Diagnosis

Autism and Increased Paternal Age Related Changes in Global Levels of Gene Expression Regulation

Source: 
PloS One, Alter et al.
Date Published: 
February 2011
Year Published: 
2011

This study, performed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed the level of gene expression in children with autism, compared with a control group. The researchers hypothesized that the variability in the pattern of the overall of gene expression levels would be associated with variability in hippocampal-dependent behaviors, which include short-term memory and spatial navigation. Additionally, the group tested whether increased paternal age was associated with variance of gene expression. A decrease in the variability of gene expression levels was associated with the diagnosis of autism and increased paternal age. The research team believes this change to be caused by the down-regulation of gene expression pathways involved in protein synthesis regulation in the blood of children with autism and children with older fathers. Thus, the researchers concluded that alterations at the gene level of gene expression regulation are related to autism and increased paternal age.

Autism Risk Linked To Space Between First And Second Pregnancy

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
January 10, 2011
Abstract: 

A second child is three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism if they are born within twelve months of their siblings, compared to those born three or more years apart, researchers from the Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences at Columbia University, New York revealed in the journal Pediatrics. The investigators gathered information on 660,000 second children born in California between 1992 to 2002.

Prevalence of Autism According to Maternal Immigrant Status and Ethnic Origin

Source: 
Acta Psychiatrica Scandanavia, M.-J Dealberto
Date Published: 
January 2011
Year Published: 
2011

This study examined the rates of autism according to maternal immigrant status and ethnic origins based on the vitamin D insufficiency hypothesis, which proposes that maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy could be associated with autism. The study provided further support to the association between maternal immigrant status and an increased risk of autism. In addition, although more complex, ethnic origin was shown to have an effect on the rates of autism; the study found that black ethnicity demonstrated a higher incidence of autism, particularly when considering autism associated with mental retardation. The results found in the study are consistent with the maternal vitamin D insufficiency hypothesis. To understand the effect of maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy on the development of the fetal brain, neurobiological studies are necessary.

ICare4autism To Create World's First Global Autism Research And Education Center

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
December 13, 2010
Abstract: 

The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4autism), a New York-based charity, announced plans to create the world's first Global Autism Center on Mt. Scopus in Israel, dedicated to catalyzing breakthrough innovation in autism research and treatment. In a ceremony at Jerusalem's City Hall hosted by Mayor Nir Barkat, ICare4autism's President Joshua Weinstein signed an agreement paving the way for ICare4autism to acquire the campus of Bezalel Academy of Art in 2013, and convert it into a center.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism

Source: 
Journal of the American Medical Association, Giulivi et al
Date Published: 
December 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Children with autism are far more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than are typically developing children. While the study is small (10 test subjects) and requires replication, it furthers previous research which has revealed hints of a mitochondrial dysfunction/autism connection. The researchers found that mitochondria from children with autism consumed less oxygen than mitochondria from the group of control children. For example, the oxygen consumption of one mitochondrial enzyme complex, NADH oxidase, in autistic children was only 33% of that found in control children. While Giulivi cautions that this study has not found the cause of autism, she states that it "...furthers the understanding of autism on several fronts and may, if replicated, be used to help physicians diagnose the problem earlier."

Describing the Brain in Autism in Five Dimensions-Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assisted Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Multiparameter Classification Approach

Source: 
Journal of Neuroscience, Ecker et al
Date Published: 
December 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The study tested a group of 20 high functioning adults with autism, together with 20 control adults, to determine whether MRI scans can detect autism. Using left hemisphere cortical thickness, the algorithm could achieve 90% accuracy, however the right hemisphere was worse at differentiating between the two groups. The study shows that it is feasible to use analytic techniques in MRI to investigate differences in the autistic brain.

Children With Autism Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 30, 2010
Abstract: 

Children with autism are far more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than are typically developing children, a new study by researchers at UC Davis has found. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that cumulative damage and oxidative stress in mitochondria, the cell's energy producer, could influence both the onset and severity of autism, suggesting a strong link between autism and mitochondrial defects.

A Model for Neural Development and Treatment of Rett Syndrome Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Source: 
Cell, Marchetto et al
Date Published: 
November 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases in which different combinations of genetic mutations may contribute to the phenotype. Using Rett syndrome (RTT) as an ASD genetic model, we recapitulate early stages of a human neurodevelopmental disease, using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from RTT patients' fibroblasts, which essentially creates a "disease in a dish". The data uncovered early alterations in developing human RTT neurons and suggest evidence of an unexplored developmental window, before disease onset, in RTT syndrome where potential therapies could be successfully employed. Our model represents a promising cellular tool for drug screening, diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Scientists One Step Closer to Diagnosing Autism with MRI

Source: 
Sify News
Date Published: 
October 13, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers at the University of Utah (U of U) are one step closer to diagnosing autism using MRI, an advance that eventually could help health care providers identify the problem much earlier in children and lead to improved treatment and outcomes for those with the disorder.

Neonatal Jaundice Linked to Autism

Source: 
MedPage Today
Date Published: 
October 11, 2010
Abstract: 

Full-term neonates with jaundice are at greatly increased risk of later being diagnosed with a disorder of psychological development, a Danish study found. Neonatal jaundice typically is caused by increased bilirubin production and inadequate liver excretory function. Recent research has suggested that even moderate bilirubin exposure in very young children can be harmful, possibly leading to impairments in their development. They found that jaundice was more common among boys, infants born preterm, infants with congenital malformations, and low-birthweight infants.