The equivalent of one-tenth of a single pill of the anxiety drug clonazepam alleviates many autism-like behaviors in a mouse model of the disorder, according to a study published 19 March in Neuron.
An automated system developed for tracking the movements of lab animals can be used to accurately map the activity of children with autism, researchers reported in the February Molecular Autism. When given free rein, the system found, children with autism tend to explore a room’s edges, whereas those with other developmental disorders cling to their parents.
Two studies published in the past month lend support to the notion that autism looks different in girls than it does in boys, making it harder to recognize and diagnose in girls. The studies reflect growing suspicion in the research community that the underlying biology and the experiences of girls with autism may both be distinct.
Children who show several repetitive behaviors — such as flapping their hands or spinning their toys — at their first birthday have nearly four times the risk of autism of children who don’t show repetitive behaviors. That’s the conclusion from a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.
Young boys continue to have the highest rate of autism diagnoses, but Danish doctors are diagnosing more girls, teenagers and adults with the disorder than they did in the mid-1990s. That’s the finding from a 16-year study published 20 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Adding to the complications of autism, overweight and obese children with the disorder are prone to a host of other troubles, including depression, anxiety and sleep problems, reports a study published 2 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Traits that typically accompany autism, such as social impairments and communication difficulties, remain largely consistent as children age, and this stability is primarily due to genetic factors, a new study concludes. The research, published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, is based on more than 6,000 twin pairs in the general population.
Aripiprazole, one of two autism drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat autism symptoms, may be no more effective than a placebo after a few months.
More than 70 percent of autism studies don’t record the ethnicity of their participants, and fewer than half of those that do analyze the impact of the data, reports a review published 4 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
In utero exposure to the epilepsy drug valproic acid, which ups the risk of autism, may alter the composition of gut bacteria in rodents, according a study published 11 December in Brain Behavior and Immunity.