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Diagnosis of Toddlers with ASD supported by changes to symptom structure in DSM-5

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry analyzes the changes made to the DSM-5 in regards to autism symptom structure in toddlers with ASD. The DSM-5 model was found to be a superior fit to the data than other models used during toddler assessment.

An article about this study in Medical News Today can be found here

Multinational Resource Combines Autism Risk Factors

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A new database compiles health data from seven countries, greatly expanding sample size for epidemiological autism studies. This project, the International Collaboration for Autism Registry Epidemiology (iCARE), combines data from 80,000 individuals diagnosed with autism from the years 1967 to 2009.

Induced Labor Associated with Autism Risk

Source: 
JAMA Pediatrics
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A study posted in JAMA Pediatrics shows an association with induced and augmented labor with an increased risk of autism. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied over 625,000 live births, of which 5,500 were documented as having autism. The study adds, ”While these results are interesting, further investigation is needed to differentiate among potential explanations of the association, including underlying pregnancy conditions requiring the eventual need to induce/augment, the events of labor and delivery...and the specific treatments and dosing used."

Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene

Source: 
The New York Times
Date Published: 
August 11, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers have recently discovered that two seemingly unrelated conditions, autism and cancer, share an unexpected connection. Some people with autism have specific mutated cancer or tumor genes that scientists believe caused their autism. While this does not apply to all people with autism, just the ones with the mutated gene, it is a very illuminating discovery in the field.

Autism Affects Sexes Differently

Source: 
Brain
Date Published: 
June 7, 2013
Abstract: 

A Cambridge study that used brain imaging samples of individuals with autism, led by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, found evidence that autism affects sexes differently. The study showed that women who have the condition demonstrate “neuroanatomical masculinization”, which suggests that women with autism have more masculine brains.

Dr. Baron-Cohen argues that this study reinforces that researchers "should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females."

News Article: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Education/Universities/Autism-affects-se...

Brain Imaging Study Suggests Autism and Asperger's Syndrome May Be Biologically Distinct Conditions

Source: 
BMC Medicine
Date Published: 
June 26, 2012
Abstract: 

A brain imaging study out of Boston Children's Hospital suggests that autism and Asperger's syndrome are biologically distinct conditions. The study analyzes the patterns of brain connectivity in children with ASD and found that children with autism might have distinct neural signaling patterns. This study follows the release of the APA's new DSM-5 that classifies Asperger's under an umbrella diagnosis of ASD.

News Article: http://www.medicaldaily.com/aspergers-syndrome-and-autism-are-biological...

Genetic Discovery Links Autism and Schizophrenia

Source: 
Nature Neuroscience
Date Published: 
August 4, 2013
Abstract: 

Nelson Freimer and colleagues at UCLA studied a population in an isolated area of Finland where Schizophrenia is more common than in the average Finnish population. In this small group, it was discovered that the presence of a deletion on part of chromosome 22 was much more prevalent than in the rest of the population. This deleted region normally contains an enzyme, TOP3B. This lack of TOP3B is also linked to disruptions that can lead to Fragile X Syndrome, showing there may be a biological link between Fragile X and Schizophrenia.

An article about this study can be found here:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23995-genetic-discovery-links-auti...

New Study Deciphers Potential Roles of Oxytocin in Brain Function

Source: 
Nature
Date Published: 
August 4, 2013
Abstract: 

An NYU study explored the role of oxytocin in the brain's ability to filter wanted stimuli from unwanted stimuli. The researchers suggest that the neurohormone, oxytocin, is not only used to reduce unwanted background noise but also plays a key function in strengthening desired signals.

Cholesterol connection to Rett Syndrome

Source: 
Nature Genetics
Date Published: 
July 28, 2013
Abstract: 

Professor Monica Justice has written a study on a connection between cholesterol and Rett Syndrome. Statin drugs, known to lower cholesterol, were shown to increase mobility, overall health scores, and lifespan in mice with Rett Syndrome.

Teacher-Implemented Joint Attention Intervention: Pilot Randomized Controlled Study for Preschoolers with Autism

Source: 
J Consult Clin Psychol
Date Published: 
August, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

This study investigated the effectiveness of public preschool teachers implementing a validated intervention (the Joint Attention and Symbolic Play/Engagement and Regulation intervention; JASP/ER) on a core deficit of autism, initiating joint attention.