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Science News About Autism

New grants fund cross-lifespan services research for autism spectrum disorder

Press Release

National Institute of Mental Health

NIH-funded projects aim at improving access, timeliness of interventions.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

Press Release

Buxbaum Autism Architecture Chart

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.

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Disorganized Cortical Patches Suggest Prenatal Origin of Autism

Press Release

Disorganized cortical patch

The architecture of the autistic brain is speckled with patches of abnormal neurons, according to research partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 27, 2014.

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Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

highlighted CA2 region of hippocampus in mouse brain

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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NeuroBioBank Gives Researchers One-stop Access to Post-mortem Brains

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Neurobiobanks - the Importance of Brain Tissue Donation

The NIH NeuroBioBank provides researchers with one-stop access to post-mortem brains.

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Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Young Infants

Press Release

Mother holding young infant

Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Infants

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New Data Reveal Extent of Genetic Overlap Between Major Mental Disorders

Press Release

SNP-based Coheritibilities

The largest genome-wide study of its kind has determined how much five major mental illnesses are traceable to the same common inherited genetic variations.

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Skewed Norms Weaken Case for Early Brain Overgrowth in Autism

Science Update

Infant Head Measurement Thumbnail

Biases in standardized norms used to compare data on head size weakens evidence for early excess brain growth in autism, say NIMH intramural researchers.

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Fat-free See-through Brain Bares All

Press Release

Fat-Free Brain Bares All

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.

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New NIH Funding for Two Autism Centers of Excellence

Press Release

NIH logo

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.

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Autism Risk Unrelated to Total Vaccine Exposure in Early Childhood

Science Update

infant girl

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.

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Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism

Science Update

young children play outside

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.

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Developing Male Brain Exposed to Less Stress-Protective Protein

Science Update

Dr. Tracy Bale

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.

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Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots

Science Update

Dr. Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D.

Five major mental disorders share some of the same genetic risk factors, the largest genome-wide study of its kind has found.

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Precursor Symptoms to Autism Detected in 6-Month-Old Infants

Science Update

infant undergoing eye-tracking study

Some autism symptoms can be seen in 6-month-old infants, possibly leading to even earlier intervention for this disorder.

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Study Documents that Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis

Press Release

teenagers making dinner

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.

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NIH Awards $100 Million for Autism Centers of Excellence Program

Science Update

puzzle piece

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.

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Many Youths with Autism Not Employed or In College 2 Years After High School

Science Update

application form

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.

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Social Brain Circuits Disrupted in Autism

Science Update

brain regions

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.

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Most Children with ASD Diagnosed After Age 5, Use Multiple Services and Medications

Science Update

Teacher in classroom with students

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.

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Agent Reduces Autism-like Behaviors in Mice

Press Release

cuddling mice

Autism-like behaviors in mice have been reduced, using an experimental agent being tested in patients for a related disorder.

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Spontaneous Gene Glitches Linked to Autism Risk with Older Dads

Press Release

Autism genetics

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).

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Gene Regulator in Brain’s Executive Hub Tracked Across Lifespan – NIH study

Press Release

PFC methylation

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.

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NDAR Federation Creates Largest Source of Autism Research Data to Date

Press Release

NDAR thumbnail

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).

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Training Peers Improves Social Outcomes for Some Kids with ASD

Press Release

young children play outside

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.

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Neurons Grown from Skin Cells May Hold Clues to Autism

Press Release

catecholamine producing neurons

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.

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NIH-funded Study Shows Pre-birth Brain Growth Problems Linked to Autism

Press Release

electron micrograph of human neurons

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.

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Perinatal Antidepressant Stunts Brain Development in Rats

Press Release

abnormal axon

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.

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Autism Risk in Younger Siblings May be Higher Than Previously Thought

Science Update

young girls painting

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.

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Balance Tips toward Environment as Heritability Ebbs in Autism?

Press Release

Two toddler boys crawling on a colorful play mat

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.

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Autism Blurs Distinctions Between Brain Regions

Press Release

brain with autism

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.

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Many School-aged Children with ASD in South Korea Go Undiagnosed

Science Update

boy playing with a puzzle

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.

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5-minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs Of Autism in 1-year Olds

Press Release

mother holds baby boy

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.

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Mice with Autism-related Mutations Replicate Autism-like Behaviors

Science Update

mouse synapses

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.

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Recovery Act-funded Jobs Program Helps High School Grads Who Have ASD

Press Release

student working at a computer

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.

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NIMH Teams Up to Study ASD Rates in Somali-American Children

Science Update

mother playing with baby

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.

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Toddlers with Autism Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention, Finds NIH-Supported Study

Press Release

boy painting his shirt

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.

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Preference for Moving Shapes vs. People Linked to Autism in Babies

Science Update

face of a little girl

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.

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Imaging Reveals Abnormal Brain Growth in Toddlers with Fragile X

Science Update

several chromosomes

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.

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Major Databases Link Up to Advance Autism Research

Press Release

Scientist looking at brain images with fMRI data

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).

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Autism Intervention for Toddlers Improves Developmental Outcomes

Science Update

Adult swinging child, playing outside

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.

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Silenced Gene for Social Behavior Found in Autism

Science Update

epigenetic mechanism

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.

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Parent Training Complements Medication for Treating Behavioral Problems in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Press Release

mother and son hugging

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.

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Recovery Act Grant Aims to Teach Kids with Autism How to Better Express Themselves

Science Update

woman and boy with laptop

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.

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NIH Awards More than 50 Grants to Boost Search for Causes, Improve Treatments for Autism

Press Release

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.

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Kids’ Brain Development Charted as They Grow Up

Science Update

Infant and family with MRI scanner

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.

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Clinical Tests Begin on Medication to Correct Fragile X Defect

Press Release

fragile X chromosome

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.

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Youth with Autism Coming of Age: New NIMH Study Will Focus on Transitions in Service Use and Coverage

Science Update

young man looking out window

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.

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Citalopram No Better Than Placebo Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Press Release

boy playing with a puzzle

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.

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Autism Skews Developing Brain with Synchronous Motion and Sound

Press Release

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.

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Rising to the Challenge: NIH Will Use $60 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Support Strategic Autism Research

Press Release

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.

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NIMH Grants Focus on Innovative Autism Research

Science Update

Autism is a complex brain disorder involving communication and social difficulties as well as repetitive behavior or limited interests.

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Lack of Eye Contact May Predict Level of Social Disability in Two-Year Olds with Autism

Science Update

By age 2, children with autism show unusual patterns of eye contact compared with typically developing children.

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Study Examines the Prevalence and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism

Science Update

A new study examines the characteristics of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) who also have gastrointestinal problems.

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Antipsychotic Does Not Harm—and May Improve—Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism

Science Update

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.

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“Signatures” of Errant Gene Expression in Autism Eyed for Diagnostic Test

Science Update

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.

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Common Mechanisms May Underlie Autism’s Seemingly Diverse Mutations

Press Release

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).

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New Grant Supports Stem Cell-Derived Model of Autism-Related Illness

Science Update

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.

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NIMH Funds Research to Find Best Treatments for Children with Autism and ADHD Symptoms

Science Update

A new NIMH-funded study will help guide the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

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Spontaneous Mutations Rife in Non-Familial Schizophrenia

Press Release

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.

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Journal Highlights Effectiveness of Research Based Psychotherapies for Youth

Science Update

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.

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Newly Awarded Autism Centers of Excellence to Further Autism Research

Press Release

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 1, 2008, the latest recipients of the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) program.

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Autism Gene Scans Converge on Two Suspect Sites, Two Types of Genetic Risk

Science Update

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.

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Autism Risk Higher in People with Gene Variant

Press Release

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.

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Study Aims to Develop First Medications for Fragile-X Syndrome, Leading Inherited Cause of Mental Retardation

Science Update

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.

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NIH Funds New Program to Investigate Causes and Treatment of Autism

Science Update

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.

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New Social Neuroscience Grants to Help Unravel Autism, Anxiety Disorders

Science Update

How genes and the environment shape the brain circuitry underlying social behavior is among the questions being addressed by three newly NIMH-funded studies.

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NIMH Funds Additional New Research on Autism

Science Update

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.

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Half of Children With Autism May be Diagnosable Soon After Their First Birthday

Science Update

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.

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Tiny, Spontaneous Gene Mutations May Boost Autism Risk

Press Release

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.

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Largest-ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues

Press Release

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.

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Autism Research Efforts Highlighted in Biological Psychiatry Special Issue

Science Update

The February 15, 2007 special issue of Biological Psychiatry is dedicated to recent advances in autism research, including many studies funded by the Institute.

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New Tests May Help Researchers Detect Genetic Basis For Autism

Science Update

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.

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Brain’s Fear Center Likely Shrinks in Autism’s Most Severely Socially Impaired

Press Release

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.

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Gene Linked to Autism in Families with More Than One Affected Child

Press Release

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.

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New NIMH Research Program Launches Autism Trials

Press Release

NIMH has launched three major clinical studies on autism at its research program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Males with Autism Have Fewer Cells in Brain’s Emotional Memory Hub

Science Update

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.

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NIH Joined by Advocacy Groups to Fund Research on Autism Susceptibility Genes

Press Release

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.

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International Coalition to Fund Autism Genetics Research

Press Release

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.

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NIMH Grant to Explore Genetics of Autism

Press Release

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.

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Autism Summit Conference

Press Release

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.

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NIMH Awards $22.6 Million for Center for Collaborative Research on Mental Disorders

Press Release

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.

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NIH Awards Grants for Six New Autism Research Centers

Press Release

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.

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Telltale Protein Defects Mark Fragile X Pathways

Press Release

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.

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NIH Awards Grants for Two New Autism Research Centers

Press Release

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.

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NIMH Study Finds Anti-Psychotic Medication Useful in Treating Serious Behavioral Problems among Children with Autism

Press Release

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.

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$6 Million Grant to Expand Search for Autism Genes

Press Release

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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