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Research by Topic: research
You may have heard the news: The prevalence of autism is 1:40 according to an email survey of parents. However, there’s more information in the study that’s worthy of consideration: The high rate of unmet mental health needs in those with ASD. Learn more on the ASF podcast. Read more about the study.
Help Make the Science Happen! For nearly a decade, ASF has launched, funded, and supported autism research projects to improve diagnosis, develop interventions, and enhance outcomes. This Giving Tuesday, you can help fuel another decade’s worth of critically needed autism research. Donations to ASF not only advance scientific progress, they give families challenged by autism the gift […]
While diagnosis before 3 years of age is ideal, circumstances may not always allow the earliest identification and diagnosis. This week’s podcast explores two of the reasons why diagnosis is not always possible before age 3. One is a study from Denmark and one is from members of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium.
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder After Age 5 in Children Evaluated Longitudinally Since InfancyPublished November 8, 2018
A new study from the ASF-supported Baby Siblings Research Consortium explains why a few kids with autism do not receive a formal diagnosis until 5 years or later. Read more here.
In Scientific American, ASF CSO Dr. Alycia Halladay discusses how autism research gets covered and suggests way to improve the reporting to make sure the news that goes around is legitimate and significant. Read the op-ed here.
Dr. Inna Fishman from San Diego State University explains how findings from brain tissue helps scientists interpret data which studies how brain regions connect to each other and why this is important for understanding autism subgroups. Also, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet examine ADHD diagnosed in adults, and find it is similar to autism. Listen […]
This week, Dr. Mark Shen from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains new findings looking at the fluid around the brain. It’s now seen in families even without a family history of ASD, the finding has now been seen in different independent studies, including those at the UC Davis MIND Institute in […]
Today, ASF announced that it will be leading the newly-launched Alliance for Genetic Etiologies of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Autism (AGENDA). This alliance is a partnership of research and advocacy organizations focused on improving outcomes of individuals with all forms of autism by fostering a genetics-first approach to autism science. AGENDA will also work to strengthen […]
Filed under: ASD, asf, Autism, collaboration, database, dup15q, Dup15q Alliance, featured, fragile X syndrome, FRAXA, FRAXA Research Foundation, genetic, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, Phelan-Mcdermid Syndrome Foundation, PMSF, registry, research, Rett Syndrome, Rett Syndrome Research Trust, RSRT, science, SFARI, Simons Foundation, Simons VIP, subtypes, TSA, Tuberous Sclerosis, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
Recently, Clare Harrop from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published two papers which help explain the differences between boys and girls with autism, at least in kids and toddlers. She graciously agreed to talk with ASF about these findings and what it means for better identification and diagnosis of girls with ASD, and […]
This week’s ASF podcast focuses on how co-occuring conditions with autism, like anxiety, depression, and OCD, have changed over time. The increase in these conditions may help in defining different subgroups of autism. Listen on asfpodcast.org or on your favorite podcatcher!
This week’s podcast begins with a comment on the debate over ABA – helpful or harmful? But the big news this week is an analysis of very early, but very published, data on the use of MDMA, also known as “ecstasy” or “Molly”, in people with autism. Called an “empathogen”, MDMA can elicit feelings of […]
Online registration for the 13th Annual Rockland County Autism Symposium is now open. The symposium will include three hour-long discussions and three breakout sessions with the presenters. Presenters include Katrina Roberts, MS, BCBA; Erin Richard White, PhD, BCBA-D; Declan Murphy; Peter Troy, MBA; Jill Harper, PhD; and Shawn Quigley, PhD, BCBA-D. The event will be […]
Children are not small adults, and this was illustrated this week in two papers studying features of autism across the lifespan. Their symptoms may change, which has implications for treatment – you can’t take an intervention designed for a child and give it to an adult. Hear more on this week’s podcast with an interview […]
The Smithsonian Magazine reported on the story of the Bak family and the Autism Sisters Project, an ASF scientific initiative determined to understand the disparity of autism diagnoses between boys and girls and the potential female protective effect. Through the study of the unaffected sisters of people with autism, the goal is to build a […]
Filed under: adult outcomes, ASD, asf, Autism, Autism Science Foundation, Autism Sisters Project, Diagnosis, Diagnostic Disparities, featured, female protective effect, Genetics, research, science, Smithsonian Magazine
Two weeks ago, the autism research community lost a pioneer, mentor and advocate for the autism community. This podcast only highlights a portion of the enormous contribution he made to autism research and the impact his research had on families with ASD. Also, two people that know him best, one of his current mentees, Suzannah […]
On this week’s podcast, the link between polycystic ovarian syndrome and autism explained and tied in with a new study on the highly toxic chemical DDT. They do have a common link. Research also shows that environmental exposures and maternal medical conditions contribute to a host of outcomes and comorbidities, autism being one of them.
Filed under: ASD, asf, Autism, Columbia University, DDT, featured, PCOS, podcast, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, research, science, University of Cambridge
On this week’s podcast, Melissa Scott of Curtin University discusses findings from the first paper out of Curtin’s collaboration with ASF, Stony Brook University, and Karolinska Institutet on an international policy brief on employment for people with autism. Based on a scoping review of existing research on employment practices, the environment was one crucial element […]
We’re collecting some background stories on how your child’s restrictive and repetitive behaviors are effecting his/her life and your whole family’s experience. Our goal is to encourage more research in this area. Please share your stories by sending an email to ASF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dr. Tristram Smith passed away suddenly Monday morning. He was a hero—quietly changing the face of evidence-based interventions for autism and giving families both hope and plans for how to get there. Our sincere condolences to his family and his colleagues at the University […]
On this week’s podcast, highlights from the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation 2018 International Family Conference in Dallas, TX. People with Phelan McDermid Syndrome, or PMS, suffer from seizures and intellectual disability, and about 70% have an ASD diagnosis. This syndrome is caused by mutations of the SHANK3 gene, which is present in about 1% of people […]
On this week’s podcast, two studies that used a randomized design to show how interventions can be delivered in the classroom.
On this week’s podcast, highlights of a new systematic review on Early Intense Behavioral Intervention. Thank you to the ASF community for suggesting this topic for the podcast!
If you want to know about people with autism, ask them. Scientists are working on how they collect information from people with autism in order to better understand individual experiences and produce findings that may help improve services. Listen to the podcast episode here.
ASF is proud to announce continued support for the Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC), a network of over 33 research sites around the world studying the younger siblings of people with autism. The Baby Sibs database now tracks over 5,000 younger siblings, with and without autism. The database has been used to develop more sophisticated […]
Filed under: asf, baby siblings, Baby Siblings Research Consortium, Baby Sibs, Behavior, BSRC, collaboration, consortium, early diagnosis, Early Intervention, Family, featured, genes, intervention, research, science, sex difference, Siblings
For this week’s podcast, Soheil Mahdi of the Karolinska Institutet describes the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), a tool used being used to describe the strengths of people with autism in order to identify opportunities for them. ASF is collaborating with Mr. Mahdi on an employment policy brief.
Allison Jack, PhD, of the Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders Institute at George Washington University today received a 2018 ASF Research Accelerator Grant. The funding will allow Dr. Jack and her collaborators to analyze epigenetic modifications of the oxytocin receptor in all 250 participants of their current NIH-funded project examining the differences in brain structure between […]
Filed under: Allison Jack, asf, Autism, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, award, featured, funding, Grants, research, research accelerator grant, science, The George Washington University
On this week’s podcast, data obtained from brains of people with autism is reused and re-analyzed so that a new role of mitochondria and their relationship to the activity of synapse genes could be discovered. In addition, cellular stress is seen in the brains of people with autism. What comes first? Mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular […]
Filed under: Autism, autism brainnet, brain tissue, Brown University, cellular stress, featured, Fragile X, FRAXA Research Foundation, genes, mitochondria, NeuroBioBank, NIH, podcast, research, Tuberous Sclerosis, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, UCLA
On this week’s podcast, a special episode highlighting recent research focusing on fathers. This includes genetics, parental stress and quality of life, and broader autism phenotype features. Of note, two new studies that look at antidepressant exposure in father and probability of having a child with autism – a variation on studying maternal exposures.
On this week’s podcast, a new study shows that baby teeth can show biomarkers of prenatal exposures in kids with autism. Also, new data linking autism to allergies, including food allergies.
The Interactive Autism Network published an article explaining the latest epigenetics research in autism. It highlights how environmental factors, both internal and external, affect genes and influence an individual’s development. Including findings made from Autism BrainNet tissue resources, research is demonstrating how epigenetics may play a role in the development and severity of autism. Read […]
Suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts have been shown to be increased in people with ASD. Rates are similar to those with bipolar depression and schizophrenia, but are higher even without psychosis. This is shocking and an urgent health issue in the autism community. This week’s podcast summarizes recent data, publications, presentations, and concerns of thought […]
On this week’s podcast, diagnosis with the DSM 5. While much work needs to be done to include individual abilities and disabilities into the DSM5, after the CDC prevalence numbers were published last month, it became clear the old DSM IV was not working. In a replication of a previous finding, it showed that the […]
On this week’s podcast, Dr. Tracy Yuen of University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children explains two different analyses of cost-effectiveness which looked at 1) universal screening for ASD and 2) use of genomic sequencing to identify novel variants in people with ASD.
This week’s podcast is a short summary of just a few of the presentations. There was more of an emphasis on what has been called “real life” research questions like employment, quality of life, and relationships. As a result, some of the more basic science questions around autism are now being presented at other meetings. […]
On this week’s podcast, three genetics papers featuring three ASF fellows! All three deal with using whole genome sequencing (WGS) to study non-coding regulatory regions that may be associated with autism. These regions of DNA do not code for proteins but regulate the regions that do. Mutations in the non-coding regulatory regions that regulate the […]
Videos of all the presentations at ASF’s 5th Annual Day of Learning held on April 11 are now available online. You can view them here. Topics include gender differences in autism, sleep problems in autism, the potential of medical marijuana as an autism treatment, adult outcomes, the role of dietary interventions, and the perception of […]
Filed under: adult outcomes, ASD, asf, Ashura Buckley, Autism, Day of Learning, Diet, featured, gender differences, intervention, John Spiro, Julie Lounds Taylor, medical marijuana, Michelle Failla, New York University, NIMH, nutrition, Orrin Devinsky, pain, Perception, research, science, Simons Foundation, Sleep, Somer Bishop, Susan Hyman, UCSF, University of Rochester, Vanderbilt University
On this week’s podcast, two chief science officers! Dr. Alycia Halladay interviewed Dr. Thomas Frazier of Autism Speaks on what’s needed to improve clinical trials and drug intervention for autism. The two CSOs also discussed other important in ASD research, including disclosure of a diagnosis, sex differences, and some of the newest more exciting findings.
The Spring 2018 issue of the Autism BrainNet newsletter is out now! Among other news, it highlights recent research using its donated brain tissue resources in autism genetics and neuroanatomy, the science campaign Brain Awareness Week, and outreach efforts through Autism Speaks walks around the country. You can view and read this issue here.
This week’s podcast is a mini-recap of the 5th Annual Day of learning. Hear what the speakers distilled in their TED-style talks on topics covered sleep, diet, and medical marijuana as a potential treatment for autism. Plus hear about the most recent ASF grantees.
Inside Philanthropy, a group that urges transparency in philanthropy and tracks philanthropic trends, recognized the uniqueness of the Autism Science Foundation’s undergraduate grants in a recent article. ASF invests in the future by funding young scientists, helping set their careers in autism research in motion, early on. Learn more about what ASF funds here.
Today, ASF announced the 2018 recipients of its Pre- and Postdoctoral Research Training Awards. The recipients include three graduate students—Amy Ahn, Cara Keifer, and Julia Yurkovic—and five postdoctoral fellows—Joon An, Laurel Joy Gabard-Durnam, Aaron Gordon, Whitney Guthrie, and Christine Ochoa-Escamilla. You can learn more about the recipients and their projects from ASF’s official press release […]
On this week’s podcast, studies tracking changes over time. The British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) tracked changes in adaptive behaviors and cognitive skills in children at low-risk and high-risk of an ASD diagnosis, based on family history. The results point to the value in monitoring siblings of those with autism. Researchers at Kaiser […]
Today, ASF announced the 2018 recipients of its Undergraduate Summer Research Grants. The recipients include Ethan Gahr, Evan Suzman, Christina Layton, and Ryan Risgaard, who will be conducting research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University, the Seaver Autism Center, and University of Wisconsin, respectively. You can learn more about the recipients and their projects from […]
The goal of the Autism Sisters Project is to build a large genetic database that researchers can use to explore the sex difference in autism diagnoses between boys and girls and discover how the potential protective factor, known as the female protective effect, can be harnessed to help people with autism of both sexes. NBC […]
On this week’s podcast, highlights of a new study led by Dr. Amy Kalkbrenner of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee published in Environmental Health Perspectives—certain air pollutants from cars and coal burning plants were associated with autism risk and severity. This scientific evidence supports policies which keep U.S. Environmental Protection Agency infrastructure intact to monitor […]
Researchers at Autism BrainNet node UC Davis MIND Institute found that while typically-developing children gain more neurons in a region of the brain that governs social and emotional behavior, the amygdala, as they become adults, people with ASD do not. The open access research published in PNAS studied 52 postmortem human brains, both neurotypical and […]
A new study by the CDC, including Dr. Matthew Maenner, ASF Grantee ’10, found that 95% of children with autism have at least one psychiatric or medical comorbidity, which may have a role in age of first evaluation—the more comorbid conditions, the earlier the first evaluation for ASD. Read the study here.
On this week’s podcast, Dr. Alycia Halladay overviews three recent studies, including one done in collaboration with the Autism Treatment Network, looking at how sleep problems impact the behavior and functioning of individuals with autism across the spectrum.
SETD5 is a master regulator of gene activity that controls the activity of potentially thousands of other downstream genes in the same cell. Researchers, supported in part by ASF, found that this gene is associated with a subtype of autism that is seen mostly in males and includes intellectual disability and facial dysmorphology. This is […]
On this week’s podcast, a study led by Elizabeth Berg in the lab of Dr. Jill Silverman at UC Davis published in the journal Autism Research demonstrated SHANK3’s role in core social communication deficits in a rat model of autism. Rats exhibit both receptive and expressive communication. SHANK3 mutations are seen in those with Phelan-McDermid […]
Research led by Daniel Geschwind of the University of California, Los Angeles used postmortem brain tissue, including resources from Autism BrainNet, found similar gene expression patterns in the brains of those with autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. All three conditions show an activation of genes in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, and suppression of genes […]
This week’s ASF podcast goes into some waves—gamma waves, which seem to help coordinate activity in different parts of the brain. Researchers at Oxford University led by Dr. David Menassa explore gamma waves in the brains of autistic adults who perform better on a visual processing task than those without a diagnosis. Dr. Menassa provides […]
The newly reconstituted and reorganized Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has released their strategic plan for 2016-2017. To read the full document, click here.
In a new blog post, ASF CSO Alycia Halladay explains the newest research in understanding the brains of people with autism.
Listen to this week’s podcast which describes the new Autism Centers for Excellence awards from the NIH and how they will affect the lives of people with ASD.
Autism Science Foundation grantees and fellows will be giving several presentations throughout the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in San Francisco this week. If you will be at IMFAR, see details below so you can attend their presentations. If not, see below anyway to learn about the great work ASF grantees and fellows are […]
This week the Infant Brain Imaging Study, or IBIS, published it’s second study on the emergence of changes in the brains of individuals with autism. While red flags for autism can be seen early, a diagnosis of autism is not typically made until after 24 months of age. Using a baby sibling research design, scientists showed […]
Individual research studies are great. But even better is when someone takes these studies and puts them together to see if one study shows the same thing another does, and if they do, then is the effect size consistent? Sometimes you can only do this by going old school and pooling the data from the […]
Even though more than 20% of people with autism have little or no language, research into ways to help this group have really been lacking. Several efforts to not just understand the abilities and disabilities of this group started a few years ago and we are just starting to hear about what works and what […]