Autism Science

Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders

Source: 
Cell
Date Published: 
December 19, 2013

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities. We demonstrate GI barrier defects and microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD. UItimately, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders.

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

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders
Date Published: 
November 6, 2013

"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 with high versus low frequency GI symptoms. Compared to TD children, those with ASD [aOR 7.92 (4.89-12.85)] and DD [aOR 4.55 (2.51-8.24)] were more likely to have at least one frequent GI symptom. Restricting to ASD children, those with frequent abdominal pain, gaseousness, diarrhea, constipation or pain on stooling scored worse on irritability, social withdrawal, stereotypy, and hyperactivity compared with children having no frequent GI symptoms. Frequent GI problems affect young children with ASD and DD more commonly than those with TD. Maladaptive behaviors correlate with GI problems, suggesting these comorbidities require attention."

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

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders
Date Published: 
November 6, 2013

"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 with high versus low frequency GI symptoms. Compared to TD children, those with ASD [aOR 7.92 (4.89-12.85)] and DD [aOR 4.55 (2.51-8.24)] were more likely to have at least one frequent GI symptom. Restricting to ASD children, those with frequent abdominal pain, gaseousness, diarrhea, constipation or pain on stooling scored worse on irritability, social withdrawal, stereotypy, and hyperactivity compared with children having no frequent GI symptoms. Frequent GI problems affect young children with ASD and DD more commonly than those with TD. Maladaptive behaviors correlate with GI problems, suggesting these comorbidities require attention."

Developmental trajectories in children with and without autism spectrum disorders: the first 3 years

Source: 
Child Development
Date Published: 
March 2013

"Retrospective studies indicate 2 major classes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) onset: early and later, after a period of relatively healthy development. This prospective, longitudinal study examined social, language, and motor trajectories in 235 children with and without a sibling with autism, ages 6-36 months. Children were grouped as: ASD identified by 14 months, ASD identified after 14 months, and no ASD. Despite groups' initial similar developmental level at 6 months, ASD groups exhibited atypical trajectories thereafter. Impairment from 14 to 24 months was greater in the Early-ASD than the Later-ASD group, but comparable at 36 months. Developmental plateau and regression occurred in some children with ASD, regardless of timing of ASD diagnosis. Findings indicate a preclinical phase of varying duration for ASD."

Effectiveness of developmental screening in an urban setting

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
January 1, 2013

The goal of this study was to determine whether developmental screening could aid identification of developmental delays, early intervention referrals, and eligibility for early intervention. The study concluded that children who received developmental screening tests were identified for developmental delays, early intervention referrals, and early intervention eligibility services in a more timely fashion than those who received only surveillance. This research supports policies that endorse developmental screening. 

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.

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.