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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: language

May 2008

Christopher Walsh: Solving mysteries of the mind in the Middle East

by  /  13 May 2008

At first glance, the waiting room at the Ministry of Health Hospital in Muscat, Oman, may look different than that of your average American hospital. Men dressed all in white and women in black burqas wait in separate rooms, even if they are members of the same family. But talking to these families soon reveals just how similar they are to their American counterparts, says Christopher Walsh, a neurologist who has studied neurodevelopmental disorders in the Middle East for nearly 10 years.

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March 2008

Unraveling mitochondria’s mysterious link to autism

by  /  24 March 2008

In the past two weeks, autism researchers and advocacy groups have been agog with news that autism could be linked to an extremely rare group of metabolic diseases.

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1977 paper on the first autism twin study

by ,  /  19 March 2008

Autism is caused by poor parenting, particularly by ‘frigid’ mothers who reject their children. Such a statement would seem bizarre today. But 30 years ago parents, especially mothers, were blamed for their childrenʼs autism. But then in 1977, one study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, single-handedly turned the field around to recognize the importance of genetics.

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Virtual peers teach real-life skills

by  /  4 March 2008

For children with autism who have trouble interacting with their peers, virtual characters may be a way to improve language skills ― and perhaps more.

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February 2008

Brain growth could be early sign of autism

by  /  11 February 2008

As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.

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MEG imaging simplifies mapping of autistic brains

by  /  4 February 2008

Imagine being confined for at least half an hour to a dark, claustrophobic tunnel, in a machine so obnoxiously loud that it sounds like you’re in an oil drum with a jackhammer pounding on the outside. Thatʼs whatʼs involved in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): an experience enough to make even the bravest among us flinch.

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January 2008

Genes link autism and immunity

by  /  30 January 2008

A new genetic study is lending support to the notion that immune system abnormalities and some forms of autism go hand in hand.

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Autism and the arts: “Lucy” captures disorder’s complexity

by  /  28 January 2008

Itʼs not often that movies, books and plays represent science accurately, or with a true and empathetic understanding of its complexity.

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The 1999 Rett syndrome paper

by  /  3 January 2008

Huda Zoghbi and her colleagues painstakingly sequenced the candidate genes for Rett syndrome, culminating in the 1999 Nature Genetics report that pinpointed six de novo mutations in the MeCP2 gene as the cause of the disorder.

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December 2007

Leo Kanner’s 1943 paper on autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Donald T. was not like other 5-year-old boys. Leo Kanner knew that the moment he read the 33-page letter from Donaldʼs father that described the boy in obsessive detail as “happiest when he was alone… drawing into a shell and living within himself… oblivious to everything around him.”

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