Neuroscience

'Love hormone' improves attachment issues in people with autism

Oxytocin, often dubbed the "love hormone," is known to promote social bonding. Researchers at KU Leuven have now discovered that administering oxytocin to adult men with autism makes them more open to close emotional bonds ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Why many children with autism have oral health problems

The World Health Organisation estimates that one in 160 children around the world has an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a condition related to the development of the brain and is usually noticeable by the time a child ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Higher rates of post-natal depression among autistic mothers

Autistic mothers are more likely to report post-natal depression compared to non-autistic mothers, according to a new study of mothers of autistic children carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge. A better ...

Autism spectrum disorders

One-fourth of children with autism are undiagnosed

One-fourth of children under age 8 with autism spectrum disorder—most of them black or Hispanic—are not being diagnosed, which is critical for improving quality of life.

Neuroscience

Missing protein in brain causes behaviors mirroring autism

Scientists at Rutgers University-Newark have discovered that when a key protein needed to generate new brain cells during prenatal and early childhood development is missing, part of the brain goes haywire—causing an imbalance ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Getting a new perspective on autism

Much-needed insight into raising young children with autism in Malaysia highlights the need to improve local research, awareness, acceptance and support services.

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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