Tag Archives: Autism Causes

Maternal Antibodies Linked to Autism

Some children with autism are born to mothers carrying antibodies that bind to proteins involved in brain development.
By Ed Yong | July 9, 2013 http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/36379/title/Maternal-Antibodies-Linked-to-Autism/

In 2008, Judy van de Water from the University of California, Davis, discovered a group of autoantibodies—those that trigger immune responses against the body’s own molecules—that are especially common in mothers of children with autism. Now, her team has identified what these antibodies bind to: six proteins involved in varied aspects of brain development. By crossing the placenta and affecting these proteins in a fetus’s brain, the maternal antibodies could increase the risk of developmental problems in some cases of autism, according to the new research, published today (July 9) in Translational Psychiatry.

“I cannot laud these authors enough,” said Andrew Zimmerman, a neurologist from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, who has also been studying maternal antibodies but was not involved in this study. “Given that, at present, only between 15 and 20 percent of children with autism have known causes—mainly genetic and infectious mechanisms—this will be a major advance.”

Van de Water’s team, led by graduate student Dan Braunschweig, is now using their discovery to develop a test that predicts a child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorders based on the mother’s antibodies. “It would allow mothers to plan,” said van de Water, by enrolling their children in educational programs that promote social skills from an early age.

The antibody hypothesis would only apply to a quarter of autism cases at most, but van de Water said that it is valuable for affected parents to get some clues about the biology behind their children’s condition. “It provides some answers,” she said. “They couldn’t have done anything about this—it’s not like they did anything to cause the antibodies. But as a parent, you just want to know what happened so you can move forward.”

The proteins that the team identified have a wide variety of roles. STIP1 influences the creation of new neurons, for example, while cypin affects the number of branches they have. CRMP1 and CRMP2 stop neurons from growing and determine their length. YBX1 is involved in gene transcription, as well as neural migration during development. Finally, LDH is the most mysterious of the sextet but is also the most strongly linked to autism. Earlier studies suggest that it may play a role in metabolism or in responses to viruses or toxins.

All six are highly expressed in the fetal brain. Of 246 mothers with children living with autism, 23 percent had antibodies that recognized two or more of these proteins, compared to just 1 percent of 149 mothers with normally developing children. The antibodies have more than 99 percent specificity for autism risk, which means that they have less than a 1 in a 100 chance of finding a false positive.

Meanwhile, the team’s colleagues Melissa Bauman and David Amaral, also from UC Davis, injected eight pregnant rhesus monkeys with antibodies purified from mothers with autistic children. These monkeys were more protective towards their young during their first 6 months, compared to those that were injected with antibodies from women with neuro-typical children. As the young monkeys grew up, they showed unusual social behavior: compared to typical macaques, they were more likely to approach both familiar peers and strangers, even when their advances weren’t rewarded with sustained social interactions.

“Moving this to monkeys is a big step,” said Paul Patterson, a neuroimmunologist from the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the work. “This very careful behavioral study shows that at least some of the antibodies do have an effect on fetal brain development.”

Betty Diamond, an immunologist at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, agrees the studies represent “an important step forward.” However, she noted that antibodies often bind to many possible targets, and the proteins that the team identified may not be the relevant ones. She also said that some of the alleged target proteins are found within cells, “and it is not clear how or whether the antibodies can penetrate developing neurons.”

Zimmerman added, “Much work remains to be done to show how these antibodies are relevant, how they affect fetal brain development, and what factors lead some mothers to develop these antibodies.”

The team is now working to address these issues, trying to identify the specific parts of the six proteins that the antibodies stick to, determine how they affect the developing brain, and understand how they might be used to predict autism risk. Van de Water and Amaral are consulting for Pediatric Bioscience, which is creating a predictive test based on the results.

“The next step is to come up with a therapeutic to block the antibodies—not just to pick them up, but to do something about it,” said van der Water. Although the concept of preventing autism can be controversial, she points out that her panel of antibodies seem to correlate with the most severe symptoms and language problems.

Still, she is treading cautiously. “The parents have been surprisingly supportive,” she said. “But the autism field has been fraught with false alarms, so we want to be really careful.”

D. Braunschweig et al., “Autism-specific maternal autoantibodies recognize critical proteins in developing brain,” Translational Psychiatry, 3:e277, 2013.

M.D. Bauman et al., “Maternal antibodies from mothers of children with autism alter brain growth and social behaviour development in the rhesus monkey,” Translational Psychiatry, 3:e278, 2013.

Clarification (July 10): This story has been updated from its original version, which included this quote in relation to a potential test: “If it’s positive, their risk is virtually 100 percent”. With a 99 percent specificity for autism risk, such a test would still return false positives for 1 percent of the non-autistic population.

Our thanks the the-scientist.com for this article.

Question?: Treatment For Autism Medication

Michael asks…

What is the future of a person with high functioning autism and schizophrenia? What treatments could help?

An adult who has always had autism but is developing schizophrenia.

admin answers:

My brother is autistic and it depends on what problems the autism causes. My brother is different than some of his classmates.
Autism and schizophrenia are related. The doctor who diagnosed the schizophrenia should be very schooled in autism and should be able to advise you of the treatment and therapies.
My guess is that they will alter the medication he is on etc.

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Question?: What Is Autism Caused By

James asks…

What are the differences between autism and schizophrenia?

Hi.
I’m looking for the differences between schizophrenia and autism in causes, clinical features, and treatment.
And if possible, any link that talks about how to differentiate them.
thanks

admin answers:

Actually, they both don’t like to socialize much. With schizophrenia, you have psychosis. Those with autism actually do have psychosis at times, but usually their lack of socialization and communication stands out more. With schizophrenia, their psychosis stands out a lot, which is either seeing or hearing things not there or having delusions that can not possibly be real. Google “DSM IV TR schizophrenia autism diagnostic criteria” to get the specifics.

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Question?: What Is Autism Caused By

Nancy asks…

Can someone tell me if autism causes problems with reading?

I know a teen girl with autism and she is a great speller but she has problems reading…can someone maybe explain why?

admin answers:

Although spelling and reading are related there can be many reasons a child cannot read. For children with autism patterns often make sense. Words are patterns so it is easier to spell then read. Reading there are patterns but if a person hasn’t been taught to use those patterns to read, then they wouldn’t know what to do.

The other issue is that this teenage girl probably wasn’t taught how to read. Typically children with developmental delays are not taught to really read. They are often taught to read by sight words (Edmark Reading). Being taught to read sight word isn’t typically functional because a child can read in isolation but not in sentence format. Does the student have letter to sound identification. For example, can you say the letter sound and can she identify the letter?

If you want to teach her to read, look for programs that are multi-sensory approach. For example, something that uses text to speech, something that has repetitive exposure and a program that you can customize to her personal interest. One program that offers this is the four blocks of reading.

You may want to talk to the reading specialist in your district. They might be able to point you in a direction.

It is important to note that not all children with Autism has issues with reading. Some have hyperlexia. They can read anything but have no idea what it means.

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Question?: What Is Autism Caused By

Robert asks…

How can I make autism an argument?

I need to write a 4-5 page paper for my english 155 class;
Pick a topic that you can argue how it affects you/your community, topics range from ballot issues, candidates, autism (causes/treatment), a rhetorical analysis essay of ads that candidates send out is acceptable.

I can’t think of how to make any of these topics an argument!

admin answers:

Whatabout treatment methods

ABA/VB/TEACHH
DIR (greenspan_
sonrise
miller

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Autism: 5 Things You’ve Wondered But Never Asked

While most people understand that autism affects the brain, impairing communication and interaction skills, very few realize that scientists don’t even really know what causes it. Recent studies indicated that as many as 1 in 166 people are affected by some form of autism. With the rate so high, educating ourselves about autism is crucial. Here are a few things about autism that might surprise you.

1. Is there more than one kind of autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is the title that describes a group of conditions. Classic autism, which is also known as Kanner’s syndrome, is one of these. Also Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Each of these differ in expression of symptoms and even different people diagnosed with the same condition can vary in their level of functioning. Despite these different categories, autism causes developmental difficulties in three major areas: communication, social behavior, and repetitive behavior patterns.

2. What causes autism?

While there is no exact answer for what causes autism, there are several things that scientists do know. People with autism differ neurologically from those without autism. Some people may have a genetic disposition toward autism. The brain chemical, Serotonin is elevated in people with autism. While these conclusions do not seem very close to a cause, they are encouraging to families who deal with this condition. From the point of view of those whose loved ones are autistic, they want to first, find the cause, and then find the cure.

3. Is there any prevention?

Early intervention has been shown to help those with autism. While many parents don’t discover their child has autism until they are toddlers, those who identify the problem early on and seek professional assistance have a greater chance of having higher functioning children. From a report of one family with two boys with autism, the children developed normally until nearly 3 years old, when they began to slip backward cognitively and socially. It is very important to diagnose autism early, as this seems to be the only way to affect the outcome of the brain, as it is in it’s most crucial stage of development.

4. Who is more likely to be autistic?

Boys are more four times more likely to have autism than girls. This is the only discrimination that autism affords. Otherwise, autism doesn’t care about race, wealth or status, it affects all populations equally.

5. What is the treatment autism?

Autism can be treated through a combination of drugs and therapies. It is not uncommon for a child with autism to have several therapists in their home during the week. While these are not cures, they can help families manage through difficult times in an autistic child’s development. Life expectancy is no different for a person with autism than it is for the general population, so parents must think ahead to who will care for their autistic children when and if they no longer can.

Autism is a very complicated condition that affects millions of Americans. And because people with autism don’t generally display any physical signs it is hard for strangers to identify their disorder. Often, a child with autism appears out of control in a public setting, kicking, thrashing, screaming, and causing alarm to on-lookers. It is important that we all know a little more about autism so we can be more sympathetic in these situations.

Jessica Deets is passionate about autism and other disorders and volunteers her time to help organizations dedicated to overcoming physical disorders. The website at [http://www.bestautismnews.com] has more information and news about autism.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jessica_Deets
http://EzineArticles.com/?Autism:-5-Things-Youve-Wondered-But-Never-Asked&id=87382

Tagged as: Autism

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Detecting Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders can often be reliably detected by the age of 3 years, and in some cases as early as 18 months. Studies suggest that many children eventually may be accurately identified by the age of 1 year or even younger. The appearance of any of the warning signs of ASD is reason to have a child evaluated by a professional specializing in these disorders.

Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behavior in their child. In some cases, the baby seemed “different” from birth, unresponsive to people or focusing intently on one item for long periods of time. The first sign of an ASD can also appear in children who seem to have been developing normally. When an engaging, babbling toddler suddenly becomes silent, withdrawn, self-abusive, or indifferent to social overtures, something is wrong.

Research has shown that parents are usually correct about noticing developmental problems, although they may not realize the specific nature or degree of the problem.

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Detecting autism in a matter of minutes ScienceBlog.com blog
Detecting autism in a matter of minutes. ScienceBlog.com blog Researchers at Harvard Medical School HMS have significantly reduced from hours to minutes the time it takes to accurately detect autism in young children. The process of diagnosing autism is complex subjective and often limited to only a segment New tool to diagnose autism within minutesNew York Daily News. Web tool able to diagnose autismBCS. all 35 news articles.…

More Information:

Heritability of autism
The heritability of autism is the proportion of autism that can be explained by or that detecting CNVs is tantamount to a genetic.…

Kennedy Krieger Institute
Autism is typically diagnosed by age three however the Institute s research is focused on detecting signs of the disorder even earlier.…

Theory of mind
young humans and nonhuman animals to detect precursors to a theory of The first PET study of theory of mind in autism also the first.… Tagged as: Detecting Autism

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Autism In The News, 2012 Week 16

Autism Autism—GDS Infographics (Flickr.com)

Autism Cares Foundation Launches Cutting Edge iPad Program – Albany Times Union

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

The Autism Cares Foundation (ACF) launched the nation’s first innovative iPad program, which builds on each child’s interests by toggling between teaching opportunities and motivating interests.
The iPad program offers participants an alternative way to communicate and teaches how to use several applications that will allow people with autism to flourish in tremendous ways.
Through this program, ACF is providing individuals with autism the opportunity to communicate, gain independence, improve daily life skills and so much more. Most importantly, the iPad gives those without a voice the chance to be heard.

UW work helps pinpoint autism indicator in infants’ brains – The Seattle Times

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

UW work helps pinpoint autism indicator in infants’ brains
In what appears to be the earliest biomarker for autism, researchers at the University of Washington and other study sites found differences in brain “wiring” of children just 6 months old.

In search for autism’s causes, experts see progress – Pioneer Press

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

Autism In The News

More than $1 billion has been spent over the past decade researching autism. In some ways, the search for its causes looks like a long-running fishing expedition, with a focus on everything from genetics to the age of the father, the weight of the mother, and how close a child lives to a freeway.

That perception may soon change. Some in the field say they are seeing the beginning of a wave of scientific reports that should strengthen some theories, jettison others and perhaps even herald new drugs.

“I do think over the next three to five years we’ll be able to paint a much clearer picture of how genes and environmental factors combine” to cause autism, said Geraldine Dawson, a psychologist who is chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

Rain or shine autism event walks on Burlington Hawk Eye

Rain or shine autism event walks on. Burlington Hawk Eye. By WILLIAM SMITH Heidi Swenson was hoping for a big turnout at the first BTown Autism Walk on Saturday morning but unrelenting April showers made her understandably apprehensive. She needn’t have worried. More than 200 people spent five straight hours Hundreds walk for autistic family members awarenessNews-Press Now. all 2 news articles.…

April is Autism Awareness Month Austin Herald

April is Autism Awareness Month. Austin Herald. We depart from history this week to honor Autism Awareness Month with facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD The Center for Disease Control announced in March that the incidence of ASD is on the rise. The CDC now estimates 1 in 88 children has.…

Autism

Autism Checklist

Autism Treatment

View the original article here

Autism In The News, 2012 Week 16

Autism Autism—GDS Infographics (Flickr.com)

Autism Cares Foundation Launches Cutting Edge iPad Program – Albany Times Union

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

The Autism Cares Foundation (ACF) launched the nation’s first innovative iPad program, which builds on each child’s interests by toggling between teaching opportunities and motivating interests.
The iPad program offers participants an alternative way to communicate and teaches how to use several applications that will allow people with autism to flourish in tremendous ways.
Through this program, ACF is providing individuals with autism the opportunity to communicate, gain independence, improve daily life skills and so much more. Most importantly, the iPad gives those without a voice the chance to be heard.

UW work helps pinpoint autism indicator in infants’ brains – The Seattle Times

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

UW work helps pinpoint autism indicator in infants’ brains
In what appears to be the earliest biomarker for autism, researchers at the University of Washington and other study sites found differences in brain “wiring” of children just 6 months old.

In search for autism’s causes, experts see progress – Pioneer Press

Autism In The Newsnews.google.com

Autism In The News

More than $1 billion has been spent over the past decade researching autism. In some ways, the search for its causes looks like a long-running fishing expedition, with a focus on everything from genetics to the age of the father, the weight of the mother, and how close a child lives to a freeway.

That perception may soon change. Some in the field say they are seeing the beginning of a wave of scientific reports that should strengthen some theories, jettison others and perhaps even herald new drugs.

“I do think over the next three to five years we’ll be able to paint a much clearer picture of how genes and environmental factors combine” to cause autism, said Geraldine Dawson, a psychologist who is chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

Rain or shine autism event walks on Burlington Hawk Eye

Rain or shine autism event walks on. Burlington Hawk Eye. By WILLIAM SMITH Heidi Swenson was hoping for a big turnout at the first BTown Autism Walk on Saturday morning but unrelenting April showers made her understandably apprehensive. She needn’t have worried. More than 200 people spent five straight hours Hundreds walk for autistic family members awarenessNews-Press Now. all 2 news articles.…

April is Autism Awareness Month Austin Herald

April is Autism Awareness Month. Austin Herald. We depart from history this week to honor Autism Awareness Month with facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD The Center for Disease Control announced in March that the incidence of ASD is on the rise. The CDC now estimates 1 in 88 children has.…

Autism

Autism Checklist

Autism Treatment

View the original article here

The Relationship Between Autism and Antidepressants

Autism is a disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people. The long list of proposed autism causes includes genetic and environmental factors. Some recent studies also show a link between autism and antidepressants.

What are the signs of autism?
Autism symptoms often start showing when a child is around six months old. They become more apparent at the age of 2-3, and continue up to adulthood. Autism has three general symptoms, all of which need to be present for a child to be called autistic.

– Impaired social interaction-Children with autism do not have the basic social instincts many people take for granted. Autistic children do not respond to their own names as often as normal children would, and rarely make eye contact with those speaking to them. They also have difficulty expressing themselves with hand gestures, such as pointing.

– Impaired communication-Most autistic children have difficulty developing enough speaking skills to communicate. Children who babble or speak in patterns completely different from their caregivers are most likely autistic. As they grow older, autistic children usually repeat others’ words instead of speaking on their own.

– Repetitive behavior -Autistic children display repetitive or restricted behaviors. These include stereotypy, or repeated movements and gestures; compulsive behavior, such as arranging objects in lines or stacks; and ritualistic behavior, or daily repetition of the exact same activities.

What causes autism?

Autism is a complex disorder, and most studies on it are incomplete. There are several proposed theories regarding autism causes. Genetic factors are the most common, but it remains unclear which genes affect a child’s probability of developing autism. A child whose parent had autism will not always develop the disorder, but the chances of it happening are high.

Environmental factors a child is exposed to while in the mother’s womb also affect the development of autism. One common cause is the mother’s own immune response to viral infections. If triggered during early pregnancy, this immune response has a negative effect on the development of the child’s brain and nervous system.

Some studies propose other factors that can cause autism to develop shortly after the child is born. These include mercury poisoning, certain vaccinations, viral infections, and exposure to opiates.

Autism and antidepressants

According to laboratory tests done on animals, the intake of antidepressant substances called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in high amounts resulted in autism-like behaviors. Further studies show exposure to SSRI increases the probability a child will develop autism up to four times. This means women taking antidepressants containing SSRI during pregnancy risk increasing the chances their child will be born autistic.

Like most of the research done on autism causes, the studies linking autism and antidepressants are still incomplete. Despite this, many doctors advise pregnant mothers to be aware of the potential risks involved when taking SSRI drugs during pregnancy.

If you were taking antidepressants during your pregnancy and your child developed autism, you can look for an autism attorney to help you acquire compensation from the company that produced the drugs.

Adriana knows all about autism causes, and possible link between autism and antidepressants.

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