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Preemies at High Risk of Autism Don’t Show Typical Signs of Disorder in Early Infancy

Premature babies are at an increased risk for developing autism spectrum disorder. But a small study indicates that preemies who avoid eye contact in early infancy are less likely to demonstrate symptoms of autism at age 2 than preemies who maintain eye contact during early interactions, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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Small RNAs Found to Play Important Roles in Memory Formation

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Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have found that a type of genetic material called “microRNA” plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models. In some cases, these RNAs increase memory, while others decrease it.

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Autistic Children Improved Reading and Brain Activity After 10-Week Reading Intervention

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Ten weeks of intensive reading intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder was enough to strengthen the activity of loosely connected areas of their brains that work together to comprehend reading, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found.

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Clinical Trial Launched to Assess Safety and Efficacy of Autism Drug Treatment

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have launched a clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of an unprecedented drug therapy for autism.

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Fragile X Proteins Involved in Proper Neuron Development

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited intellectual disability and the greatest single genetic contributor to autism. Unlocking the mechanisms behind fragile X could make important revelations about the brain. In a new study published June 4 in the journal Cell Reports, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center and Department of Neuroscience show that two proteins implicated in fragile X play a crucial role in the proper development of neurons in mice.

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Syllables That Oscillate in Neuronal Circuits

Speech, emitted or received, produces an electrical activity in neurons that neuroscientists measure in the form of «cortical oscillations». To understand speech, as for other cognitive or sensory processes, the brain breaks down the information it receives to integrate it and give it a coherent meaning. But researchers could not confirm whether oscillations were signs of neuronal activity, or whether these oscillations played an active role in speech processing. Professor Anne-Lise Giraud and her team at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) reached such conclusions after having created a computerized model of neuronal microcircuits, which highlights the crucial role of neuronal oscillations to decode spoken language, independently of speakers’ pace or accent.

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Youth on the Autism Spectrum Who Are Overly Sensitive to Sensory Stimuli Have Brains That React Differently Than Youth Who Are Not as Affected by Such Stimuli

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Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, a team of UCLA researchers has shown for the first time that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are overly sensitive to sensory stimuli have brains that react differently than those with the disorder who don’t respond so severely to noises, visual stimulation and physical contact.

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Research Shows Elevated Cortisol in Autism

Researchers at the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College have found that functional level appears to play a critical role in the stress levels of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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Researchers Unravel a Link Between a Genetic Mutation and Autistic Behaviors – and Then Find a Way to Undo It

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Scientists at the University at Buffalo have identified the mechanisms behind a genetic mutation that produces certain autistic behaviors in mice, as well as therapeutic strategies to restore normal behaviors.

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Sleep Quality Influences the Cognitive Performance of Autistic and Neurotypical Children

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One night of poor sleep significantly decreases performance on intelligence tests in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also in neurotypical children (without ASD).