Monthly Research Articles

Scientists 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.

~ Maureen

researchBrain scans may forecast effectiveness of autism treatment

Patterns of activity in the social brain predict how much a child’s autism features will improve after a behavioral therapy called pivotal response treatment, according to a new study. The study is small, but the findings hint that brain scans, or an equivalent technology, could help clinicians select the most promising treatment for a child with autism.

Read the full article here.

Robots spark social play in children with autism

In the past couple of years, dozens of children visiting the Yale Child Study Center have played with a green and wide-eyed robotic miniature brontosaurus called Pleo. These are children with autism, who normally have tremendous difficulty communicating with other people — but they eagerly interact with the robot.

Read the full article here.

Study links heightened stress reaction to autism-related GI problems

Chronic gastrointestinal problems are unusually common among people who have autism. Now, researchers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network report evidence that these painful issues correspond with a heightened hormonal reaction to stress. While more study is needed, the finding raises hope for more effective treatment options.

Read the full article here.

Rapid brain growth in infancy may signal autism

The faster the brains of children with autism grow in their first year of life, the more severe their autism features are likely to be at age 2, according to a study published today in Nature. This rapid growth can in fact predict whether a child will later be diagnosed with autism. The findings point to a possible biomarker that could help doctors identify autism in infants —two to three years before the typical age of diagnosis.


Tune in next month for an update on autism research!

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