Brain protein finding could lead to Alzheimer’s treatment in Down syndrome

by Bradley J. Fikes – A team at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla has reported an explanation for why people with Down syndrome often develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study builds on research last year that suggested a cause for the mental disability that accompanies Down syndrome. If the continuing analysis results in […]

Study finds autism brain is no different from any other

by Neuroskeptic – A new paper threatens to turn the world of autism neuroscience upside down. Its title is Anatomical Abnormalities in Autism?, and it claims that, well, there aren’t very many. Published in Cerebral Cortex by Israeli researchers Shlomi Haar and colleagues, the new research reports that there are virtually no differences in brain anatomy between […]

Study links births by c-section with risk of autism

by Sophie Borland – Babies born by Caesarean section may be more likely to develop autism, research shows. Research found the procedure appeared to increase the chances by a quarter – although there is no clear explanation. But academics urge women not be alarmed by the findings as the overall risk of autism remains very […]

Younger siblings of kids with autism may show symptoms by 18 months

by Karen Peart-Yale – About 20 percent of children who have older siblings with autism also develop the disorder. Of those children, 57 percent show symptoms as early as 18 months. The findings stress the need for early and repeated screening in the first three years of life so that, if necessary, intervention can begin […]

Researchers find slower brain connectivity in subjects with ADHD

by Rachel Lutz – Slower brain connectivity developments may be the root of ADHD, according to a study from the University of Michigan.   The brains of children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are slower to develop some key connections, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy […]

Studies find little difference between boys and girls with autism

by Apoorva Mandavilli – After decades of describing autism as a disorder of boys, scientists have only begun exploring how it affects girls and women in the past few years. For example, there is some consensus now that females may need a bigger genetic hit to develop autism and that the current diagnostic tests may miss many […]

Broccoli sprout extract as autism therapy

by Amy Norton – A compound extracted from broccoli sprouts may improve some social and behavioral problems that affect people with autism, a new study suggests. The study was short-term and small, including just over 40 teenage boys and young men with autism. And experts stressed that no one is saying broccoli — or its […]

Autism-vaccines link study goes viral, and is retracted, again

by Sydney Lupkin – An autism study that was slammed by experts and retracted this week by its publisher is still alive and well on the Internet, thanks to what critics are calling a perfect storm of lax publishing standards. Experts say the lone study author played fast and loose with statistics to show a link […]

Deficit in predictive skills could be neurological foundation for autism

by Anne Trafton – Autism is characterized by many different symptoms: difficulty interacting with others, repetitive behaviors, and hypersensitivity to sound and other stimuli. MIT neuroscientists have put forth a new hypothesis that accounts for these behaviors and may provide a neurological foundation for many of the disparate features of the disorder. The researchers suggest […]

Mice genetic model shows autism may originate in the womb

by Nicholette Zeliadt – Mice with mutations in the autism-linked gene WDFY3 have enlarged brains reminiscent of those seen in some children with autism, finds a study published 8 September in Nature Communications. The brain overgrowth begins in the womb, the study found. WDFY3 plays a role in autophagy, a process that rids cells of damaged or unneeded […]