Research by Topic: Behavior

A Systematic Review of Vocational Interventions for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published September 8, 2015 in Pediatrics

This study systematically reviewed evidence regarding vocational interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) between the ages of 13 and 30 years.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Filed under: , , , , ,


Effects of Risperidone and Parent Training on Adaptive Functioning in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Serious Behavioral Problems

Published February 8, 2015 in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry

Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) have social interaction deficits, delayed communication, and repetitive behaviors as well as impairments in adaptive functioning. Many children actually show a decline in adaptive skills compared with age mates over time.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Filed under: , , , , ,


Pivotal Response Treatment for Infants At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study

Published January 8, 2015 in J Autism Dev Disord

In the current study, a developmental adaptation of pivotal response treatment was piloted via a brief parent training model with three infants at-risk for autism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Filed under: , , , ,


Reversal of Autism-Like Behaviors and Metabolism in Adult Mice with Single-Dose Antipurinergic Therapy

Published June 17, 2014 in Translational Psychiatry

Researchers at UC San Diego have discovered that suramin, a drug that was originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, reverses autism-like social behaviors in mice. This study proposes that the social difficulties and metabolism issues found in individuals with ASD could be improved with the use of suramin even in adults. While suramin has not been tested in humans, these findings could direct future research for autism therapies.

http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v4/n6/full/tp201433a.html

Filed under: , , , ,


Adults with Autism Can’t Discern False Emotions

Published January 17, 2014 in Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

Adults with autism usually understand in theory when and why others may feign emotions, but they dont recognize those expressions in real-life situations, reports a study published in Autism Research. This inability to guess what triggered someones subtle expression can lead to social missteps congratulating instead of consoling a disappointed friend, for example.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/blog/2014/adults-with-autism-cant-discern-false-emotions

Filed under: , , , , ,


Catalog of Symptoms Aims to Unravel Autism Diversity

Published January 8, 2014 in Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

Researchers have standardized labels for nearly 300 traits of autism, drawn from 24 diagnostic tests for the disorder, they reported in Neuroinformatics. They can use these terms to search for certain traits among large catalogs of the genetics and symptoms of people with autism. The new study aims to build a defined list, or ontology, of the traits these tests assess. The goal is to allow researchers to compare results across different diagnostic tests and identify the same features, regardless of the test used. The new tool can also help classify individuals with autism into subgroups, which may reflect different causes of the disorder.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/toolbox/2014/catalog-of-symptoms-aims-to-unravel-autism-diversity

Filed under: , , , ,


Children with Autism Benefit from Peer Solicitation

Published December 12, 2013 in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Peer solicitation a child inviting another to play can improve reciprocal social interaction among children with autism, according to a recent Vanderbilt University study. While the children with autism in the study initiated and engaged in less play overall than typically developing children, the researchers found that other children can facilitate and increase interactions by simple requests. These findings highlight the pivotal role that peers have in social interaction, noting that it only takes a single child to prompt other children with or without autism to interact.

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/12/children-with-autism-benefit-from-peer-solicitation/

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development

Published November 6, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders

"To compare gastrointestinal (GI) problems among children with: (1) autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) developmental delay (DD) and (3) typical development (TD), GI symptom frequencies were obtained for 960 children from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study. We also examined scores on five Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) subscales comparing ASD children […]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=24193577

Filed under: , , , ,


Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development

Published November 6, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders

"To compare gastrointestinal (GI) problems among children with: (1) autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) developmental delay (DD) and (3) typical development (TD), GI symptom frequencies were obtained for 960 children from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study. We also examined scores on five Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) subscales comparing ASD children […]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=24193577

Filed under: , , , ,


Study of Nonverbal Autism Must Go Beyond Words, Experts Say

Published September 2, 2013 in Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute

About one fourth of people with autism are minimally verbal or nonverbal. Early intervention programs have been helping children develop language skills, but researchers say that seemingly unrelated issues such as motor skills and joint attention may hold the key to communication development.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2013/study-of-nonverbal-autism-must-go-beyond-words-experts-say

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Dr. Peter Gerhardt Talks About Employment, Safety and Sex Education in Young Adults with Autism

Published July 25, 2013

Dr. Peter Gerhardt of the McCarton School joined us for a live chat. He answered several questions about employment, safety and sexual education in relation to teenagers and adults with autism.

http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=84ecddeb6a&height=550&width=470

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,


DSM-5: The Debate Continues

Published May 15, 2013 in Molecular Autism

The editors of Molecular Autism, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen and ASF SAB member Dr. Joe Buxbaum, invited the labs of Dr. Cathy Lord and Dr. Fred Volkmar to offer their perspectives on the new DSM-5 criteria for the autism spectrum.Read Dr. Lord’s commentary here: http://www.molecularautism.com/content/pdf/2040-2392-4-12.pdfRead Dr. Volkmar’s commentary here: http://www.molecularautism.com/content/pdf/2040-2392-4-13.pdf

http://www.molecularautism.com/content/pdf/2040-2392-4-11.pdf

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Bridges and Barriers to Successful Transitioning as Perceived by Adolescents and Young Adults With Asperger Syndrome

Published March 28, 2013 in Journal of Pediatric Nursing

This thematic content analysis examined the expectations, and perceived facilitators of and barriers to transition to community as reported by adolescents and young adults with Asperger syndrome.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0882596313000997

Filed under: , , , , , ,


A Quantitative Link between Face Discrimination Deficits and Neuronal Selectivity for Faces in Autism

Published March 15, 2013 in NeuroImage: Clinical

In this fMRI study of adults with ASD, reduced neuronal selectivity for faces was linked to greater behavioral deficits in face recognition.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221315821300017X

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Is Medication Information for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Monitored and Coordinated Across Professionals? Findings from a Teacher Survey

Published March 1, 2013 in School Mental Health

This study examined school-based medication monitoring in children with ASD. Researchers found that less than half of teachers of medicated students were aware that students were taking medication and no teachers were communicating with prescribing physicians about student behavior and side effects. Since monitoring medication across settings helps physicians assess drug safety and effectiveness, the authors argue for increased communication among professionals.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12310-012-9098-5

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Elevated Repetitive Behaviors are Associated with Lower Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published March 1, 2013 in Biological Psychiatry

This pilot study examined the relationship between repetitive behaviors (RBs) and cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress, in individuals with ASD. Multiple salivary cortisol samples were taken over three days for 21 children with ASD with high and low levels of RBs. Children in both groups showed the same pattern of cortisol change throughout the day, but the overall cortisol levels in the high RB group were significantly lower, suggesting RBs may work to soothe and decrease stress.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23466586

Filed under: , , , , ,


Use of Social Stories to Improve Self-Regulation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published February 26, 2013 in Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics

Social stories, an intervention used to define a skill, concept or situation in socially appropriate terms, were used to promote self-regulation techniques in a self-contained preschool classroom. While implementation of self-regulation strategies varied among the children, all showed an increase in desired behaviors with the intervention.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23437903

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Examining and Interpreting the Female Protective Effect against Autistic Behavior

Published February 19, 2013 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

This study examined the hypothesis that a protective component of the female sex protects females from autistic behavioral impairment. The results indicate that greater familial risk may be associated with ASD in females, and males may require fewer familial risk factors to reach a similar impairment threshold. The authors hope the study will provide insight into the ASD sex ratio and aid future genetic research.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/02/13/1211070110.abstract

Filed under: , , , , ,


Beyond Autism: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium Study of High-risk Children at Three Years of Age

Published February 8, 2013 in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This study is the first large-scale examination of ASD behavioral characteristics and developmental functioning in high-risk (HR), non-autistic 3-year-olds with siblings on the spectrum. 79% of HR children were either no different from low-risk children (LR; no known ASD family history) with respect to ASD behavioral severity and developmental functioning, or were developmentally on target with high levels of ASD-related behaviors. 21% of HR children with no ASD diagnosis had an “early manifestation” of a broad autism phenotype: high levels of ASD-related behaviors and/or low levels of verbal and nonverbal functioning. The authors highlight the importance of developmental surveillance and intervention for this HR subset.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23452686

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,


Frequency and Pattern of Documented Diagnostic Features and the Age of Autism Identification

Published February 6, 2013 in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Pediatric Psychiatry

The age at which a child with autism is diagnosed is related to the particular suite of behavioral symptoms he or she exhibits, according to this study led by an ASF Grantee. Certain diagnostic features, including poor nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors, were associated with earlier identification of an autism spectrum disorder. Displaying more behavioral features was also associated with earlier diagnosis.For more information about this study, read the guest blog from the lead author here: http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/identifying-asd-in-community-settings/

http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567(13)00076-2/abstract

Filed under: , , , , , , , , ,


Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published January 28, 2013 in October 1, 2012

This study examines the effects of sleep problems on daytime cognitive and adaptive functioning in children with ASD.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22522199

Filed under: , , , , ,


The Effects of A Weighted Vest on Aggressive and Self-injurious Behavior in a Child with Autism

Published January 2, 2013 in PubMed

Research finds that despite their frequent use, weighted vests have little effect on managing challenging behaviors in children with autism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23278839

Filed under: , , ,


Neural Mechanisms of Improvements in Social Motivation After Pivotal Response Treatment: Two Case Studies

Published January 1, 2013 in J Autism Dev Disord

In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify the neural correlates of successful response to Pivotal response treatment (PRT) in two young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Filed under: , , , ,


Physical Aggression in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published December 27, 2012 in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

The prevalence of physical aggression was 53% across a sample of nearly 1600 children and adolescents with ASD. Girls and boys were equally likely to display aggressive behaviors. The researchers suggest sleep problems, self-injury and sensory problems may increase risk for physical aggression, and argue for better identification and treatment of these conditions.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1750946712001456

Filed under: , , , , ,


Diuretic Drug Offers Latest Hope for Autism Treatment

Published December 11, 2012 in Science Magazine

A drug used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions has shown promise in a small clinical trial for autism.

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/12/diuretic-drug-offers-latest-hope.html?ref=hp

Filed under: , , ,


Pets May Help Kids With Autism

Published August 1, 2012 in WebMD.com

Researchers in France found that children with autism who became pet owners after the age of 5 performed better than children without pets on two key measures of social functioning — offering comfort and offering to share. Having a pet from birth did not appear to influence the socialization behaviors, leading the researchers to conclude that the arrival of a pet when a child is old enough to recognize the addition may be critical.

http://pets.webmd.com/news/20120801/pets-may-help-kids-with-autism

Filed under: , , , ,


Researchers Grapple with Mixed Results from Cognitive Studies

Published July 30, 2012 in Simons Foundation Austism Research Initiative

Researchers at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London are finding that some studies have suggested that people with autism have deficits in executive function, a set of complex mental processes involved in everyday life. But these results may instead reflect their difficulties imagining what other people are thinking.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2012/researchers-grapple-with-mixed-results-from-cognitive-studies

Filed under: , , ,


Cognition and behavior: Fragile X Carriers Show Autism Signs

Published July 27, 2012 in Simons Foundation Austism Research Initiative

According to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Women who have a milder version of the fragile X mutation, which can lead to the full mutation in their children, have some features of autism.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/in-brief/2012/cognition-and-behavior-fragile-x-carriers-show-autism-signs

Filed under: , , , , , ,


How Autism is Changing the World for Everybody

Published July 26, 2012 in i09

Interesting article including interviews with Steve Silberman and Andrea Kuszewski about how studying autism is changing the world for everyone!

http://io9.com/5928135/how-autism-is-changing-the-world-for-everybody

Filed under: , ,


A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Oral N-Acetylcysteine in Children with Autism.

Published June 1, 2012 in Biol Psychiatry

The goal of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of using oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutamatergic modulator and an antioxidant, in the treatment of behavioral disturbance in children with autism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Filed under: , , , ,


Many with Autism Lack Work Experience

Published May 14, 2012 in Chicago Sun-Times

One in three young adults with autism has no paid job experience, college, or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation, a new study finds.

Many with Autism Lack Work Experience

Filed under: , , ,


Six Developmental Trajectories Characterize Children With Autism

Published May 1, 2012 in Pediatrics

“OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to describe the typical longitudinal developmental trajectories of social and communication functioning in children with autism and to determine the correlates of these trajectories.RESULTS: Six typical patterns of social, communication, and repetitive behavior functioning were identified. These trajectories displayed significant heterogeneity in developmental pathways, and children whose symptoms were least severe at first diagnosis tended to improve more rapidly than those severely affected. “

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473372

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,


Agent Reduces Autism-like Behaviors in Mice

Published April 26, 2012 in NIMH

National Institutes of Health researchers have reversed behaviors in mice resembling two of the three core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An experimental compound, called GRN-529, increased social interactions and lessened repetitive self-grooming behavior in a strain of mice that normally display such autism-like behaviors, the researchers say.

Agent Reduces Autism-like Behaviors in Mice

Filed under: , , , , ,


New Data Show Children With Autism Bullied Three Times More Frequently Than Their Unaffected Siblings

Published March 26, 2012 in MarketWatch

Today, the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), www.ianproject.org , the nation’s largest online autism research initiative and a project of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, reports preliminary results of the first national survey to examine the impact of bullying on children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The results show that 63 percent of children with ASD have been bullied at some point in their lives. These children, who are sometimes intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by peers, are bullied three times more frequently than their siblings who do not have ASD.

New Data Show Children With Autism Bullied Three Times More Frequently Than Their Unaffected Siblings

Filed under: , , , ,


Mouse Model Provides Clues to Autism

Published March 22, 2012 in PsychCentral

Vanderbilt scientists report that a disruption in serotonin transmission in the brain may be a contributing factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other behavioral conditions.

Mouse Model Provides Clues to Autism

Filed under: , , , , ,


For Children With Autism, Variability In Successful Social Strategies Revealed By Eye-Tracking

Published March 5, 2012 in Medical News Today

Katherine Rice and colleagues, from the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine, used eye-tracking technology to measure the relationship between cognitive and social disability in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the ability of children with ASD to pay attention to social interactions.

For Children With Autism, Variability In Successful Social Strategies Revealed By Eye-Tracking

Filed under: , , ,


Training Parents Is Good Medicine for Children With Autism Behavior Problems, Study Suggests

Published February 24, 2012 in Science Daily

Children with autism spectrum disorders who also have serious behavioral problems responded better to medication combined with training for their parents than to treatment with medication alone, Yale researchers and their colleagues report in the February issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Training Parents Is Good Medicine for Children With Autism Behavior Problems, Study Suggests

Filed under: , , , , , , ,


In the Brain, Signs of Autism as Early as 6 Months Old

Published January 30, 2012 in Science Daily

Measuring brain activity in infants as young as six months may help to predict the future development of autism symptoms.

In the Brain, Signs of Autism as Early as 6 Months Old

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Adolescents with Autism Spend Free Time Using Solitary, Screen-based Media

Published January 25, 2012 in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that adolescents with autism spend the majority of their free time using non-social media, including television and video-games.

Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media

Filed under: , , ,


Gastrointestinal Problems In Autistic Children May Be Due To Gut Bacteria

Published January 11, 2012 in Medical News Today

The underlying reason autism is often associated with gastrointestinal problems is an unknown, but new results to be published in the online journal mBio on January 10 reveal that the guts of autistic children differ from other children in at least one important way: many children with autism harbor a type of bacteria in their guts that non-autistic children do not.

Gastrointestinal Problems In Autistic Children May Be Due To Gut Bacteria

Filed under: , , ,


2 Genes Affect Anxiety, Behavior In Mice With Too Much MeCP2

Published January 11, 2012 in Medical News Today

The anxiety and behavioral issues associated with excess MeCP2 protein result from overexpression of two genes (Crh [corticotropin-releasing hormone] and Oprm 1 [mu-opioid receptor MOR 1]), which may point the way to treating these problems in patients with too much of the protein, said Baylor College of Medicine scientists in a report that appears online in the journal Nature Genetics.

2 Genes Affect Anxiety, Behavior In Mice With Too Much MeCP2

Filed under: , , , , ,


Dr. Eric London’s Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

Published January 1, 2012 in New York Times

As a psychiatrist and the parent of an adult son with autism, I found In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules (front page, Dec. 23) to be unfair and detrimental to the families of the developmentally disabled. Although any medication can be inappropriately administered, the wholesale denigration of psychotropic medication for this population is misplaced.

LETTERS: Care of the Disabled in State-Run Group Homes

Filed under: , , , , ,


New MIT center to fund autism research

Published December 15, 2011 in The Boston Globe

A new center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will focus on unraveling the neuroscience behind social behaviors, helping to push forward research and, the scientists hope, to advance diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

New MIT center to fund autism research

Filed under: , , , , ,


Warrior parents fare best in securing autism services

Published December 13, 2011 in LA Times

Public spending on children with autism in California varies greatly by race and class. A major reason: Not all families have the means to battle for coveted assistance.

Warrior parents fare best in securing autism services

Filed under: , , ,


Repetitive behaviors in adults with Autism Spectrum disorders significantly lessen with antidepressant treatment

Published December 5, 2011 in MedicalXpress

Restricted, repetitive behavior, such as compulsive arranging and rigid adherence to routines, is a defining symptom of autism spectrum disorders. A 12-week study showed that the antidepressant fluoxetine produced a greater decrease in repetitive behaviors and more overall improvement than placebo in adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Repetitive behaviors in adults with Autism Spectrum disorders significantly lessen with antidepressant treatment

Filed under: , , , , ,


ASF-funded study: JADD Challenging behaviors frequent in autistic children with and without GI problems; therefore behaviors are unlikely to predict GI problems in children with ASDMaenner et al.

Published October 25, 2011 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Association Between Behavioral Features and Gastrointestinal Problems Among Children with Autism Spectrum DisorderMatthew J. Maenner • Carrie L. Arneson • Susan E. Levy • Russell S. Kirby • Joyce S. Nicholas • Maureen S. DurkinJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | DOI 10.1007/s10803-011-1379-6 Copyright: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011 Abstract : Recent reports suggest certain […]

http://www.springerlink.com/content/b23217521067w850/

Filed under: , , , ,


Association Between Behavioral Features and Gastrointestinal Problems Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published October 25, 2011 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders - Maenner, M.J. et al.

Recent reports suggest certain behaviors among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may indicate underlying gastro-intestinal (GI) problems, and that the presence of these behaviors may help alert primary care providers to the need to evaluate a child with ASD for GI problems. The purpose of this population-based study of 487 children with ASD, including […]

http://www.springerlink.com/content/b23217521067w850/

Filed under: , , , , ,


The Accuracy Of Autism Diagnosis In Children With Down Syndrome Validated By New Findings

Published October 6, 2011 in Medical News Today

New findings from a 16-year study confirm that the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the gold-standard for the classification of mental health conditions, can be used to accurately identify autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children with Down syndrome, according to research from Kennedy Krieger Institute.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/235508.php

Filed under: , , , ,


Children With Autism Benefit from Early, Intensive Therapy

Published September 28, 2011 in Science Daily

A primary characteristic of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is impairments in social-communication skills. Children and adolescents with social-communication problems face difficulty understanding, interacting and relating with others. University of Missouri researchers found that children who receive more intensive therapy to combat these impairments, especially at early ages, achieve the best outcomes.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928125418.htm

Filed under: , , , , ,


Social Bonding in Prairie Voles Helps Guide Search for Autism Treatments

Published April 28, 2011 in Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center

Researchers at the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience (CTSN) at Emory University are focusing on prairie voles as a new model to screen the effectiveness of drugs to treat autism. They are starting with D-cycloserine, a drug Emory researchers have shown enhances behavioral therapy for phobias and also promotes pair bonding among prairie voles. Giving female voles D-cycloserine, which is thought to facilitate learning and memory, can encourage them to bond with a new male more quickly than usual.

http://shared.web.emory.edu/whsc/news/releases/2011/04/social-bonding-in-prairie-voles-helps-guide-search-for-autism-treatments.html

Filed under: , , , ,


A Systematic Review of Medical Treatments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published April 1, 2011 in Pediatrics, McPheeters et al.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University reviewed evidence regarding medical treatment of children 12 years old and younger with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was found that risperidone and aripiprazole for treatment of challenging and repetitive behaviors in children with ASDs. However, there are significant adverse effects of these medicines, including severe impairment or risk of […]

American Academy of Pediatrics

Filed under: , , , , ,


A Systematic Review of Early Intensive Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published April 1, 2011 in Pediatrics

Researchers at Vanderbilt University reviewed the effectiveness of early intervention programs for children aged 12 and younger with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Overall, the strength of the evidence ranged from insufficient to low. Studies performed at the University of California Los Angeles /Lovaas-based interventions and variants reported clinically significant gains in language and cognitive skills […]

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/04/04/peds.2011-0426.abstract

Filed under: , , , , ,


Catching Autism Symptoms Early to Enable Effective Preventative Interventions Through Play

Published March 23, 2011 in Medical News Today

Toddlers who played with a limited number of toys showed more improvement in their communication skills following parent-guided treatment than those receiving other community-based treatments.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219815.php

Filed under: , , , , ,


Interactive Program for Dealing with Behavioral Problems is Available as iPhone Application

Published March 18, 2011 in Medical News Today

Behavior Breakthroughs, an interactive program developed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), uses game-based technology and 3-D imagery to help train people who work with children and adults with behavioral problems.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219447.php

Filed under: , , , ,


Shank3 Mutant Mice Display Autistic-like Behaviors and Striatal Dysfunction

Published March 1, 2011

Currently, the neurological basis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is poorly understood. “Shank3 is a postsynaptic protein, whose disruption at the genetic level is thought to be responsible for the development of 22q13 deletion syndrome (Phelan-McDermid syndrome) and other non-syndromic ASDs”. In this study, mice with the Shank3 deletion were seen to exhibit “self-injurious repetitive […]

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7344/full/nature09965.html

Filed under: , , , , ,


Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Dental Environments

Published March 1, 2011 in Journal of the American Dental Association, Hernandez et al.

Many parents of a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can attest that dental visits are challenging for their child. Current behavior management techniques currently used in dentistry do not encourage children with ASDs to tolerate periodic dental procedures such as cleanings and obtaining radiographs. In this study, researchers studied the behavior management techniques […]

http://jada.ada.org/content/142/3/281.full

Filed under: , , ,


Serotonin Plays Role in Many Autism Cases, Studies Confirm

Published February 24, 2011 in Science Daily

Georgianna Gould, Ph.D., research assistant professor of physiology in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is eyeing the role that serotonin plays in autism spectrum disorders. Serotonin is known for giving a sense of well-being and happiness. It is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that acts like a radio tower in the brain conveying signals among cells called neurons. Thirty percent of autism cases may have a serotonin component. In a recent paper in the Journal of Neurochemistry, Dr. Gould and colleagues showed that a medication called buspirone improved the social behaviors of mice. Buspirone is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant adjuvant medication.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224121940.htm

Filed under: , , , , ,


Understanding the Autistic Mind

Published February 1, 2011 in Medical News Today

A study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that high-functioning autistic adults appear to have trouble using theory of mind to make moral judgments in certain situations. Specifically, the researchers found that autistic adults were more likely than non-autistic subjects to blame someone for accidentally causing harm to another person. This shows that their judgments rely more on the outcome of the incident than on an understanding of the person’s intentions, says Liane Young, an MIT postdoctoral associate and one of the lead authors of the study.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215115.php

Filed under: , , ,


Movement during brain scans may lead to spurious patterns

Published January 16, 2011 in SFARI

Head movements taint the results of many brain imaging studies, particularly those analyzing children or individuals with autism. Thats the sobering message from two independent studies published over the past few months in NeuroImage.

Movement during brain scans may lead to spurious patterns

Filed under: , , , ,


Visual Skills Required for Independence Are Impaired in Children With Autism, Research Finds

Published December 20, 2010 in Science Daily

The ability to find shoes in the bedroom, apples in a supermarket, or a favorite animal at the zoo is impaired among children with autism, according to new research from the University of Bristol. Contrary to previous studies, which show that children with autism often demonstrate outstanding visual search skills, this new research indicates that children with autism are unable to search effectively for objects in real-life situations — a skill that is essential for achieving independence in adulthood.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220163103.htm

Filed under: , ,


Changes in Prefrontal Axons May Disrupt the Network in Autism

Published December 1, 2010 in Journal of Neuroscience, Zikopoulos and Barbas

A post-mortem investigation measuring features of the different axons traveling beneath the cortical surface. The crux of the study is whether in autism there are changes in axons, "which are the conduit for neural communication." In comparison to control samples, autism brain tissue had fewer large axons connecting regions of the prefrontal cortex to the […]

http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/30/44/14595

Filed under: , , ,


New Finding Provides Insight Into The Psychology Of Autism-Spectrum Disorders

Published October 12, 2010 in Medical News Today

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have isolated a very specific difference in how high-functioning people with autism think about other people, finding that – in actuality – they don’t tend to think about what others think of them at all.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/235835.php

Filed under: , ,


Minocycline Promising in Fragile X Syndrome

Published September 7, 2010 in Medscape Today

Parents of children with fragile X syndrome report that minocycline led to positive improvements in language, attention levels and behavior. They also report experiencing adverse side effects such as mild gastrointestinal issues and some increased irritability.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/728141?src=emailthis

Filed under: , , , , , , , , ,


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

Published September 1, 2010 in Science Daily

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.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901111628.htm

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,


Language as a Window into Sociability

Published August 13, 2010 in Science Daily

People with Williams syndrome-known for their indiscriminate friendliness and ease with strangers-process spoken language differently from people with autism spectrum disorders-characterized by social withdrawal and isolation-found researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095806.htm

Filed under: , , , ,


Researchers Find Predictors of Autism That Can Lead to Infant Diagnosis

Published August 5, 2010 in S.I. Live

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.

http://www.silive.com/westshore/index.ssf/2010/08/researchers_from_staten_island.html

Filed under: , , ,


Immune System Troubles Could Spark Behavior Woes

Published May 27, 2010 in Bloomberg Businessweek

In the first scientific illustration of exactly how some psychiatric illnesses might be linked to an immune system gone awry, researchers report they cured mice of an obsessive-compulsive condition known as “hair-pulling disorder” by tweaking the rodents’ immune systems.

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/639578.html

Filed under: , , , ,


Shadows May Distract Autistic Children

Published May 20, 2010 in MSNBC

Children with autism literally see shadows differently from their counterparts, a new study reveals. While people can look at the shadow of an object and often figure out what the object is, shadows interfere with how autistic children recognize objects.These new findings shed light on the sensory abnormalities that accompany and possibly even help cause autism, researchers added.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37259407/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

Filed under: ,


Popular Autism Diet Does Not Demonstrate Behavioral Improvement

Published May 20, 2010 in Science Daily

A popular belief that specific dietary changes can improve the symptoms of children with autism was not supported by a tightly controlled University of Rochester study, which found that eliminating gluten and casein from the diets of children with autism had no impact on their behavior, sleep or bowel patterns.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519143401.htm

Filed under: , , ,


GI Problems and Autism Link? Experts Say No

Published April 16, 2010 in ABC News

British Medical Journal examined the continued belief by many of a possible connection between the developmental disorder and the chronic inflammatory bowel disease, that was first dubbed “autistic enterocolitis” by British physician Dr. Andrew Wakefield. But beyond Wakefield’s account, the evidence of any connection between bowel disease and autism is slim, the editorial stated.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Autism/stomach-pains-autism/story?id=10388309&page=1

Filed under: , ,


Nutritional Risks of Picky Eaters May Be Higher in Autsim

Published April 16, 2010 in Reuters

Many kids are picky eaters but new research suggests the trait is even more common in autistic children who tend to refuse more foods and are more likely to restrict their diets to a smaller variety of foods than other children.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63F4SF20100416

Filed under: ,


Gene Mutation is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Reseachers Find

Published February 24, 2010 in Science Daily

When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. The researchers also report that a drug affecting a specific type of nerve function reduced the obsessive behavior in the animals, suggesting a potential way to treat repetitive behaviors in humans

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223174547.htm

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Disorder Out of Chaos

Published February 19, 2010 in New York Times

The American Psychiatric Association, with its release this week of proposed revisions to its authoritative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is recommending that Aspergers be dropped. If this revision is adopted, the condition will be folded into the category of autism spectrum disorder, which will no longer contain any categories for distinct subtypes of autism like Aspergers and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (a category for children with some traits of autism but not enough to warrant a diagnosis).The change is welcome, because careful study of people with Aspergers has demonstrated that the diagnosis is misleading and invalid, and there are clear benefits to understanding autism as one condition that runs along a spectrum.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/opinion/10grinker.html?ref=opinion

Filed under: , ,


Oxytocin Improves Social Behavior of Patients, French Study Finds

Published February 17, 2010 in Science Daily

Autism is a disease characterized by difficulties in communicating effectively with other people and developing social relationships. A team led by Angela Sirigu at the Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive (CNRS) has shown that the inhalation of oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds and social relationships, significantly improved the abilities of autistic patients to interact with other individuals.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216221350.htm

Filed under: , , , ,


Retraction-IIleal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia Non-Specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children

Published February 1, 2010 in Lancet

Dr. Andrew Wakefield's study, in which he investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder and found associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers is retracted.

[http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2897%2911096-0/abstract

Filed under: , ,


Cartoon Trains Teach Autistic Children About Emotions

Published January 7, 2010 in The Sydney Morning Herald

Putting a human face on a cartoon train, bus or tram proved to help children with autism understand emotions. The head of the University of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre, Simon Baron-Cohen, conducted a study using a series of 15 animated stories called The Transporters. Each episode focused on a different emotion – from simple ones such as happy, sad and angry to more complex emotions such as sorry, ashamed, tired and joking. The findings showed children with autism spectrum conditions had improved emotion recognition after watching the 3D program for 15 minutes a day over a month.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/cartoon-trains-teach-autistic-children-about-emotions-20100106-ludl.html

Filed under: , , ,


New CDC Report on Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published December 18, 2009 in CDC- MMWR Surveillance Studies

In 2006, on average, approximately 1% or one child in every 110 in the 11 ADDM sites was classified as having an ASD. The average prevalence of ASDs identified among children aged 8 years increased 57% in 10 sites from the 2002 to the 2006 ADDM surveillance year. Although improved ascertainment accounts for some of the prevalence increases documented in the ADDM sites, a true increase in the risk for children to develop ASD symptoms cannot be ruled out. On average, although delays in identification persisted, ASDs were being diagnosed by community professionals at earlier ages in 2006 than in 2002.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5810a1.htm

Filed under: , ,


Behavioral Training Improves Connectivity and Function in the Brain

Published December 9, 2009 in National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Children with poor reading skills who underwent an intensive, six-month training program to improve their reading ability showed increased connectivity in a particular brain region, in addition to making significant gains in reading, according to a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/dec2009/nimh-09.htm

Filed under: , , , ,


Reversal of Learning Deficits in a Ts2+/- Mouse Model of Tuberous Sclerosis

Published December 31, 1969 in Nature Medicine, Ehninger, Han, et al

Tuberous sclerosis is a single-gene disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the TSC1 (9q34) or TSC2 (16p13.3) gene and is frequently associated with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy. Even individuals with tuberous sclerosis and a normal intelligence quotient (approximately 50%) are commonly affected with specific neuropsychological problems, including long-term and working memory deficits. Here we […]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18568033

Filed under: , , , , , ,


Stereotypes and Hyperactivity in Rhesus Monkeys Exposed to IgG from Mothers of Children with Autism

Published December 31, 1969 in Brain Behavior Immunology, Martin, Ashwood, Braunschweig, Cabanlit, Van de Water, Amaral

One proposed cause of ASD is exposure of the fetal brain to maternal autoantibodies during pregnancy [Dalton, P., Deacon, R., Blamire, A., Pike, M., McKinlay, I., Stein, J., Styles, P., Vincent, A., 2003. Maternal neuronal antibodies associated with autism and a language disorder. Ann. Neurol. 53, 533-537]. To provide evidence for this hypothesis, four rhesus […]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18262386

Filed under: , , , , , ,