Autism spectrum disorders

Age-related cognitive differences appear in children with autism

The ability to block out the noise and focus on a specific task is a crucial skill in daily life. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that early childhood, before the age of 10, represents a critical ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Researchers identify role gender-biased protein may play in autism

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are one step closer to helping answer the question of why autism is four times more common in boys than in girls after identifying and characterizing the connection of certain ...

Autism spectrum disorders

A smartphone app to treat and track autism

Diagnosing autism can take half a day or more of clinical observation, and that's the quick part – often, families wait years just to get to that point. Now, in hopes of speeding things up, Stanford researchers are developing ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Autism: Brain activity as a biomarker

Researchers from Jülich, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K. have discovered specific activity patterns in the brains of people with autism. These consistent patterns of functional connectivity might be used ...

Neuroscience

Listening in to brain communications, without surgery

Plenty of legitimate science – plus a whole lot of science fiction – discusses ways to "hack the brain." What that really means, most of the time – even in the fictional examples – involves surgery, opening the skull ...

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. ...

page 1 from 23

Autism

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism involves many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not well understood. The two other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and PDD-NOS, diagnosed when full criteria for the other two disorders are not met.

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines; the vaccine hypotheses are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence. The prevalence of ASD is about 6 per 1,000 people, with about four times as many males as females. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.

Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Although early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills, there is no known cure. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful. An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be tolerated as a difference and not treated as a disorder.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA