Study Shows Visual Evoked Potential Is a Promising Tool for Translational Research Into Phelan-McDermid Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai have identified specific transient visual evoked potential waveform abnormalities in individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS), proving the method to be an effective, noninvasive technique to gather objective data from a range of individuals, including those who are profoundly affected.

UTEP Study Examines Movement in Children with Autism

For more than a year, researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso’s Stanley E. Fulton Gait Research & Movement Analysis Lab in the College of Health Sciences have been using real-time 3D animation to investigate motor impairments in children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The greatest takeaway from this study is that when teaching or coaching new movements to an individual with autism, the teacher or coach needs to understand the individual with autism’s specific motor learning characteristics.

Study Finds Neglected Mutations May Play Important Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mutations that occur in certain DNA regions, called tandem repeats, may play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders, according to research led by Melissa Gymrek, assistant professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering and School of Medicine. The study, which was published in Nature on Jan. 14, was co-authored by UCLA professor of human genetics Kirk Lohmueller and highlights the contributions these understudied mutations can make to disease.

Pregnant mother’s immunity tied to behavioral, emotional challenges for kids with autism

Children with autism born to mothers who had immune conditions during their pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems, a UC Davis Health study has found. Offspring sex may also interact with maternal immune conditions to influence outcomes, particularly in terms of a child’s cognition.

GI symptoms linked to behavioral problems in children, especially those with autism

A new UC Davis Health study found that common gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating are linked to troubling sleep problems, self-harm and physical complaints in preschool children. According to the study, published Aug. 6 in Autism Research, these GI symptoms are much more common and potentially disruptive in young kids with autism.

Autism severity can change substantially during early childhood

A UC Davis MIND Institute study found that around 30% of young children with autism have less severe autism symptoms at age 6 than they did at age 3, with some losing their autism diagnoses entirely. It also found that girls tend to show greater reduction and less rise in their autism symptom severity than boys with autism. Children with higher IQs were more likely to show a reduction in their symptoms.

Overcoming challenges of individuals with autism spectrum disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Adrien A. Eshraghi and University of Miami Health System coauthors published a new correspondence titled COVID-19: overcoming the challenges faced by individuals with autism and their families in The Lancet Psychiatry. In this commentary, the authors address specific challenges patients with autism and their families might encounter during the pandemic, as well as what healthcare providers should know and do to ensure optimal and safe care.

Depression symptoms linked to reduced cognitive control in people with autism

Adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with typical development show similar proactive cognitive control. However, symptoms of depression in individuals with autism were linked to less proactive control, a UC Davis study found.

Self-regulation for kids: at home, at school and with autism

As every teacher will assert, self-regulation is the key to optimal learning; it helps kids tune in, stay focussed and be ready to learn. But what if your child isn’t wired this way? For many children, self-regulation is hard to master, but for kids on the autism spectrum, it can seem insurmountable, singling them out and creating barriers to their learning.

U.S. Autism Rates Up 10 Percent in New CDC Report

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health contributed to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that finds the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 11 surveillance sites as 1 in 54 among children aged 8 years in 2016 (or 1.85 percent).

Largest Autism Sequencing Study to Date Identifies 102 Genes Associated With the Condition

In the largest genetic sequencing study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to date, researchers have identified 102 genes associated with risk for autism. The study also shows significant progress towards teasing apart the genes associated with ASD from those associated with intellectual disability and developmental delay, conditions which often overlap.