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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Autism Research:Girls, boys with autism differ in behavior, brain structure ♦ Genetic analysis supports prediction that spontaneous rare mutations cause half of autism

Girls, boys with autism differ in behavior, brain structure A study of about 800 children with autism found gender differences in a core feature of the disorder, as well as in the youngsters' brain structures. Girls with autism display less repetitive and restricted behavior than boys do.
New model of cognitive flexibility gives insight into autism spectrum disorder Researchers clarify many of the concepts surrounding cognitive flexibility and propose a model of its underlying neural mechanisms. The new model may be instrumental in understanding behavioral and neurological disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.
Men and women with autism have 'extreme male' scores on the 'eyes test' of mind reading Scientists have completed the largest ever study of people with autism taking the 'Reading the Mind in the Eyes' test. Whilst typical adults showed the predicted and now well-established sex difference on this test, with women on average scoring higher than men, in adults with autism this typical sex difference was conspicuously absent
Exergaming improves physical mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders Games used for exercising can improve physical and mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders, a new study concludes. As a way to combat a lack of physical activity, researchers investigated the use of the Makoto arena, a triangular shaped arena with pillars at each point, each with lights and sounds at various levels of the pillars. Those playing the game must hit the correct spots as they light up on different pillars.
Genetic analysis supports prediction that spontaneous rare mutations cause half of autism A new analysis of data on the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been released by experts. One commonly held theory is that autism results from chance combinations of commonly occurring gene mutations. But the study provides support for a different theory: that devastating 'ultra-rare' mutations of genes that they classify as "vulnerable" play a causal role in roughly half of all ASD cases. The vulnerable genes to which they refer harbor what they call an LGD, or likely gene disruption.

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