Autism detected by computer analysis of EEG

Computer analysis of EEG patterns suggests a potential diagnostic test for autism — Largest, most unbiased analysis to date finds distinguishing EEG features – Widely available EEG testing can distinguish children with autism from neurotypical children as early as age 2, finds a study from Boston Children’s Hospital. The study investigated EEGs as a potential diagnostic tool for autism, and offers hope for an earlier, more definitive test.

New experimental drug reduces autism like behaviors

Agent reduces autism-like behaviors in mice — Boosts sociability, quells repetitiveness ? NIH study – National Institutes of Health researchers have reversed behaviors in mice resembling two of the three core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An experimental compound, called GRN-529, increased social interactions and lessened repetitive self-grooming behavior in a strain of mice that normally display such autism-like behaviors, the researchers say.

Autistic people don’t want hugs

New clue why autistic people don’t want hugs — Scientists find sensory cortex develops late in fragile X syndrome defect – Why do people with fragile X syndrome, a genetic defect that is the best-known cause of autism and inherited mental retardation, recoil from hugs and physical touch ? even from their parents?

Fragile X syndrome affecting brain cells

Dr. Kimberly Huber investigated how Fragile X syndrome affects communication between cells in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is involved in learning and memory. Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism. – Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are uncovering how brain cells are affected in Fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism.

Potential drugs for mental retardation and autism treatment

US researchers say they have successfully corrected key symptoms of a type of autism and mental retardation in mice, a development which could offer sufferers a potential treatment. – Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have corrected key symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice. The work, which will be reported in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron, indicates that a certain class of drugs could have the same effect in humans. These drugs are not yet approved by the FDA, but will soon be entering into clinical trials.

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