Science News about Autism (All Items)
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- Fat-free See-through Brain Bares All
- Press Release April 10, 2013
Scientists can now study the brain’s finer workings, while preserving its 3-D structure and integrity of its circuitry using a breakthrough method, called CLARITY, that substitutes a clear gel for fat that normally holds the brain’s working components in place, making its normally opaque and impenetrable tissue see-through and permeable.
- New NIH Funding for Two Autism Centers of Excellence
- Press Release April 02, 2013
The National Institutes of Health announced new funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), bringing to eleven the number of ACE centers now being funded for up to five years.
- Autism Risk Unrelated to Total Vaccine Exposure in Early Childhood
- Science Update March 29, 2013
A child’s risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not increased by receiving “too many vaccines too soon,” according to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
- Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism
- Science Update March 20, 2013
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration released a report titled Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011–2012.
- Developing Male Brain Exposed to Less Stress-Protective Protein
- Science Update March 12, 2013
Why are rates of schizophrenia and autism higher in males? New evidence implicates an enzyme expressed in the placenta that helps protect the developing fetal brain from adverse effects of maternal stress early in pregnancy.
- Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots
- Science Update March 01, 2013
Five major mental disorders share some of the same genetic risk factors, the largest genome-wide study of its kind has found.
- Precursor Symptoms to Autism Detected in 6-Month-Old Infants
- Science Update February 11, 2013
Some autism symptoms can be seen in 6-month-old infants, possibly leading to even earlier intervention for this disorder.
- Study Documents that Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis
- Press Release January 15, 2013
An NIH-supported study has confirmed that some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older.
- NIH Awards $100 Million for Autism Centers of Excellence Program
- Science Update September 04, 2012
NIMH, along with NICHD, NINDS, NIDCD, and NIEHS, have awarded nine new grants aimed at advancing research on the causes of autism spectrum disorder and finding new treatments.
- Many Youths with Autism Not Employed or In College 2 Years After High School
- Science Update July 20, 2012
Data from a nationally representative survey show that teens with autism appear to face additional challenges after graduating high school than peers with similar disabilities. NIMH-funded researchers highlight the need to improve transition planning and for further studies on the effectiveness of services for adults with autism.
- Social Brain Circuits Disrupted in Autism
- Science Update July 19, 2012
Brain areas involved in social behavior are active but out of sync with each other in young people with autism, according to recent findings from functional brain imaging.
- Most Children with ASD Diagnosed After Age 5, Use Multiple Services and Medications
- Science Update May 24, 2012
New data detail the experiences of young children with autism spectrum disorder, describing when they are first identified as having ASD, who is making those identifications, and the services and medications the children use to meet their developmental needs.
- Agent Reduces Autism-like Behaviors in Mice
- Press Release April 25, 2012
Autism-like behaviors in mice have been reduced, using an experimental agent being tested in patients for a related disorder.
- Spontaneous Gene Glitches Linked to Autism Risk with Older Dads
- Press Release April 04, 2012
A trio of new studies have found that sequence changes in parts of genes that code for proteins play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
- Gene Regulator in Brain’s Executive Hub Tracked Across Lifespan – NIH study
- Press Release February 02, 2012
For the first time, scientists have tracked the activity, across the lifespan, of an environmentally responsive regulatory mechanism that turns genes on and off in the brain’s executive hub. Among key findings of the study by National Institutes of Health scientists: genes implicated in schizophrenia and autism turn out to be members of a select club of genes in which regulatory activity peaks during an environmentally-sensitive critical period in development.
- NDAR Federation Creates Largest Source of Autism Research Data to Date
- Press Release December 12, 2011
A data partnership between the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) positions NDAR as possibly the largest repository to date of genetic, phenotypic, clinical, and medical imaging data related to research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
- Training Peers Improves Social Outcomes for Some Kids with ASD
- Press Release November 28, 2011
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who attend regular education classes may be more likely to improve their social skills if their typically developing peers are taught how to interact with them than if only the children with ASD are taught such skills. According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, a shift away from more commonly used interventions that focus on training children with ASD directly may provide greater social benefits for children with ASD.
- Neurons Grown from Skin Cells May Hold Clues to Autism
- Press Release November 28, 2011
Potential clues to how autism miswires the brain are emerging from a study of a rare, purely genetic form of the disorders that affects fewer than 20 people worldwide. Using cutting-edge “disease-in a-dish” technology, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have grown patients’ skin cells into neurons to discover what goes wrong in the brain in Timothy Syndrome. Affected children often show symptoms of autism spectrum disorders along with a constellation of physical problems.
- NIH-funded Study Shows Pre-birth Brain Growth Problems Linked to Autism
- Press Release November 08, 2011
Children with autism have more brain cells and heavier brains compared to typically developing children, according to researchers partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Perinatal Antidepressant Stunts Brain Development in Rats
- Press Release October 24, 2011
Rats exposed to an antidepressant just before and after birth showed substantial brain abnormalities and behaviors, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Autism Risk in Younger Siblings May be Higher Than Previously Thought
- Science Update August 23, 2011
Parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face about a 19 percent chance that subsequent children will also develop ASD, according to a study partially funded by NIMH.
- Balance Tips toward Environment as Heritability Ebbs in Autism?
- Press Release July 04, 2011
The largest and most rigorous twin study of its kind to date has found that shared environment influences susceptibility to autism more than previously thought.
- Autism Blurs Distinctions Between Brain Regions
- Press Release June 02, 2011
Autism blurs the molecular differences that normally distinguish different brain regions, a new study suggests. Among more than 500 genes that are normally expressed at significantly different levels in the front versus the lower middle part of the brain’s outer mantle, or cortex, only 8 showed such differences in brains of people with autism, say researchers funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.
- Many School-aged Children with ASD in South Korea Go Undiagnosed
- Science Update May 10, 2011
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children in South Korea appears to be much higher than the range of estimates reported for other countries, according to a study partly funded by NIMH. Furthermore, two-thirds of ASD cases were found in children attending mainstream schools, had not been previously diagnosed, and had never received treatment for the disorder. The study was published on May 9, 2011, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
- 5-minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs Of Autism in 1-year Olds
- Press Release April 28, 2011
A five-minute checklist that parents can fill out in pediatrician waiting rooms may someday help in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study’s design also provides a model for developing a network of pediatricians to adopt such a change to their practice.
- Mice with Autism-related Mutations Replicate Autism-like Behaviors
- Science Update April 15, 2011
Mice bred to harbor mutations similar to those discovered in people with autism show autism-like repetitive behaviors and social impairments. The behaviors, triggered by deletions in a gene called SHANK3, implicated in some cases of autism, were traced to weak neural connections for functions disturbed in autism.
- Recovery Act-funded Jobs Program Helps High School Grads Who Have ASD
- Press Release April 01, 2011
JobTIPS, a free, Web-based program unveiled today, aims to help youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other disabilities develop and maintain skills needed for successful employment. Supported through the Recovery Act with a grant for just under $1 million over two years from the National Institutes of Health, this resource targets a critical transition period as teenagers leave the school system, which is usually their primary source of ASD-related services throughout childhood.
- NIMH Teams Up to Study ASD Rates in Somali-American Children
- Science Update January 20, 2011
NIMH will be supporting a joint effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Autism Speaks, a private advocacy organization, to investigate reports of elevated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children born to Somali immigrants living in Minneapolis, Minn.
- Toddlers with Autism Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention, Finds NIH-Supported Study
- Press Release December 08, 2010
Targeting the core social deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in early intervention programs yielded sustained improvements in social and communication skills even in very young children who have ASD, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published online July 28, 2010, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
- Preference for Moving Shapes vs. People Linked to Autism in Babies
- Science Update September 24, 2010
A 1-minute video showing computer screensavers next to videos of dancing children may prove to be a simple, inexpensive screening tool for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in toddlers. According to an NIMH-funded study, infants as young as 14 months old who had autism spent more time looking at the moving shapes than social images, in contrast to typically developing children and those who had delays but not autism. The study was published online, September 6, 2010, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
- Imaging Reveals Abnormal Brain Growth in Toddlers with Fragile X
- Science Update June 08, 2010
Differences in brain growth patterns between preschool-aged boys with Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, and their healthy peers suggest that the disorder may affect brain development both before and after birth, according to NIMH-funded researchers. In addition, their findings indicate ages 1–5 are an important window for better understanding the effects of FXS on brain development. The study was published May 18, 2010, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Major Databases Link Up to Advance Autism Research
- Press Release December 08, 2009
Researchers studying autism spectrum disorders (ASD) will soon have access to a vast range of data and research tools through the NIH National Database for Autism Research (NDAR).
- Autism Intervention for Toddlers Improves Developmental Outcomes
- Science Update December 08, 2009
Children with autism who receive a high intensity developmental behavioral intervention starting by age 18–30 months show major improvements in IQ, language, adaptive behavior, and severity of their diagnosis, according to an NIMH-funded study.
- Silenced Gene for Social Behavior Found in Autism
- Science Update December 03, 2009
For the first time, inherited disruption of gene expression in a brain system for social behavior has been implicated in autism. NIMH grantee Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., at the University of Miami and Simon Gregory, Ph.D., at Duke University, and a multinational team of researchers found evidence for such epigenetic effects on the gene for the oxytocin receptor -- part of a brain system that mediates social behaviors disturbed in autism. The findings suggest a potential genetic biomarker for the disorder.
- Parent Training Complements Medication for Treating Behavioral Problems in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders
- Press Release November 20, 2009
Treatment that includes medication plus a structured training program for parents reduces serious behavioral problems in children with autism and related conditions, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study, which was part of the NIMH Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network, was published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
- Recovery Act Grant Aims to Teach Kids with Autism How to Better Express Themselves
- Science Update November 12, 2009
Most children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seem to have trouble engaging in everyday social interactions. They may seem to have no reaction to other people or may respond atypically when others show anger or affection. Their own facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language may not match what they are saying, making it difficult for others to respond appropriately. Such barriers to communication can isolate children with ASD from their peers.
- NIH Awards More than 50 Grants to Boost Search for Causes, Improve Treatments for Autism
- Press Release November 04, 2009
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded more than 50 autism research grants, totaling more than $65 million, which will be supported with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds. These grants are the result of the largest funding opportunity for research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to date, announced in March 2009.
- Kids’ Brain Development Charted as They Grow Up
- Science Update November 03, 2009
A landmark, multisite NIH-funded neuroimaging study of brain development in healthy, normally-developing children has posted its third release of data. This is the first release from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study to include data from very young children – birth to 4 years old – and snapshots of brain chemistry at key developmental milestones. The data is accessible to qualified researchers via the NIH Pediatric MRI Data Repository website.
- Clinical Tests Begin on Medication to Correct Fragile X Defect
- Press Release November 02, 2009
NIH-supported scientists at Seaside Therapeutics in Cambridge, Mass., are beginning a clinical trial of a potential medication designed to correct a central neurochemical defect underlying Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. There has to date been no medication that could alter the disorder’s neurologic abnormalities. The study will evaluate safety, tolerability, and optimal dosage in healthy volunteers.
- Youth with Autism Coming of Age: New NIMH Study Will Focus on Transitions in Service Use and Coverage
- Science Update August 07, 2009
The transition from teen to young adult involves many highly anticipated rites of passage. However, for youths with developmental disorders, coming of age may signal the sudden end of coverage for education and training programs, health insurance, and youth-oriented services.
- Citalopram No Better Than Placebo Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Press Release June 01, 2009
Citalopram, a medication commonly prescribed to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was no more effective than a placebo at reducing repetitive behaviors, according to researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and other NIH institutes. The study was published in the June 2009 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
- Autism Skews Developing Brain with Synchronous Motion and Sound
- Press Release March 31, 2009
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to stare at people’s mouths rather than their eyes. Now, an NIH-funded study in 2-year-olds with the social deficit disorder suggests why they might find mouths so attractive: lip-syncing — the exact match of lip motion and speech sound.
- Rising to the Challenge: NIH Will Use $60 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Support Strategic Autism Research
- Press Release March 24, 2009
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will commit roughly $60 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support autism research and meet objectives set forth earlier this year by a federal advisory committee. The Request for Applications is the largest funding opportunity for research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to date and combined with other ARRA initiatives represents a surge in NIH’s commitment to finding the causes and treatments for autism.
- NIMH Grants Focus on Innovative Autism Research
- Science Update December 30, 2008
Autism is a complex brain disorder involving communication and social difficulties as well as repetitive behavior or limited interests.
- Lack of Eye Contact May Predict Level of Social Disability in Two-Year Olds with Autism
- Science Update October 23, 2008
By age 2, children with autism show unusual patterns of eye contact compared with typically developing children.
- Study Examines the Prevalence and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism
- Science Update September 24, 2008
A new study examines the characteristics of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) who also have gastrointestinal problems.
- Antipsychotic Does Not Harm—and May Improve—Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism
- Science Update August 27, 2008
The atypical antipsychotic medication risperidone (Risperdal) does not negatively affect cognitive skills of children with autism, and may lead to improvements, according to an NIMH-funded study published recently in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
- “Signatures” of Errant Gene Expression in Autism Eyed for Diagnostic Test
- Science Update August 01, 2008
Researchers have launched an effort to detect profiles of gene expression associated with autism that could some day form the basis of a diagnostic test for the disorder.
- Common Mechanisms May Underlie Autism’s Seemingly Diverse Mutations
- Press Release July 10, 2008
Many of the seemingly disparate mutations recently discovered in autism may share common underlying mechanisms, say researchers supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- New Grant Supports Stem Cell-Derived Model of Autism-Related Illness
- Science Update June 26, 2008
For the first time, researchers are developing a test tube model of Rett syndrome, a debilitating autism-like illness, in neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells.
- NIMH Funds Research to Find Best Treatments for Children with Autism and ADHD Symptoms
- Science Update June 02, 2008
A new NIMH-funded study will help guide the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
- Spontaneous Mutations Rife in Non-Familial Schizophrenia
- Press Release May 30, 2008
People with schizophrenia from families with no history of the illness were found to harbor eight times more spontaneous mutations – most in pathways affecting brain development – than healthy controls, in a study supported in part the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). By contrast, no spontaneous mutations were found in people with schizophrenia who had family histories of the illness.
- Journal Highlights Effectiveness of Research Based Psychotherapies for Youth
- Science Update April 15, 2008
Reviews of the current research on psychosocial and behavioral therapies, or psychotherapies, for children and adolescents found a number of "well established" and "probably efficacious" treatments for many mental disorders. For example, six were "probably efficacious" for anxiety disorders, and two were "well established" for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to scientists funded by NIMH and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, divisions of the National Institutes of Health.
- Newly Awarded Autism Centers of Excellence to Further Autism Research
- Press Release April 01, 2008
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 1, 2008, the latest recipients of the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) program.
- Autism Gene Scans Converge on Two Suspect Sites, Two Types of Genetic Risk
- Science Update March 19, 2008
Four teams of scientists, using resources supported in part by NIMH, have pinpointed two different sites in the genome, each conferring a different type of genetic risk for autism. At one site, risk genes appear to be inherited. At the other, risk stems from spontaneous mutations, not seen in the genetics of the parents. In both examples, evidence suggests the suspect genes are critical for development of brain circuits impaired in autism.
- Autism Risk Higher in People with Gene Variant
- Press Release January 10, 2008
Scientists have found a variation in a gene that may raise the risk of developing autism, especially when the variant is inherited from mothers rather than fathers. The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.
- Study Aims to Develop First Medications for Fragile-X Syndrome, Leading Inherited Cause of Mental Retardation
- Science Update December 20, 2007
A new NIMH grant is enabling scientists to begin testing safety and effectiveness of potential medications for fragile-X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation. No effective medications are available for the disorder.
- NIH Funds New Program to Investigate Causes and Treatment of Autism
- Science Update October 30, 2007
The National Institutes of Health will intensify its efforts to find the causes of autism and identify new treatments for the disorder, through a new research program.
- New Social Neuroscience Grants to Help Unravel Autism, Anxiety Disorders
- Science Update October 10, 2007
How genes and the environment shape the brain circuitry underlying social behavior is among the questions being addressed by three newly NIMH-funded studies.
- NIMH Funds Additional New Research on Autism
- Science Update September 11, 2007
NIMH is funding several new grants that will further our understanding of autism spectrum disorder, which is marked by a pervasive impairment in communicating, expressing emotion, and relating to others socially.
- Half of Children With Autism May be Diagnosable Soon After Their First Birthday
- Science Update August 10, 2007
About half of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be diagnosed soon after their first birthday; others with the disorder may appear to develop normally until that age and then falter or regress during their second year, NIMH-funded researchers have discovered.
- Tiny, Spontaneous Gene Mutations May Boost Autism Risk
- Press Release March 15, 2007
Tiny gene mutations, each individually rare, pose more risk for autism than had been previously thought, suggests a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
- Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues
- Press Release February 18, 2007
The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain’s glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11.
- Autism Research Efforts Highlighted in Biological Psychiatry Special Issue
- Science Update February 06, 2007
The February 15, 2007 special issue of Biological Psychiatry is dedicated to recent advances in autism research, including many studies funded by the Institute.
- New Tests May Help Researchers Detect Genetic Basis For Autism
- Science Update January 30, 2007
Researchers have developed a set of behavioral tests in mice that mimic the core features of autism and may prove useful in detecting a genetic basis for the deficits in social interactions and rigid thinking seen in the disorder.
- Brain’s Fear Center Likely Shrinks in Autism’s Most Severely Socially Impaired
- Press Release December 04, 2006
The brain’s fear hub likely becomes abnormally small in the most severely socially impaired males with autism spectrum disorders, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have discovered.
- Gene Linked to Autism in Families with More Than One Affected Child
- Press Release October 17, 2006
A version of a gene has been linked to autism in families that have more than one child with the disorder. Inheriting two copies of this version more than doubled a child’s risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder, scientists supported by NIMH and NICHD have discovered.
- New NIMH Research Program Launches Autism Trials
- Press Release September 07, 2006
NIMH has launched three major clinical studies on autism at its research program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
- Males with Autism Have Fewer Cells in Brain’s Emotional Memory Hub
- Science Update July 26, 2006
Males with autism have fewer cells in a part of the brain that has a key role in emotion and memory, according to NIMH-funded researchers at the University of California, Davis.
- NIH Joined by Advocacy Groups to Fund Research on Autism Susceptibility Genes
- Press Release October 18, 2005
Five institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and three private autism organizations have formed a consortium to pursue their common goal of understanding a devastating disorder.
- International Coalition to Fund Autism Genetics Research
- Press Release December 29, 2004
An international public/private partnership of government health agencies and private advocacy organizations has committed more than $21 million for research to identify the genes associated with autism spectrum disorders, a range of developmental disorders that impair communication and other mental abilities.
- NIMH Grant to Explore Genetics of Autism
- Press Release October 08, 2004
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced this week a 3-year, $3 million grant to Johns Hopkins University to study the genetic factors underlying autism.
- Autism Summit Conference
- Press Release November 14, 2003
A national conference focusing on the Federal government's role in biomedical autism research, early screening and diagnosis, and improving access to autism services will be held November 19-20, 2003, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
- NIMH Awards $22.6 Million for Center for Collaborative Research on Mental Disorders
- Press Release July 01, 2003
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has funded a five-year, $22.6 million Center for Collaborative Genetic Studies on Mental Disorders at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
- NIH Awards Grants for Six New Autism Research Centers
- Press Release May 13, 2003
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded grants to support six new research centers of a major network focusing on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.
- Telltale Protein Defects Mark Fragile X Pathways
- Press Release February 12, 2003
A team of scientists led by National Institute of Mental Health Health (NIMH) grantees has identified a trove of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal growth—some of them likely implicated in mental retardation and perhaps other neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.
- NIH Awards Grants for Two New Autism Research Centers
- Press Release September 18, 2002
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced grants totaling $19 million to support the first two research centers of a major network of facilities to focus on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.
- NIMH Study Finds Anti-Psychotic Medication Useful in Treating Serious Behavioral Problems among Children with Autism
- Press Release July 31, 2002
One of a newer class of anti-psychotic medications was successful and well tolerated for the treatment of serious behavioral disturbances associated with autistic disorder in children ages 5 to 17.
- $6 Million Grant to Expand Search for Autism Genes
- Press Release March 11, 2002
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) today awarded the first installment of an expected $6 million grant over 5 years to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for major expansion of a collaborative effort to identify autism genes.
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