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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.

Dr. Jennifer Elder Provides Commentary on Current Research for the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet

Date Published: 
August 1, 2013
Abstract: 

Dr. Jennifer Elder provides an evidence-based discussion about the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet in her guest blog post for the blog series "Comorbid Conditions with Autism". Dr. Elder's goal was to highlight what current research says about the GFCF diet so families can make an informed decision if it is right for them.

Dr. Susan Hyman Discusses GI Problems in Children with Autism for a Guest Blog Post

Date Published: 
July 30, 2013
Abstract: 

Dr. Susan Hyman addressed many important questions about GI problems associated with autism for our guest blog series "Comorbid Conditions with Autism". In the post, she provided an informed update on current evidence-based research in the area of GI problems and autism.

Synaptic Dysfunction in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Associated with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.

Source: 
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol
Date Published: 
March 1, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

The human studies unveiled the sensitivity of cognitive function to precise levels of different proteins.

Controversial Study Suggests That An Ear Muscle In Children with Autism Responds to Lower Decibel Sounds Than Typical Controls

Source: 
Autism Research and Treatment
Date Published: 
July 3, 2013
Abstract: 

A controversial study suggests that an ear muscle in children with autism responds to sounds that are a few decibels lower compared to typically developing children. Some researchers suggest this could be used as a simple clinical biomarker for autism but some scientists disagree.