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Undiagnosed Autism And Developmental Delay In Children With Epilepsy

Research presented today at the American Epilepsy Society’s 65th annual meeting suggests that systematic screening for developmental delay (DD) and autism should be routine for all children seen in epilepsy clinics. Investigators at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, evaluated the potential of giving screening questionnaires to parents of pediatric epilepsy patients seen in an epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) and a ketogenic diet clinic.

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neurons

Small, Preliminary Study Finds Abnormal Number Of Neurons In Brains Of Children With Autism

In a small, preliminary study that included 13 male children, those with autism had an average 67 percent more prefrontal brain neurons and larger than average brain weight, than children without autism, according to a study in the November 9 issue of JAMA. The study was carried out by Eric Courchesne, Ph.D., of the NIH-UCSD School of Medicine Autism Center of Excellence, La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues.

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physicians

Wide Variation In Best-Estimate Clinical Diagnosis Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

In a study conducted at 12 university-based research sites, there was wide variation in how best-estimate clinical diagnoses within the autism spectrum were assigned to individual children, according to a study being published Online First by the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The research was carried out by Catherine Lord, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, White Plains, New York, and colleagues.

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neuron

Researchers Characterize Epigenetic Signatures Of Autism In Brain Tissue

Neurons in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with autism show changes at numerous sites across the genome, according to a study being published Online First by the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The study was carried out by Hennady P. Shulha, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass., and colleagues.

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Researcher Laurent Mottron

Researcher Urges Scientists To Stop Emphasizing The Shortcomings Of People With Autism

We must stop considering the different brain structure of autistic individuals to be a deficiency, as research reveals that many autistic people – not just “savants” – have qualities and abilities that may exceed those of people who do not have the condition, according to a provocative article published today in Nature by Dr. Laurent Mottron at the University of Montreal’s Centre for Excellence in Pervasive Development Disorders.

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Autistic Brains Develop More Slowly Than Healthy Brains

Researchers at UCLA have found a possible explanation for why autistic children act and think differently than their peers. For the first time, they have shown that the connections between brain regions that are important for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys with autism than in non-autistic children. Included in this report is a video time lapse comparison of normal brain versus autistic brain development.

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DNA

Genetic Variant And Auto-Antibodies Linked To Having A Child With Autism

A study by researchers at UC Davis has found that pregnant women with a particular gene variation are more likely to produce autoantibodies to the brains of their developing fetuses and that the children of these mothers are at greater risk of later being diagnosed with autism. The finding is the first to demonstrate a genetic mechanism at play in the development of the neurodevelopmental disorder among some children – offering the possibility of a genetic test for some women at risk for having a child with autism, said Judy Van de Water, an immunologist and the study’s co-principal investigator.

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