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Should We Believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Estimates?

Source: 
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
Date Published: 
July 2014
Abstract: 

Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice has published an important and interesting new editorial by Dr. David Mandell and Dr. Luc Lecavalier that challenges the methods the CDC uses to collect and publish autism prevalence data, now at 1 in 68.

In Autism, Brain Shows Unusual Thinning Throughout Life

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
June 5, 2014
Abstract: 

The cortex, the outer layer of the brain, grows rapidly in early childhood in people with autism and thins differently with age than it does in controls, two new studies report. Together, the studies support the theory that the brain grows too quickly and shrinks too soon in people with autism.

Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the United Kingdom and the United States

Source: 
JAMA Pediatrics
Date Published: 
June 9, 2014
Abstract: 

Having an accurate estimate of the economic cost of autism has many implications for service and system planning. The most recent estimates are almost a decade old and had to rely on many estimates for which there were no good data. Today in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers, including ASF Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. David Mandell, updated older estimates and further expanded our understanding of costs by estimating them for two countries: the United States and the United Kingdom. They also estimated costs separately for children and adults, and for individuals with autism with and without intellectual disability. To estimate costs, researchers reviewed the literature on related studies, conducting a thorough search of studies that estimated direct costs, such as education and service use costs, as well as indirect costs, such as lost wages for family members and the individual with autism. They found that for individuals with autism and intellectual disability, the average lifetime cost was $2.4 million in the US and $2.2 million in the UK. For individuals without intellectual disability, the average cost was $1.4 million in both the US and the UK. For children with autism, the largest costs were for special education and parents’ lost wages. For adults with autism, the largest costs were residential care and lost wages.

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Large Study Underscores Role of Gene Copy Number in Autism

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
June 2, 2014
Abstract: 

People with autism tend to carry mutations that duplicate or delete several genes at once, according to a large study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Previous studies have shown that people with autism have more large deletions or duplications of DNA, also known as copy number variations (CNVs), than controls do. The new study, the largest to look at CNVs in people with autism thus far, confirms this finding. It also found that in people with autism, the CNVs are more likely to affect genes linked to intellectual disability and fragile X syndrome.

Elevated Fetal Steroidogenic Activity in Autism

Source: 
Molecular Psychiatry
Date Published: 
June 3, 2014
Abstract: 

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that children who later develop autism are exposed to heightened levels of steroid hormones (such as testosterone, progesterone and cortisol) in the womb. This finding may be related to the fact that autism affects males more than females.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Joins Autism BrainNet Tissue Bank

Source: 
Newswise
Date Published: 
May 29, 2014
Abstract: 

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has joined Autism BrainNet, a new network of research institutions created to collect, store and distribute postmortem brain tissue resources that will help scientists gain a deeper understanding of the causes, treatment and cure of autism spectrum disorder, which now affects an estimated one in 68 children. Launched by the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks, Autism BrainNet recently joined with the Autism Science Foundation to unveil the Autism BrainNet registration site, It Takes Brains (www.TakesBrains.org)

Takeaways from IMFAR 2014

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 22, 2014
Abstract: 

Top three takeaways from IMFAR 2014: autism is growing up, the future looks promising, and scientists are getting social.

Adults with Autism May Have High Burden of Health Problems

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 17, 2014
Abstract: 

Adults with autism may suffer from various health problems, ranging from psychiatric conditions to motor symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease, according to two studies presented Thursday at the 2014 International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta.

School in Upstate NY Saves Autistic Queens Man from Troubled Life

Source: 
NY Daily News
Date Published: 
May 19, 2014
Abstract: 

A great story featuring the Center for Discovery, and including a picture of ASF President Alison Singer's daughter, Jodie.