Genetics

First common risk genes discovered for autism

A study headed by researchers from the Danish project iPSYCH and the Broad Institute in the U.S., has found the first common genetic risk variants for autism and uncovered genetic differences in clinical subgroups of autism. ...

Health

Europe's top rights court to hear Belgian euthanasia case

Europe's top human rights court has agreed to hear a case being brought against Belgium by a man whose mother was euthanized in 2012 for depression, the second case that implicates one of Belgium's leading euthanasia doctors.

Genetics

Study confirms a gene linked to Asperger Syndrome and empathy

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have confirmed that variations in a particular gene play a key role in the autism spectrum condition known as Asperger Syndrome. They have also found that variations in the same gene are also ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Youths with gender dysphoria have higher rates of Asperger syndrome

A new study provides clinical data to support growing evidence that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more prevalent in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria than in the general population. Among youths seen at a ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Effects of Asperger's syndrome noticeable in babies

People with Asperger syndrome have problems with social interaction and attentiveness, and are also sensitive to noise and light. Several of these characteristics were evident to parents during their child's first two years, ...

Other

Pentagon study claimed Putin has Asperger's syndrome

A Pentagon study from 2008 claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has Asperger's syndrome, giving him a need to exert "extreme control" when faced with crises, according to the report released Thursday.

Autism spectrum disorders

Rising awareness may explain spike in autism diagnoses

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 ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

'Most adults with autism go undiagnosed' -- new findings

Not a single person identified with autism or asperger's syndrome during a community survey in England actually knew they had the condition, research led by the University of Leicester reveals.

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Asperger syndrome, also known as Asperger's syndrome or Asperger disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.

Asperger syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. Fifty years later, it was standardized as a diagnosis, but many questions remain about aspects of the disorder. For example, there is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA); partly because of this, its prevalence is not firmly established. It has been proposed that the diagnosis of Asperger's be eliminated, to be replaced by a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder on a severity scale.

The exact cause is unknown, although research supports the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology. There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist. Some researchers and people with Asperger's have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.

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