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 […]

Brain imaging could lead to early dyslexia diagnosis

by Jennifer Huber – For many, the word dyslexia represents painful struggles with reading and speech that impact their self-confidence –- 20 percent of school-aged children and over 40 million adults in the U.S. are dyslexic. Dyslexics are often very intelligent and can learn successfully with appropriate teaching methods, but early diagnosis and intervention are […]

Study finds poor correlation between environment and autism

by Paul Whiteley, Ph.D. – “Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s”. That was the conclusion reached by Dr. Cynthia Nevison based at the Institute […]

Brain imaging could assist in diagnosing and treating ADHD

by Denise Reynolds RD G+ – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD and because symptoms vary from person to person, the disorder can be hard to diagnose. A new study from a team of […]

Researchers use brain imaging to develop instructional strategies for kids with learning disorders

by John Higgins – On a recent afternoon, a 10-year-old girl with long, blond, curly hair, gave University of Washington researchers a peek inside her brain. Lying flat on her back inside a machine that looks like a big doughnut, Shelter Gimbel-Sherr read individual letters presented on a video screen and then wrote the one […]

Kids with ADHD benefit from psychotherapy but they are not getting it

by Anthony Rivas – Kids who are taught about emotional intelligence learn how to recognize their emotions when they appear, and how to regulate them in a responsible, psychologically safe way. All kids should learn about it, but perhaps more in need of learning it are kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although it’s […]