Research by Topic: research

Podcast: Autism diagnosed in school age, and does early intervention make a difference?

Published July 16, 2018

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!

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Podcast: If you want to know about people with autism, ask them

Published July 9, 2018

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.

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ASF renews grant to expand Baby Sibs research

Published July 2, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: A tool to describe strengths of people with autism

Published July 2, 2018

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.

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Dr. Allison Jack of GWU receives ASF grant

Published July 2, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Reusing and recycling autism data from brain tissue

Published June 25, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Ode to autism dads

Published June 18, 2018

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.

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Podcast: What the Tooth Fairy knows about autism

Published June 11, 2018

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.

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New IAN article on epigenetics and autism

Published June 5, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Sobering statistics on suicide

Published June 4, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: In partial phrase of the DSM 5

Published May 28, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: The sticky subject of cost-effectiveness

Published May 21, 2018

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.

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Podcast: A sampling of science from the International Meeting of Autism Research

Published May 15, 2018

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. […]

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Podcast: Where the wild new genetic hot spots are

Published May 7, 2018

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 […]

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5th Annual Day of Learning videos now online!

Published May 1, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Clinical trials talk with Tom Frazier from Autism Speaks

Published April 30, 2018

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.

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Spring 2018 Autism BrainNet newsletter available now

Published April 27, 2018

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.

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Podcast: The ASF Day of Learning mini-recap

Published April 16, 2018

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.

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Inside Philanthropy covers significance of ASF undergraduate grant

Published April 13, 2018

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.

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2018 Fellowship recipients announced

Published April 11, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Through the years

Published April 9, 2018

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 […]

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2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Grant recipients announced

Published April 5, 2018

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 […]

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Autism Sisters Project featured on NBC New York

Published April 2, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: Why the Environmental Protection Agency is important for autism

Published March 26, 2018

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 […]

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Neurons increase in social brain region as children become adults – except in autism

Published March 20, 2018

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 […]

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CDC Study Finds 95% of Children with Autism Have One Comorbidity

Published March 14, 2018

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.

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Podcast: Sleep — It’s What’s Important for Autism

Published March 12, 2018

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.

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Genetic Variations on SETD5 Underlying Autistic Conditions

Published March 6, 2018

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 […]

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Podcast: An ode to rats as animal models for autism

Published February 12, 2018

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 […]

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Shared molecular neuropathology across major psychiatric disorders parallels polygenic overlap

Published February 9, 2018 in Science, Gandal, Haney, et al

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 […]

Science Magazine Report

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Podcast: Gamma waves and autism brains

Published December 11, 2017

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 […]

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The IACC publishes the new strategic plan for autism research

Published October 30, 2017

The newly reconstituted and reorganized Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has released their strategic plan for 2016-2017.  To read the full document, click here.

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The latest on understanding the brains of people with autism

Published October 23, 2017

In a new blog post, ASF CSO Alycia Halladay explains the newest research in understanding the brains of people with autism.

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Learn what the new Autism Centers for Excellence are doing

Published October 15, 2017

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.  

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ASF Grantees and Fellows Present Research at IMFAR

Published May 10, 2017

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 […]

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Podcast: When can you see autism in the brain?

Published February 20, 2017

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 […]

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Podcast: Putting the pieces together around group social skills interventions

Published February 6, 2017

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 […]

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Podcast: New science for those with little or no language

Published January 23, 2017

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 […]

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