Many children with autism have problems with sleep, which can worsen symptoms of the disorder. A better understanding of sleep in autism may help reveal the mechanisms of autism and point to potential treatments, say Ruth O’Hara and Michelle Primeau.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Males, but not females, with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism are more likely to have deletions or duplications in the 16p13.11 chromosomal region than controls are, according to a study published 18 April in PLoS One.
To define appropriate social behavior for mice, which are often used as laboratory models of human social disorders, it may be best to ask the mice. This is the basis of a new assay for mouse social deficits, published 21 February in Autism Research.
Long-term treatment with risperidone — an antipsychotic approved to treat autism — may boost levels of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates milk production, according to a study published in December in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Risperidone use may also affect sexual function and lead to enlarged breasts in males, the study found.
We are on the verge of a seismic shift in the definition of autism spectrum disorders, says David Skuse. Under proposed guidelines for autism diagnosis, the canard that most people with the disorder cannot speak, or have such disordered language that they cannot sustain a conversation, has been abandoned.
Babies later diagnosed with autism tend to have a heightened response to sights and sounds in their first year of life, and smile and cuddle less as toddlers than controls do, according to a paper published 24 August in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.