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brain regions in autism

Brain Imaging Shows That Social Brain Circuits Are Disrupted In Autism

In a study of high-functioning adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder, scientists using functional brain imaging have found reduced connectivity selectively affecting parts of the brain that form circuits supporting social behavior. The findings sharpen the focus of previous reports suggesting disruptions in connectivity across the brain in autism, and offer a target for future studies to search for the genes that shape the development of these circuits and how they become disrupted in the disorder.

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Researcher Paul Shattuck

Youth With Autism Face Barriers To Employment And Education After High School

Compared with youth with other disabilities, young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) face a disproportionately difficult time navigating work and educational opportunities after high school, finds a new study by Paul Shattuck, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.  Included in this report is a video summary of the study results.

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Human Brain Power

People With Autism Possess Greater Ability To Process Information

People with autism have a greater than normal capacity for processing information even from rapid presentations and are better able to detect information defined as ‘critical’, according to a study published today in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council, may help explain the apparently higher than average prevalence in the IT industry of people with autism spectrum disorders.

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mouse

Experimental Agent Reduces Autism-Like Behaviors In Mice

National Institutes of Health researchers have reversed behaviors in mice resembling two of the three core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An experimental compound, called GRN-529, increased social interactions and lessened repetitive self-grooming behavior in a strain of mice that normally display such autism-like behaviors, the researchers say. Included in this report are two video demonstrations of the study results.

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human brain

Researchers Discover An Important New Piece To The Autism Puzzle

Most cases of autism are not caused by a single genetic mutation. However, several disorders with autism-like symptoms, including the rare Fragile X syndrome, can be traced to a specific mutation. Several years ago, MIT neuroscientist Mark Bear discovered that this mutation leads to overproduction of proteins found in brain synapses — the connections between neurons that allow them to communicate with each other.

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forebrain of a mouse

Neurons Grown From Skin Cells May Hold Clues To Autism

Potential clues to how autism miswires the brain are emerging from a study of a rare, purely genetic form of the disorders that affects fewer than 20 people worldwide. Using cutting-edge “disease-in a-dish” technology, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have grown patients’ skin cells into neurons to discover what goes wrong in the brain in Timothy Syndrome. Affected children often show symptoms of autism spectrum disorders along with a constellation of physical problems. Included in this report is a video summary of the study results.

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prescription medication

Autism Risk Linked To Prenatal Drug Exposure

Investigators in a population-based study in Denmark reporting today at the American Epilepsy Society’s 65th annual meeting have found there is an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder and childhood autism in children born of mothers who are exposed to the anticonvulsant valproate during pregnancy. The Lead investigator was Dr. Jakob Christensen of Aarhus University […]

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EEG signal from the brain

Photosensitivity Rate Unexpectedly High With Comorbid Autism-Epilepsy

Epilepsy is common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A new study indicates their epilepsy is surprisingly photosensitive as well. Since photosensitive epilepsies can be triggered by flickering lights, the self-stimulatory behavior of ASD children, such as hand flapping in front of the face, has the potential to dramatically increase the risk of inducing photosensitive seizures.

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