Funding autism research is a primary goal of Autism Speaks. While ten years ago there were only a handful of scientists working on this problem, now there are well over 400, and more begin work on autism every day.
To help you keep up on their efforts, we’ll provide a regular digest of the latest scientific and medical research on autism. Because many are reprinted from scientific journals, they may contain technical language. Also note that due to copyright issues, abstracts may link you to sites where the full text of the article is available for a fee.
Remember to check back regularly to find updates on the latest autism research.
Toxicologists Gather to Discuss Autism Spectrum Disorders
The cause and treatment of autism spectrum disorders was the focus of two dedicated sessions at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, held in Charlotte, N.C., in March 2007. The first autism-related session offered an overview of the role of the environment in autism while a second session focused on the use and efficacy of chelation in heavy metal poisoning and relationship to autism spectrum disorder. Click here to read more.
Discover Article Analyzes Recent Developments, Concepts
The April issue of Discover magazine features an article entitled “Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head” by reporter Jill Neimark. The story provides an analysis of a few of the latest developments and concepts in autism research. Many of the scientists and projects discussed the the article were funded by Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now (CAN) and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR). Click here to read more.
New Study Shows Promise for Treatment of Rett Syndrome
New research has found that the genetic mutation responsible for Rett Syndrome can be reversed pharmacologically in mice. Click here to read more.
Scientists Identify Gene Mutation in Autism
French scientists have identified genetic mutations in a small number of children with autism which could provide insight into the biological basis of the disorder. Click here to read a story from Reuters.
Brain’s Fear Center Shrinks in Autism’s Most Severely Socially-Impaired
Scientists have discovered a change in size of the amygdala in children with autism that is associated with deficits facial expression recognition. The neuroanatomical findings observed in adolescents are linked to social impairments evidenced in early childhood. Click here to read more.
Announcement – Call for Scientific Papers
Dr. Abha Chauhan and Science Publications, New York, USA announce a Special Issue of The American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (ISSN: 15533468) on Autism Spectrum Disorders, to be published in 2007. Click here to read more.
Scientists Gather to Discuss “Hormones of Emotion”
Translational Medicine Meeting Convenes Top Researchers in Chemistry of Emotional Regulation
Experts met last month to review recent discoveries on how the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin might regulate emotion and complex social behavior, in an Autism Speaks-sponsored gathering in Atlanta. Oxytocin and vasopressin are two peptide hormones found in the brain and shown to participate in social behavior, stress, anxiety and affiliative behaviors including social communication. Click here to read more.
Vitamin B12 Injections for Autism Show No Signs of Benefit
Preliminary results of a small ongoing study of vitamin B12 injections for children with autism showed no signs of significant benefit, researchers reported on Oct. 30, at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting in San Diego, but they remained hopeful. Click hereto read an article from Psychiatric Times.
Nature and Neuroscience Focus on Childhood Developmental Disorders
Nature Neuroscience, a multidisciplinary journal that publishes papers in all areas of neuroscience, has produced a special focus on childhood developmental disorders, including autism. The journal explores different perspectives on the overlap between normal and abnormal development, as well as the commonalities between different disorders. Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now and March of Dimes are sponsors of this special publication which is available online at no cost through December 2006.To browse the special focus from Nature Neuroscience, visit
Autism Speaks Hosts Gastroenterology Workshop
[Note: Andrew Wakefield is a speaker.}
Responding to community interest, Autism Speaks hosted a workshop on autism and gastroenterology in Boston on October 13, 2006. The objectives of the workshop were to (1) review current scientific evidence for GI issues associated with autism, (2) develop consensus scientific priorities for autism gastroenterology research, and (3) suggest an approach to establish best clinical practices for autism gastroenterology. Click here to read more.
Multi-Center Research Team Discovers Genetic Link to Autism
In a multi-center study of 222 families in the United States, scientists have found a strong genetic link to autism on chromosome 7. The study, in which five large universities participated, was part of the National Institutes of Health Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism, or CPEA . Click here to read more.
New Study Discovers Statistically Significant Link between Abnormally Low Cholesterol Levels and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Finding Leads Kennedy Krieger Researchers Down New Road in Autism Research
A study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B(Neuropsychiatric Genetics) found that a small subgroup of children with ASD have abnormally low cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemia), leading researchers to believe cholesterol may play a role in the cause of some cases of the disorder. Click here to read more.
Report: Early Abnormality in Autism
Researchers Find Placental Tissue Changes in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
In search of early markers for autism spectrum disorder, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found abnormalities in placental tissue from children later diagnosed with the disorder.
In a report in the June 26 online issue of Biological Psychiatry, the research team told of finding a three-fold increase in placental trophoblast inclusions, a distinct abnormality, in children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, compared to a control group of unaffected children. Click here to read more.
Animal Studies Show Abnormalities Caused by Excessive Ultrasound
Developing Mouse Embryo Brains Affected; Connection to Autism Remains Unclear
Prolonged and frequent use of ultrasound waves on pregnant mice caused abnormalities in the brain of the developing mouse embryo, Yale School of Medicine researchers reported in the August 7, 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.Click here to read more.
Understanding the Role of Chromosome 15 in Autism
While it is thought that many genes on multiple chromosomes contribute to symptoms of autism, numerous research studies have focused on mutations of chromosome 15. In order to better explain the relationship between mutations of chromosome 15 and autism, Dr. N. Carolyn Schanen answers some of the most frequently asked questions about chromosome 15 and autism spectrum disorders. Click here to read more.
Autism Genome Project Researchers Spearhead New Genetics Discovery
Researchers have found that different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls. The findings also support the notion that multiple genes contribute to autism spectrum disorder. Click here to read more.
Research Links Autism to Brain Structure
Cells in Amygdala Implicated, According to Autism Speaks-funded Research
A new study published by Autism Speaks-funded researcher David Amaral in the July 19, 2006 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience examined the relationship between the size of the brain structure known as the amygdala and autism-specific behaviors. Click here to read more.
Tracing the Origins of Autism: A Spectrum of New Studies
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a monthly journal of peer-reviewed research and news on the impact of the environment on human health, published a survey of recent autism research in its July 2006 issue. EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Researchers, Scientists Share New Autism Research Findings
Nearly 900 researchers, scientists, students, parents and others were on hand in Montreal on June 1-3, 2006, at the International Meeting for Autism Research, the largest-ever of leading autism researchers from around the world. Autism Speaks was among the sponsors. For a summary of the research presented, click here.
Neurobiology of Autism Workshop Summary Made Available
A summary has been made available of a workshop focusing on the neurobiology of autism organized by Autism Speaks board member and Scientific Affairs Committee member Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom.
Experts in diagnosis, neurobiology, neuroanatomy, neuroimaging, animal models and genetics gathered together at the Nov. 11, 2005, program to share the most recent scientific advances in their fields, and outlined the most important questions to answer with future research. For the summary from the Society of Neuroscience, below (PDF).
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.