ASD

NIH Awards Funding for Early Autism Screening

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded more than four million dollars in FY 2019 to support seven research projects aimed at developing and validating screening tools to detect signs of autism spectrum disorder in the first year of life. Approximately 19 million dollars is projected to be awarded to these projects by NIH over the duration of the funded projects. “Early detection and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder are two of…

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“Covert” Neurofeedback Tunes-up the Social Brain in ASD

Young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) thought they were just playing a picture puzzle game while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning. In fact, the game was rigged – by their own brain activity. The more participants spontaneously activated social brain circuitry known to be under-connected in ASD, the more pieces of a puzzle filled-in to reveal the picture. Since the game was controlled by circuit activity, the participants were unknowingly tuning-up their own brains.…

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Inherited Variations in Noncoding Sections of DNA Associated with Autism

A new study has identified an association between paternally-inherited rare structural variants in noncoding segments of genes and the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and published in Science, adds to a growing body of research describing genetic contributors to ASD. ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. While the exact causes of ASD are unknown, researchers have identified a number of…

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Suspect Molecules Overlap in Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Evidence has been mounting that some mental disorders share many of the same genetic risk factors. Now, researchers have discovered that this overlap extends to the molecular level – some of these suspect genes also turn on-and-off similarly in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These molecular signatures may hold clues to what goes wrong in the brain in these disorders—and potentially ways to better treat or even prevent…

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Suspect Molecules Overlap in Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Evidence has been mounting that some mental disorders share many of the same genetic risk factors. Now, researchers have discovered that this overlap extends to the molecular level – some of these suspect genes also turn on-and-off similarly in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These molecular signatures may hold clues to what goes wrong in the brain in these disorders—and potentially ways to better treat or even prevent…

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Common cerebral white matter abnormalities found in children with autistic traits

Structural abnormalities in the brain’s white matter match up consistently with the severity of autistic symptoms not only in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but also, to some degree, in those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also have autistic traits. This is the finding of a new study, published September 6 in JAMA Psychiatry, which highlights evidence supporting the theory that common, underlying brain mechanisms may be responsible for autistic traits seen in both diagnoses.…

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NIH-funded projects aim at improving access, timeliness of interventions

Developing effective, real-world-ready approaches to providing early diagnosis, treatment, and supportive services for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the goal of 12 research grants awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). These grants are part of a broad research effort to provide models for the delivery of needed services to children, youth, and adults with ASD, across different communities and care settings, appropriate to each age and individual. NIMH is part…

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Adults with autism at higher risk of sexual victimization, study shows

Adults with autism are at a higher risk of sexual victimization than adults without, due to lack of sex education, but with improved interventions that focus on sexual knowledge and skill building, the risk could be reduced, according to a recent study by York University researchers. “Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) gain more of their sexual knowledge from external sources such as the internet and the television whereas social sources would include parents, teachers…

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