Early Intervention

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.

How Immune Response in Pregnancy May Lead to Brain Disfunction in Offspring

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
October 14, 2010
Abstract: 

A pregnant woman's immune response to viral infections may induce subtle neurological changes in the unborn child that can lead to an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia and autism.

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.

Autistic Toddlers Prefer to Gaze at Geometric Patterns

Source: 
Bloomberg Business Week
Date Published: 
September 7, 2010
Abstract: 

Eye-tracking study reveals that a toddler's infatuation with geometric patterns instead of social interactions such as dancing, jumping and smiling could be an early sign of autism.

Infants Gaze May Be an Early, but Subtle, Marker for Autism Risk

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
September 1, 2010
Abstract: 

Kennedy Krieger Institute have announced new study results showing an early marker for later communication and social delays in infants at a higher-risk for autism may be infrequent gazing at other people when unprompted. The study also found that six-month-old high-risk infants demonstrated the same level of cause and effect learning skills when compared to low-risk infants of the same age.

Structural Basis for Autism Disorders

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
August 25, 2010
Abstract: 

There is still much that is unknown about autism spectrum disorders, but a University of Nevada, Reno psychologist has added to the body of knowledge that researchers around the world are compiling to try to demystify, prevent and treat the mysterious condition.

Early Life Influences Risk for Psychiatric Disorders

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
August 18, 2010
Abstract: 

For more than a century, clinical investigators have focused on early life as a source of adult psychopathology. Although the hypothesized mechanisms have evolved, a central notion remains: early life is a period of unique sensitivity during which experience confers enduring effects.

Researchers Find Predictors of Autism That Can Lead to Infant Diagnosis

Source: 
S.I. Live
Date Published: 
August 5, 2010
Abstract: 

Certain behaviors seen in infants as young as 1-month-old may be predictors of autism spectrum disorders, according to new research by scientists at the Institute for Basic Research and Developmental Disabilities, Willowbrook.

At 1 month, children with the ASD diagnosis were more likely to have asymmetrical visual tracking and arm tone deficits. By 4 months, they were more attracted to higher levels of visual stimulation, much like younger infants. Between 7 and 10 months, the children with ASD showed major declines in mental and motor performance.

New Technology Reveals a Unique Vocal Signature in Autism

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
July 20, 2010
Abstract: 

Study reports new automated vocal analysis technology could fundamentally change the study of language development as well as the screening for autism spectrum disorders and language delay.

Blinking Could Detect Autism

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
May 21, 2010
Abstract: 

The researchers tracked eye movements and blinks in 41 2-year-olds with autism and 52 healthy controls while the children watched a short movie of two toddlers on a playground. Both groups on average blinked about five times per minute. But they differed significantly in how their blinking lined up with the content of the movie.

Healthy toddlers refrained from blinking as they watched scenes with high emotional content, such as when the toddler-actors fought about a toy. Toddlers with autism, in contrast, were just as likely to blink during emotional scenes as during dull ones.