An Oregon State University researcher has found a relationship between motor skill deficiencies and the severity of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in very young children.
The findings, believed to the be the first to show a direct relationship between motor skills and autism severity, indicate that development of fine and gross motor skills should be included in treatment plans for young children with autism.
HIGHEST ASSOCIATION FOUND DURING FIRST TRIMESTER EXPOSURE FOR AUTISM AND THIRD TRIMESTER EXPOSURE FOR DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS
In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently prescribed treatment for depression, anxiety and other disorders, was associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in boys.
Paternal obesity could be a greater risk factor than maternal obesity, according to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
“We were very surprised by these findings because we expected that maternal obesity would be the main risk factor for the development of ASD. It means that we have had too much focus on the mother and too little on the father. This probably reflects the fact that we have given greater focus to conditions in pregnancy, such as the growth environment for the foetus in the womb than both environmental and genetic factors before conception,” says Surén.
The problems people with autism have with memory formation, higher-level thinking and social interactions may be partially attributable to the activity of receptors inside brain cells
The findings add a significant new dimension to basic brain cell function. Scientists have long assumed that brain cell receptors are only active on the surface of cells. The new study shows that receptors can be active inside cells, and their effects can be considerably different from the same receptors located on the cell surface.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Allen Institute for Brain Science have published a study that gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy.
The study found that in the brains of children with autism, key genetic markers were absent in brain cells in multiple layers. This defect indicates that the crucial early developmental step of creating six distinct layers with specific types of brain cells – something that begins in prenatal life – had been disrupted.