a disease characterized by difficulties in communicating effectively with other people and developing social relationships. A team led by Angela Sirigu at the Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive (CNRS) has shown that the inhalation of oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds and social relationships, significantly improved the abilities of autistic patients to interact with other individuals.

Retraction-IIleal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia Non-Specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children

Source: 
Lancet
Date Published: 
February 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Dr. Andrew Wakefield's study, in which he investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder and found associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers is retracted.

Cartoon Trains Teach Autistic Children About Emotions

Source: 
The Sydney Morning Herald
Date Published: 
January 7, 2010
Abstract: 

Putting a human face on a cartoon train, bus or tram proved to help children with autism understand emotions. The head of the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, Simon Baron-Cohen, conducted a study using a series of 15 animated stories called The Transporters. Each episode focused on a different emotion - from simple ones such as happy, sad and angry to more complex emotions such as sorry, ashamed, tired and joking. The findings showed children with autism spectrum conditions had improved emotion recognition after watching the 3D program for 15 minutes a day over a month.