My Inner Life with Asperger’s

Alix Generous is a young woman with a million and one ideas — she’s done award-winning science, helped develop new technology and tells a darn good joke (you’ll see). She has Asperger’s, a form of autistic spectrum disorder that can impair the basic social skills required for communication, and she’s worked hard for years to learn how to share her thoughts with the world. In this funny, personal talk, she shares her story — and her vision for tools to help more people communicate their big ideas.

Published Sep 8, 2015 | By TED

Autism Overview

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life.

These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three.

Can oxytocin treat autism?

Oxytocin, a natural brain peptide produced in the hypothalamus, has received considerable attention as a potential treatment for social deficits in ASD.

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown inducing the release of brain oxytocin may be a viable therapeutic option for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology 2/5/15

Humanoid robots engage children with Autism

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), mechanical and computer engineer Nilanjan Sarkar and psychologist Zachary Warren of Vanderbilt University have developed a learning environment for kids with autism, built around state-of-the-art technologies. Many children with autism have an affinity for technology.

“Engineering researchers are investigating new designs that allow robots to interact easily and work cooperatively with humans,” says Ted Conway, program director in the NSF Directorate for Engineering.

Molecular network identified underlying autism spectrum disorders

A molecular network that comprises many of the genes previously shown to contribute to autism spectrum disorders has been identified by researchers.

The findings provide a map of some of the crucial protein interactions that contribute to autism and will help uncover novel candidate genes for the disease.

Genetic Biomarkers Identify Boys with Autism

Proof-of-principle method suggests much-earlier diagnoses could be done with clinic test.

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine, report finding a highly accurate blood-based measure that could lead to development of a clinical test for autism spectrum disorder risk in males as young as one to two years old. The degree of accuracy out performs other behavioral and genetic screens for infants and toddlers with ASD described in literature.
JAMA Psychiatry 3/4/15

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