FSU experts available to share research insights for Autism Acceptance Month

By: Bill Wellock | Published: March 31, 2021 | 1:55 pm | SHARE: The Autism Society of America celebrates April as Autism Acceptance Month as part of the organization’s efforts to build a better awareness of the signs, symptoms and realities of autism.Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.

Guilt by Dissociation: Study Sheds Light on Serotonin in Autism

A study on serotonin, a mood-regulating molecule in the brain that regulates many brain synapses, is helping to unravel the puzzle surrounding its role in autism. The activity and regulation of the serotonin transporter (SERT), protein is critically dependent on a number of other proteins that tell the protein where to locate on nerve cells and how to act. Shifts in the transporter’s activity can significantly impact the ability of serotonin to act in the brain.

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.

Seaver Autism Center For Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai Launches First Drug Trial for ADNP Syndrome

Researchers at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai have started recruiting participants for a new clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of a low dose of ketamine in children diagnosed with ADNP syndrome (also known as Helsmoortel-VanDerAa syndrome), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the activity dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) gene.

Scientists uncover new genetic mutations linked to autism spectrum disorder

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands have identified mutations in a gene called CNOT1 that affect brain development and impair memory and learning. The research, published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, also revealed that CNOT1 interacts with several known autism spectrum disorder (ASD) genes, opening new research avenues for the condition.

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.

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.

Measuring Mutations in Sperm May Reveal Risk for Autism in Future Children

Spontaneous mutations in male sperm are linked to development of autism spectrum disorder. Researchers have created a way to measure mutations and estimate risk of ASD in future children. If developed into a clinical test, the method could be a useful predictive tool in genetic counseling.

In Some Children with Autism, “Social” and “Visual” Neural Circuits Don’t Quite Connect

Researchers combined eye gaze research with brain scans to discover that in a common subtype of autism, in which ASD toddlers prefer images of geometric shapes over those of children playing, brain areas responsible for vision and attention are not controlled by social brain networks, and so social stimuli are ignored.