featured

Use this feature to promote an article to the front page.

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.

Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Government Oversight Committee Meets Today

Date Published: 
May 20, 2014
Abstract: 

Today at 9:00am the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform meets for a hearing entitled "Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders". A live stream of the hearing is available at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/examining-federal-response-autism-spe...

Click here for a letter to the commitee from ASF President Alison Singer.

It Takes Brains: Autism BrainNet registration site launches

Source: 
Medical Xpress
Date Published: 
May 16, 2014
Abstract: 

The Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation today announced the launch of the Autism BrainNet registration site, It Takes Brains (www.takesbrains.org). Autism BrainNet is a consortium of academic sites funded collaboratively by the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks to collect, store and distribute brain tissue resources necessary for researchers to understand the underlying neurobiology and genetics of autism.

Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X Share immune Changes

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 6, 2014
Abstract: 

Two autism-related disorders — fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex — share disruptions in the immune system despite major differences in the individual genes affected, reports a study in Molecular Autism. An abnormally regulated immune system is linked to some forms of autism, but exactly how genetic changes in the immune system contribute to autism is unclear.

Risperidone Use in Children with Autism Carries Heavy Risks

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
April 28, 2014
Abstract: 

Risperidone, the first drug approved for children with autism and the most widely used, improves some children’s behavior but can have severe side effects, suggests an informal analysis of the drug’s use. These side effects can include weight gain, drowsiness, hormonal changes and, in rare cases, involuntary movements.

Autism: What We Know. What is Next?

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 1, 2014
Abstract: 

This project begins a conversation concerning what we know and what we need to learn about autism and related developmental disorders. SFARI’s chief scientist, Gerald Fischbach, wrote the original draft, with the intent of providing an outline of recent research advances and suggestions about next steps. The document incorporates several different methodologies, ranging from molecular biology to behavior, in hopes of building bridges between them. We hope it will serve as a valuable resource for experts in autism research and also as a helpful guide for those just entering the field.

Neither the claims about what we know nor the questions raised are complete lists. Autism research is advancing rapidly. In our hopes that “What we know” will become a living document, we invite you to suggest additions, deletions, corrections or wholesale rearrangements. Please email your comments to WWK@sfari.org. And please check back for future iterations of this document as it expands and evolves.

The PDF version of this document can be found here. 

Release of 2013 IACC Strategic Plan Update

Source: 
IACC
Abstract: 

The 2013 Strategic Plan Update provides an accounting and overview of the funding and scientific progress in the autism field since the release of the first IACC Strategic Plan in 2009. The 2013 Update describes recent advances in the scientific understanding of ASD, provides information on the progress of each of the 78 IACC Strategic Plan objectives, highlights areas of need and opportunity, and identifies overarching themes that will be important for future advancement of ASD research. In this final version, you will find a single, streamlined table for each Strategic Plan Question that displays both cumulative 5-year funding and notes regarding progress of each objective, which we thought would be helpful to readers.

The 2013 IACC Strategic Plan Update and related materials are available on the IACC website, www.iacc.hhs.gov:

Convergence of Genes and Cellular Pathways Dysregulated in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Cell
Date Published: 
April 24, 2014
Abstract: 

A substantial proportion of risk for developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) resides in genes that are part of specific, interconnected biological pathways, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who conducted a broad study of almost 2,500 families in the United States and throughout the world. The study was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. The researchers reported numerous copy number variations (CNVS) affecting genes, and found that these genes are part of similar cellular pathways involved in brain development, synapse function and chromatin regulation. Individuals with ASD carried more of these CNVs than individuals in the control group, and some of them were inherited while others were only present in offspring with ASD.