Monthly Research Updates

researchScientists and researchers are constantly uncovering more information related to autism, offering insights into the origins, possible causes and even at times potential cures. I come across dozens of articles on a weekly basis, some of which seem more important than others. I thought I would share on a monthly basis stories that caught my eye.



Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism

Women in a new study who took antidepressants during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy showed an 87% increased risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder, compared with women who did not take medications for depression while expecting.

Read the full article here.


Autism Screening Reaching More Young Children, but More Work Remains

Researchers found that autism prevalence among 4-year-olds was 13.4 per 1,000 children. Among 8-year-olds, autism prevalence was 14.7 per 1,000 children. Four-year-olds, who in this study were born in 2006, tended to be diagnosed earlier, at 27 months. Eight-year-olds, who in this study were born in 2002, were diagnosed at a median age of 32 months. That finding suggests that over a four-year time span, early evaluation became more widespread.

Read the full article here.


Very Premature Babies at Greater Risk for Autism

Nearly 30 percent of extremely preterm-born children had developed autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Amongst children born after full-term pregnancy, the corresponding figure is 1 percent. Scientists believe that because brain grows best in the womb, premature birth can disrupt the organization of cerebral networks.

Read the full article here.


Trio of Autism-linked Molecules Orchestrate Neuron Connections

New research from Duke University reveals how three proteins work in concert to wire up a specific area of the developing brain that is responsible for processing sensory information. The findings  may also lend insight into brain disorders including autism, depression and addiction, because previous research has linked these proteins individually to those diseases.

Read the full article here.


Tune in next month for an update on autism research!

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