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US Autism & Asperger Association
December 20, 2010

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Language delays found in siblings of children with autism

Scientists find gene clue to 130 brain diseases

***Investigating face memory in people with and without autism

USAAA 2010 Conference Proceedings Manual now available

Nutrition and Supplement Store


Language delays found in siblings of children with autism

dr. herbertby John Constantino, MD

Siblings of children with autism have more frequent language delays and other subtle characteristics of the disorder than previously understood. Girls also may be mildly affected more often than recognized in the past.

A new study, led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found mild traits, not strong enough to provoke a diagnosis of autism, seem to be present in the siblings of affected children at significantly higher rates than seen in the general population. The findings appear online and will be published in the November issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

"...many siblings of children on the spectrum have significant, subclinical traits of autism, but, for whatever reason, they never actually develop the disorder.”

“Mild symptoms, called quantitative traits, may be confounding studies that compare children with autism to their siblings,” says first author John N. Constantino, MD. “Researchers presume one child is affected, and the other is not, but our findings suggest that although one child may have autism while the other does not, it’s very possible both children are affected to some degree by genes that contribute to autism.”

This article is published in the USAAA 2010 Conference Proceedings Manual. Click here to purchase the manual.

Dr. Constantino was a panelist on the "Current Status of Research and Strategies for the Future" Panel Workshop at the USAAA 2010 World Conference in St. Louis, Missouri October 1-3, 2010. DVDs of the all Keynotes and the panel workshops are available at the USAAA DVD store.

John Constantino, MD is a Blanche F. Ittleson Professor, and Director of the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine.


Scientists find gene clue to 130 brain diseases

gene imagePARIS (AFP) – Scientists on Sunday said they had discovered a bouquet of proteins that play a critical role in the development of more than 130 brain diseases.

Their study also highlights a surprising link between these disorders -- including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's -- and the evolution of human behaviour, they said.

"We can also see ways to develop new genetic diagnostic tests and help doctors classify the brain diseases," Grant said.

The human brain is a labyrinth of millions of specialised nerve cells interconnected by billions of electrical and chemical pathways called synapses.

Within these synapses are proteins that combine together, forming a molecular machine known as the post-synaptic density, or PSD, which is believed to disrupt synaptic functioning, causing disease and behavioural change.

Reporting in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Seth Grant of Britain's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute led a team that extracted PSDs from synapses of patients undergoing brain surgery.

Click here for entire article, "Scientists find gene clue to 130 brain diseases."


Investigating face memory in people with and without autism

mit logoMIT is currently embarking on a new approach in autism research: online testing. Via the Internet, people with and without autism can participate in a behavioral investigation of face and object memory.

" Via the Internet, people with and without autism can participate in a behavioral investigation of face and object memory.

What is this study about?
We want to understand how people see the world. This study investigates how people with and without autism remember faces and objects.

The study is conducted by Sarah Weigelt and Nancy Kanwisher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this experiment, please contact Sarah Weigelt at

Click here to participate in the study, "Investigating face memory in people with and without autism.


USAAA 2010 Conference Proceedings Manual now available


The USAAA 2010 Conference Proceedings Manual is now available. The manual is a collection of articles from many of the USAAA 2010 World Conference presenters that include Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. John Constantino, Dr. Phillip DeMio, Dr. Mark Geier, David Geier, Dr. Michael McManmon, Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. Jim Partington, Elaine (Coach E) Hall, Theresa K. Wrangham, Marlo Payne Thurman, plus a bonus section of articles from previous USAAA Conference Manuals.

grandin shore herbert

Click here for more information on the USAAA 2010 Conference Proceedings Manual.


NEW! Nutrition and Supplement Store

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Get all of your supplements from our new partner, Doctor's Nutrition & Supplement Warehouse (DNSW). Proceeds benefit USAAA programs. DNSW offers a 100% Price Match Guarantee. If you find your product available from an authorized reseller, at a lower, standard, non-sale price, on another site, we will match it.

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NEW! Bookstore

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If you don't find the book you are looking for on this site, contact Future Horizons at 800.489.0727 to see if they are able to get the book for you or go to Shop Our Partners and try to locate the book through Amazon. Proceeds from Amazon benefit USAAA Programs, too.


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