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CAN Science News Archive

October 15, 2007

The following is an archive of articles from the Cure Autism Now web site's Science News pages prior to the CAN merger with Autism Speaks. We include it here as a historical reference:

Society for Neuroscience Conference Highlights Autism Research
In the late fall, the Society for Neuroscience held its annual conference for 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia. The increased interest in autism that was already apparent last year, expanded even further this year. This included nearly 130 scientific presentations related to autism, and perhaps even more impressively, autism as a feature of many of the conference special events. Date: 12/20/2006

Memantine Study to Target Motor Dysfunction in Autism
Cure Autism Now kicks off recruitment for its first Clinical Trials Network study. Date: 12/6/2006

CAN-Funded Research at Kennedy Krieger Identifies Early Warning Signs for Autism in Infants and Toddlers
Research being conducted at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland is focusing on early detection and intervention in autism. Date: 11/14/2006

Scientific Advisory Board Member Named to National Academies of Sciences
John Mazziotta, M.D., Ph.D., a member of Cure Autism Now's Scientific Advisory Board, chairman of Neurology and director of the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, was among the newest members recently named to the National Academies of Sciences. Date: 10/24/2006

Chair of Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board Discovers Heritable Risk Factor for Autism
Reporting in the current issue of the Proceedings of National Academy of Science, an international team of scientists led by Pat Levitt, Ph.D., chair of the Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board, has identified a functional genetic variant significantly associated with autism, which appears to double the risk for autism and may explain some of the ancillary symptoms associated with the disorder. Date: 10/23/2006

Isaac Pessah, Ph.D. Receives Inaugural CAN Environmental Innovator Award
Cure Autism Now is pleased to name Isaac Pessah, Ph.D., as recipient of its first CAN Environmental Innovator Award. Date: 10/12/2006

FDA Approves Risperdal for Treatment of Symptoms Associated with Autism
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Johnson & Johnson approval to market Risperdal (risperidone) for the treatment of irritability associated with autism, including symptoms of aggression, deliberate self-injury, temper tantrums and rapid mood swings in children and adolescents ages 5 to 16. Date: 10/11/2006

“Nature Neuroscience” Special 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. Date: 10/11/2006

San Francisco CADDRE Study Suggests Hazardous Air Pollutants are Associated with Autism Risk
The subject of environmental factors, mercury in particular, has been an important, if not controversial issue for parents of children with autism. Date: 9/27/2006

Cure Autism Now Announces 2006 Treatment Grants
The CAN Treatment Advisory Board reviewed and discussed 31 proposed autism treatment grants, up from only 11 grants submitted last year. Date: 9/12/2006

Scientists Seek Early Indicators of Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is typically diagnosed around 3 years of age. However, earlier diagnosis can go a long way toward optimizing outcomes by allowing application of early intervention techniques, as well as helping parents to obtain necessary services and the time to adjust to the special needs of their child. Date: 8/25/2006

AGRE Provides DNA for Autism Gene Discovery Project
The Autism Consortium, a scientific and clinical collaboration involving 11 Boston-area autism research institutions, has announced the initiation of a comprehensive genetic association study to examine the entire human genome related to autism: the Autism Gene Discovery Project. Date: 8/17/2006

UC Davis Autism Study Finds Structural Differences in Brain Areas Regulating Fear
Anxiety and a lack of emotional regulation are among the major challenges that individuals with autism face. Date: 7/26/2006

Fifth-Annual IMFAR: The Full Report
Six years ago, having scientists who were studying autism from all different perspectives meet in one place at one time, and having them share their findings, was considered a dream. Today, this occurs on an annual basis and is called The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), which convened for the fifth time June 1-3 in Montreal. Date: 7/12/2006

Research Identifies Gene Involved in Fear-Response Learning
Research has identified specific brain regions that are responsible for perceiving frightening situations and, if necessary, learning to avoid them. Date: 6/22/2006

International Meeting for Autism Research Held in Montreal
The 5th annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) took place in Montreal, Canada, June 1-3, 2006. Date: 6/08/2006

Study Finds Children with Autism Have More Active Adaptive Immune System
With support from Cure Autism Now, a study recently published in the Journal of Immunology has found that children with autism have a more active immune system. Date: 5/25/2006

CDC Survey Confirms High Prevalence of Autism
On May 5, 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the findings from two new surveys reporting the prevalence of autism among children ages 4-17 between 2003 and 2004. Date: 5/11/2006

New Book Looks at Autism from Neuroscience to Treatment
Taking an all-inclusive look at the subject, Understanding Autism: From Basic Neuroscience to Treatment reviews state-of-the-art research on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of autism. Date: 4/18/2006

New Research Provides Model for Study of Biological Basis of Social Impairment in Autism
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center recently made strides in developing a model of social attention that can lay the groundwork for research into the neurobiological origins of limited social interaction in autism. Date: 4/17/2006

Cure Autism Now Reports Survey Results of CAN Grantees
Ten years ago there were few biologists who identified themselves as autism researchers, science was moving slowly, and autism was not attracting the resources it deserved. Frustrated and knowing that so much more could be done, parents bonded together and formed Cure Autism Now. Date: 3/29/2006

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Presents Spotlight on Autism
The educational public forum is part of a series in which CIRM, California's stem cell institute, devotes the first hour of its board meeting to one of the 70 diseases that scientists believe can be helped with stem cell research. Date: 3/16/2006

Exciting Findings from UCLA Team on Chromosome 17: Cure Autism Now Grants New Genomics Initiative Award to Pursue Genetic Lead
Providing a cure for autism is always on the forefront of our minds. Why then do we pursue genetics, which at first blush seems so remote from treatment? Date: 3/16/2006

New Thinking on Neurodevelopment
An article in the February issue of Environmental Health Perspectives reviews environmental considerations for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. The article quotes CAN-funded researchers Martha Herbert and Carlos Pardo as they discuss abnormal brain processes that could be triggered by environmental exposures. Date: 2/22/2006

CAN Neuroimaging Summit Focuses on Collaboration
On Jan. 23-24, 25 researchers from around the world came together in Los Angeles for the Cure Autism Now Neuroimaging Summit Meeting. The CAN-sponsored science summit meeting was held to provide a forum to brainstorm about how imaging technology can be used to uncover the underlying biology of autism - in as directed, timely and cost-efficient a manner as possible. The summit, held during two days at UCLA, was a result of a generous donation from Christopher and Jill Escher. Date: 2/8/2006

2006 Pilot Project and Young Investigator Grants
These grants were born out of the necessity to stimulate novel research and entice investigators to join the fight to understand autism. Date: 1/26/2006

Advances in Autism Research at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting
Autism was the subject of the annual Neurobiology of Disease workshop, one of the featured presentations of the weeklong meeting. Date: 1/15/2006

Cure Autism Now Aligns with Autism Treatment Network to Advance Medical Treatment Standards
The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is the nation's first network of hospitals and physicians that aims to improve treatment for individuals with autism. Date: 1/15/2006

Cure Autism Now Genius Award Recipient Discovers a New Role for the Gene Involved in Rett's Syndrome
The Cure Autism Now science program profiles several new publications that have emerged from the laboratory of Dr. Huda Zoghbi. Date: 1/15/2006

Discover Magazine Ranks CAN/UCLA Research Project Among Top Science Stories of 2005
A CAN/UCLA research project was named among the top 100 science stories of the year in the January 2006 edition of Discover magazine. Date: 1/15/2006

Complex Gene Interactions Account for Autism Risk: AGRE Sample Used in Duke University Study
A recent report from the American Journal of Human Genetics identified an association between autism and several genes which respond to "slow and stop" signals in the brain. Date: 12/6/2005

New Treatment Grant Addresses Receptive Language Skills
Developing modes of communication and speech in young children with autism is a primary focus of many interventions, but the development of receptive language abilities has generally received far less targeted attention. Date: 12/6/2005

Cure Autism Now Hosts Eighth Annual Grant Review
Scientists from across the country gathered in Santa Monica, CA, for Cure Autism Now's eighth annual grant review meeting. Date: 10/27/2005

Cure Autism Now Science Director Published in Nature
Cure Autism Now science director Sophia Colamarino, Ph.D. is published in the current edition of the scientific journal Nature. Date: 10/27/2005

NIH and Autism Advocacy Organizations Partner on Genetic Susceptibility Research
A public-private partnership of government health agencies and private advocacy organizations has issued five research awards to advance genetic research. Date: 10/18/2005

Autism Treatment Network EMPACTs the Medical Community
ATN held its first annual Emerging Medical Practices in Autism Care & Treatment (EMPACT) Conference in Chicago, September 12-14, 2005. Date: 9/28/2005

Neuroimmune Researchers Funded by Cure Autism Now Chosen to Give Public Forum Lecture on Autism
Dr. Carlos Pardo of John's Hopkins University and Dr. Lisa Boulanger of the University of California, San Diego, were invited to be keynote speakers in the ASN's public forum. Date: 8/31/2005

Cure Autism Now Announces Innovative Technology in Autism (ITA) Grant
Awarded to Dr. Gregory D. Abowd of the College of Computing and GVU Center, Georgia Institute of Technology Date: 7/29/2005

Cure Autism Now Joins FasterCures in Efforts to Speed Medical Research
FasterCures is an "action tank" whose mission is to reduce the time it takes to discover and deliver new treatments for life-threatening diseases. Date: 7/29/2005

Quest Diagnostics Foundation Grant Will Help Fund Brain Development Initiative
Laura May and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation secure $20,000 grant to help fund CAN's Brain Development Initiative. Date: 7/29/2005

Cure Autism Now Science Summary: Gray Matter Enlargement
Our science director examines recent research involving the part of the brain which is complementary and inextricably linked to white matter: gray matter. Date: 6/29/2005

Cure Autism Now Teams with University of California, Berkeley to Develop Groundbreaking Product Design Course
Interdisciplinary undergraduate course to explore sociological issues of disability and autism, and have students design products to improve the lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Date: 5/26/2005

AGRE Hits New Milestone in Autism Research
Cure Autism Now is elated by the progress that AGRE has made in just a few short years, and continue to accelerate the pace of research bringing us closer to the cure. Date: 5/13/2005

Cure Autism Now Well Represented in Fourth Annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR)
Boston hosted over 700 autism researchers for the fourth annual IMFAR - a scientific conference dedicated to autism research sharing. Date: 5/13/2005

CAN's Science Director Examines Autism's Characteristic Eye Contact Avoidance
This week our science director reviews a new study that looks at the relationship between the amount of eye contact and levels of brain activity. Date: 4/6/2005

French Company Reports Autism Gene Isolation Using AGRE Samples
Researchers at IntegraGen have discovered twelve genes associated with autism and the first results of this work are submitted for publication. Date: 4/6/2005

Great Minds Convene at Autism Think Tank in NYC
The aim of the conference was to inspire the world's leading scientists to contribute their knowledge, skills and ingenuity to the study of autism. Date: 3/23/2005

Study Using AGRE Sample Finds Autism Genetic Link Influenced by Sex
Recent reviews have indicated that males are four to ten times more likely to be affected by autism than females. Date: 3/23/2005

Autism Treatment Network Featured in Newsweek
Newsweek reports that many families are searching for alternative treatments to deal with the medley of symptoms associated with autism. Date: 3/2/2005

Cure Autism Now Science Summary: The White Matter Story
Dr. Colamarino compiles important papers published by Dr. Martha Herbert on the important subject referred to as the White Matter Story. Date: 3/2/2005

New Book Covers Autism in Plain Language
The new book, "Autism Spectrum Disorders," by Chantal Sicile-Kira is an essential source of information and advice. Date: 3/2/2005

Cure Autism Now Hosts White Matter Think Tank
Dr. Martha Herbert Leads CAN's Brain Development Initiative. Date: 2/17/2005

Maja Bucan, PhD, Named New Chair of the AGRE Steering Committee
Maja Bucan, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and an Interim Director of the Penn Center for Bioinformatics Date: 2/6/2005

CAN Announces Unprecedented 25 Research Grants for 2005
We have included a list and description of the 25 research projects that your commitment to people affected by autism has made possible. Date: 1/18/2005

Jonathan Shestack Appointed to California Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee
Cure Autism Now is proud to report that Jonathan Shestack, our co-founder, has been appointed to the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. Date: 1/11/2005

International Coalition to Fund Autism Genetics Research
An international public/private partnership of government health agencies and private advocacy organizations commits more than $21 million for autism research. Date: 1/10/2005

Cure Autism Now Announces Unprecedented 25 Research Grants for 2005
We have included a list and description of the 25 research projects that your commitment to people affected by autism has made possible. Date: 12/10/2004

A Remarkably Successful Year for AGRE
Thanks to the many families who have participated, AGRE is now the largest collection of clinical data and DNA samples available to researchers throughout the world. Date: 12/9/2004

Autism Community Secures Inclusion of $3 Million Appropriation for National Autism Awareness and Physician Education and $16 Million for Epidemiology
Congress approves CAN's request for additional autism-related funding in the Federal Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Act pending before Congress. Date: 12/2/2004

Cure Autism Now and Lipomics Collaborate on New Biomarker Study
Results may identify autism biomarkers using lipid analysis. Date: 12/1/2004

Cure Autism Now Announces New Science Director
Dr. Colamarino comes to Cure Autism Now with exceptional research credentials and an intense and abiding interest in both biology and psychology. Date: 11/15/2004

Cure Autism Now-Funded Study Finds Brain Inflammation Involved in Autism
A new study published in the latest online edition of the Annals of Neurology found the first direct evidence that links brain inflammation to autism. Date: 11/15/2004

AGRE a Key Player in Largest Hunt for Autism Genes
Researchers announced receipt of a 3-year, $3.2 million grant from NIMH to conduct largest hunt for genetic contributors to autism. Date: 11/3/2004

A Message from Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board Chair, Dr. Pat Levitt
On behalf of the Scientific Advisory Board Dr. Pat Levitt extends his thanks to the supporters of Cure Autism Now. Date: 10/19/2004

Cure Autism Now Foundation Endorses Proposition 71
The Cure Autism Now Foundation has strongly endorsed the California Stem Cell Research & Cures Initiative. Date: 10/19/2004

California Bill to Limit Mercury in Shots Approved
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs bill to restrict mercury content in vaccines, which some blame for autism surge. Date: 9/30/2004

Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board Meetings Held in Santa Monica, California
Scientific leaders join with Cure Autism Now supporters for annual meeting of Cure Autism Now's Scientific Advisory Board and review over 125 grants. Date: 9/16/2004

Scientists Suggest Autism Involves More Than Genes
While many researchers believe inheritance of faulty genes is at autism's root, the new idea suggests the cause is more complex. Date: 9/16/2004

Cure Autism Now Families Will Provide Genetic Material for Study
Perlegen Sciences, Inc. has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for the first phase of a study to determine the genetics of autism. Date: 8/20/2004

Cure Autism Now's Scientific Review Council Alters the Course of Autism Research
Cure Autism Now's Scientific Review Council's creative and innovative perspectives will help achieve the breakthroughs necessary to solve autism. Date: 8/20/2004

Scientists Discover Biological Basis for Autism
Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Nancy Minshew publishes findings in August edition of British journal "Brain." Date: 8/9/2004

Cure Autism Now and AGRE Continue to Pave the Way for Autism Research
Autism Genome Project brings together nine independent research groups, including AGRE, to perform analyses to identify autism genes. Date: 7/23/2004

Cure Autism Now Launches New Brain Development Initiative to Expand on Groundbreaking New Research
Dr. Martha Herbert leads initiative. Brings together findings re. development of the autistic brain. Date: 7/9/2004

Pat Levitt, Ph.D., Published in Neurosciences Journal
Chair of Cure Autism Now Scientific Advisory Board co-authors research review regarding interneuron regulation in autism. Date: 7/9/2004

An Interview with Dr. Huq
Dr. Huq is the recipient of a Cure Autism Now 2003 Pilot Grant Award. He has published 5 scientific publications using the AGRE resource over the last 2 years. Date: 6/25/2004

Study Finds Genetic Link Between Autism, Vaccines
A once common preservative affects only one strain of lab mice, possibly explaining mixed results of past studies. AGRE Steering Committee Chair, Dr. Dan Geschwind, interviewed for Los Angeles Times article. Date: 6/11/2004

3rd Annual International Meeting of Autism Research
May 7th and 8th, co-sponsored by Cure Autism Now. Portia Iversen says, "this IMFAR meeting was by far the best yet." Date: 5/28/2004

Cure Autism Now Says Findings are Premature and Calls for More Research
Institute of Medicine's recent report, which rejects causal link between MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism, should not be considered definitive. Date: 5/21/2004

Cure Autism Now Awards Genius Grant to Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D.
$100,000 Genius Grant goes to scientist who discovered mutations in the MECP2 gene responsible for Rett Syndrome. Date: 5/14/2004

AGRE Researcher Identifies Genetic Association Between Autism and ENGRAILED2 (EN2)
AGRE Researcher James Millonig publishes study on gene involved in brain formation during early stages of development. Date: 4/30/2004

Two New Jersey Researchers Have Uncovered Tantalizing Evidence About the Genetic Underpinnings of Autism
Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D., AGRE Program Director, issues an alert to members last week saying the New Jersey study provides one of the "most promising candidate genes in autism susceptibility." Date: 4/30/2004

Publication in the March 2004 Journal of Molecular Psychiatry focuses on Outcome of Cure Autism Now Think Tank
CAN's April 2002 targeted research workshop, "Pinpointing Autism: Neurochemical Targets and Research Directions in Developmental Neurobiology," featured. Date: 4/19/2004

IntegraGen Locates Genes for Autism Using Cure Autism Now's Autism Genetic Resource Exchange
Scientists at IntegraGen compared the whole genomes of 232 family members suffering from autism provided through the Autism Genetic Resources Exchange (AGRE) program. Date: 4/2/2004

M.I.N.D. Institute Hosts Dr. Sue Folstein
Dr Folstein's research team and Cure Autism Now's Autism Genetic Resource Exchange are working to uncover the link between genetics autism. Date: 2/19/2004

AJP Publishes Article Citing Gene Implicated in Autism
Study supported, in part, by a grant from Cure Autism Now and using samples from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). Date: 2/9/2004

Cure Autism Now Think Tank Leads to Clinical Trial Standards for Autism Research
Results of 2002 Cure Autism Now research meeting comprise entire current edition of International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine. Date: 2/9/2004

CAN Funds Four New Treatment Grants
The Cure Autism Now Foundation is pleased to announce the funding of four new treatment awards, each with the potential for unlocking key components in the causes and treatment of autism. Date: 1/22/2004

Autism Research Picks up the Pace at Society for Neuroscience Conference
Private funding has increased, but even more significant is the growing support by the NIH, enabling us to expand our Autism Genetic Resource Exchange ... Date: 1/8/2004

CAN's Autism Genetic Resource Exchange - Providing the Best to the Best
Just a few years ago AGRE was a revolutionary concept. Now, it is a critical resource that is accelerating autism research ... Date: 12/22/2003

Cure Autism Now Announces Partnership With National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at Autism Summit Conference
Cure Autism Now and NIMH Create Largest Resource for Study of Autism; Summit Opens Public Dialogue to Develop National Autism Agenda Date: 12/15/2003

Cure Autism Now Secures Inclusion of $2.4 Million Appropriation for National Autism Awareness and Physician Education Program
Bill to provide $2.4 million to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for program to expand autism awareness and education. Date: 12/15/2003

Joint Statement on the Use Of The CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink to Investigate Thimerosal
Major Autism and Speech/Language Disorder Organizations Release Joint Statement on the Use Of The CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink to Investigate Thimerosal Date: 11/3/2003

California Autism Diagnoses Double in Last Four Years
Number of children identified as autistic rises from 10,360 in 1998 to 20,377 in 2002. Read Gov't. Report and excerpts from National Press Coverage. Date: 6/5/2003

National Institute of Mental Health Tells Cure Autism Now Foundation: "Recruit More Families!"
Contribute to Vital Autism Research. With extended funding through 4-year NIMH grant, we will recruit more families and continue our mission of making DNA samples and clinical data available to researchers. Date: 6/5/2003