Sunday, December 14, 2014

The researchers are getting closer

Brain study shows inflammation is a marker of autism

There are many different ways of getting autism, but we found that they all have the same downstream effect," says Prof. Dan Arking regarding his research team's finding that brains affected by autism share a pattern of inflammation as a result of increased immune responses.
Brain image showing differences
In the latest study, researchers found the brains of people with autism have inflammation response genes that are perpetually switched on.
Image credit: Arthur Toga, UCLA via NIGMS
Prof. Arking and his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD - along with researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham - publish their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interactions and communicative development, and is characterized by restrictive interests and repetitive behaviors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 68 children in the US have ASD.
In most cases, the cause of the disease is unknown, and the researchers note that despite a strong genetic component, progression on identifying genes implicated in the disease has been slow, leading to a "limited understanding of the molecular basis of autism."
Prof. Arking observed that studies into autism and gene expression - whether and how much genes are used - have involved little data and were unable to draw useful results. This is because gene expression testing must be performed on the specific tissue itself, and in this case, that would be the brain, which can only be acquired through an more

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mind Awekener UPDATED !!!!!

A new version of MindAwekener app has been released to google play. The new version presents fully interactive water, simulated using 3D OpenGL and water dynamics algorithms to give better interactive options to the autistic children. ENJOY...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Could a chemical in broccoli, sprouts help treat autism?

A chemical found in broccoli and other vegetables - sulforaphane - has shown promise for improving some behavioral symptoms of autism. This is according to the results of a small clinical trial led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
Researchers found that sulforaphane - a chemical found in broccoli and other vegetables - improved behavioral symptoms in some individuals with autism.
The team's findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Autism is a developmental disability characterized by problems with social, emotional and communication skills, as well as repetitive and routine behaviors. Onset usually occurs before the age of 3 years, and the disorder is almost five times more common among boys than girls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism is the fastest growing disability in the US, with prevalence of the disorder increasing 289.5% over the past 12 years. More than 3.5 million Americans are living with autism.
At present, there are no medications that can treat the core symptoms of autism. But in this latest study, researchers found that sulforaphane could reduce certain behavioral symptoms of the disorder by targeting underlying cellular problems.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Children with autism 'have too many synapses in their brain'

A New study by researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, finds that children and adolescents with autism have too many synapses in their brain, which can affect their brain function. Furthermore, the team believes it may be possible to reduce this excess synapse formation with a drug, paving the way for a novel autism treatment strategy.

autism synapses
Researchers found higher synapse formation in the brains of children with autism (right) than the brains of children without autism (left).
Image credit: Guomei Tang, Mark S. Sonders, CUMC
Around 1 in 68 children in the US have autism - a developmental condition characterized by behavioral, social and communication problems.
Exactly what causes autism is unclear, but researchers believe that it is triggered by abnormalities in the structure of the brain that stop it from functioning properly.
In this latest study, published in the journal Neuron, co-author Guomei Tang, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), analyzed 26 brains of children and adolescents with autism who had died from other causes, alongside 22 brains of children without autism.
Of the brains from those with autism, 13 came from children aged 2-9 years, while the remaining 13 came from teenagers aged 13-20 years.
Dr. Tang then assessed synapse density in each of the brains by counting how many tiny "spines" extended from them. The researchers note that synapses are where brain cells connect and communicate with each other. Each of the spines connects with a brain cell through a more

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Autism symptoms 'reversed' in mice by 100-year-old drug

An interesting finding reveals that a century-old drug, suramin , for African sleeping sickness has been used in a new study to reverse symptoms of autism in a mouse model.

 However, the biological and behavioral benefits of suramin were not permanent, nor preventive. A single dose remained effective in the mice for about five weeks, and then washed out. Moreover, suramin cannot be taken long-term since it can result in anemia and adrenal gland dysfunction. Still, Naviaux said these and earlier findings are sufficiently encouraging to soon launch a small phase 1 clinical trial with children who have ASD. He expects the trial to begin later this year. "Obviously correcting abnormalities in a mouse is a long way from a cure in humans, but we think this approach - antipurinergic therapy - is a new and fresh way to think about and address the challenge of autism. read more

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Intense World Theory: The boy whose brain could unlock autism

Autism changed Henry Markram’s family. Now his Intense World theory could transform our understanding of the condition.

SOMETHING WAS WRONG with Kai Markram. At five days old, he seemed like an unusually alert baby, picking his head up and looking around long before his sisters had done. By the time he could walk, he was always in motion and required constant attention just to ensure his safety.
“He was super active, batteries running nonstop,” says his sister, Kali. And it wasn’t just boyish energy: When his parents tried to set limits, there were tantrums—not just the usual kicking and screaming, but biting and spitting, with a disproportionate and uncontrollable ferocity; and not just at age two, but at three, four, five and beyond. Kai was also socially odd : Sometimes he was withdrawn, but at other times he would dash up to strangers and hug them...... more

Friday, March 14, 2014

Causal link indicated between vitamin D, serotonin synthesis and autism

A new study by Rhonda Patrick, PhD and Bruce Ames, PhD of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) demonstrates the impact that Vitamin D may have on social behavior associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Patrick and Dr. Ames show that serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, three brain hormones that affect social behavior, are all activated by vitamin D hormone. Autism, which is characterized by abnormal social behavior, has previously been linked to low levels of serotonin in the brain and to low vitamin D levels, but no mechanism has linked the two until now..........
Causal link indicated between vitamin D, serotonin synthesis and autism.