Mothers

Researchers find autism more common with low birth weight

Source: 
Philadelphia Inquirer
Date Published: 
October 17, 2011
Abstract: 

Autism is far more common in low-birth-weight babies than the general population, researchers are reporting, a significant finding that nevertheless raises more questions than it answers and illustrates how little is known about a group of disorders that affect nearly 1 percent of American children.

Autism-Related Study Discovers How Drug Interferes with Neuronal Cell Function

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
July 7, 2011
Abstract: 

This study examined mouse neuronal cells during pregnancy to discover how the drug actually interferes at a molecular level with prostaglandins, which are important for development and communication of cells in the brain.

Residential Proximity to Freeways and Autism in the CHARGE Study

Source: 
Environ Health Perspect, Volke et al.
Date Published: 
June 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Researchers at the University of Southern California examined the association between autism and proximity of residence to freeways and major roadways during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, as a surrogate for air pollution exposure. Using the mother’s address recorded on the birth certificate and trimester-specific addresses derived from a residential history, measures of distance to freeways and major roads were calculated and logistic regression models compared residential proximity to freeways and major roads for autism cases and typically developing controls. The researchers concluded that living near a freeway was associated with autism, and examination of associations with measured air pollutants is needed.

Catching Autism Symptoms Early to Enable Effective Preventative Interventions Through Play

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 23, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

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

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 18, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

The Tragedy Of The Fraudulent MMR Autism Link, A Personal Story

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 7, 2011
Abstract: 

Medical journalist recaps his struggle to determine if vaccinations caused his son to be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome concluding that it would not have made the slightest bit of difference if we had refused to vaccinate when our son was small, claiming any conspiracy theories are not based on any compelling data.

Autism and Increased Paternal Age Related Changes in Global Levels of Gene Expression Regulation

Source: 
PloS One, Alter et al.
Date Published: 
February 2011
Year Published: 
2011

This study, performed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed the level of gene expression in children with autism, compared with a control group. The researchers hypothesized that the variability in the pattern of the overall of gene expression levels would be associated with variability in hippocampal-dependent behaviors, which include short-term memory and spatial navigation. Additionally, the group tested whether increased paternal age was associated with variance of gene expression. A decrease in the variability of gene expression levels was associated with the diagnosis of autism and increased paternal age. The research team believes this change to be caused by the down-regulation of gene expression pathways involved in protein synthesis regulation in the blood of children with autism and children with older fathers. Thus, the researchers concluded that alterations at the gene level of gene expression regulation are related to autism and increased paternal age.

Prevalence of Autism According to Maternal Immigrant Status and Ethnic Origin

Source: 
Acta Psychiatrica Scandanavia, M.-J Dealberto
Date Published: 
January 2011
Year Published: 
2011

This study examined the rates of autism according to maternal immigrant status and ethnic origins based on the vitamin D insufficiency hypothesis, which proposes that maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy could be associated with autism. The study provided further support to the association between maternal immigrant status and an increased risk of autism. In addition, although more complex, ethnic origin was shown to have an effect on the rates of autism; the study found that black ethnicity demonstrated a higher incidence of autism, particularly when considering autism associated with mental retardation. The results found in the study are consistent with the maternal vitamin D insufficiency hypothesis. To understand the effect of maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy on the development of the fetal brain, neurobiological studies are necessary.

Smoking during Pregnancy affects Myelin Genes in Offspring

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 16, 2010
Abstract: 

Smoking during pregnancy may interfere with brain development. New animal research shows maternal smoking affects genes important in the formation and action of a fatty brain substance called myelin that insulates brain cell connections. The finding may explain why the children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, autism, drug abuse, and other psychiatric disorders.

Parental Autoimmune Diseases Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring

Source: 
Epidemiology, Keil, Daniels et al
Date Published: 
November 2010
Year Published: 
2010

Studies have suggested associations between immune response and idiopathic disorders (such as autism). This study explores associations between parental autoimmune disorders and children's diagnosis of autism by linking. The study found associations between parental autoimmune disorders and autism spectrum disorders, suggesting parental autoimmune disorders may represent a pathway that warrants more detailed investigation.