Center for Autism Research & Treatment News Archive

Young Researcher Tackles Link between Genes and Autism

(10 Jul 12)

For young children with autism, directing attention boosts language

NIH-supported study confirms that pointing, gestures to focus attention improve later language An intervention in which adults actively engaged the attention of preschool children with autism by pointing to toys and using other gestures to focus their attention results in a long term increase in language skills, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. At age 8, children with autism who received therapy centered on sharing attention and play when they were 3 or 4 years old had stronger vocabularies and more advanced language skills than did children who received standard therapy. All of the children in the study attended preschool for 30 hours each week. (21 Jun 12)

UCLA study uncovers new tools for targeting genes linked to autism

UCLA researchers have combined two tools — gene expression and the use of peripheral blood — to expand scientists' arsenal of methods for pinpointing genes that play a role in autism.  Published in the June 21 online edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the findings could help scientists zero in on genes that offer future therapeutic targets for the disorder.  "Technological advances now allow us to rapidly sequence the genome and uncover dozens of rare mutations," explained principal investigator Dr. Daniel Geschwind, UCLA's Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "But just because a particular genetic mutation is rare doesn't mean it's actually... (21 Jun 12)

Marian Sigman, Ph.D. 1941-2012 - In Memoriam

Marian Sigman, Ph.D., a valued colleague and friend to many at the Semel Institute at UCLA died on April 30, 2012; she was 70 years old. Marian Sigman was a developmental and child clinical psychologist and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and of Psychology.  With Dr. Dan Geschwind, Dr. Sigman cofounded and directed the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART). She was an internationally acclaimed scholar, generous teacher and colleague, and a pioneer in the fields of autism and developmental risk.  Dr. Sigman has left her mark on the field with a rich legacy of significant scientific contributions.  She will be greatly missed by many. (11 May 12)

UCLA CART's Dr. Shafali Jeste featured in American Academy of Neurology news

Behavioral child neurologist, Shafali Jeste, M.D., was featured recently in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) news about "Clinical Research Training Fellowship Helps Accelerate Autism Investigations."  Both in the AANnews January 2012 issue, as well as in the CRTF newsletter released this April, Dr. Jeste's progress during her AAN fellowship to her productive research path at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) which she joined in 2010, were described. See attached story for details. (27 Apr 12)

CART Pilot Grant funding available - applications due May 7, 2012

The UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) invites applications for pilot grants. APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 7, 2012 (Monday 5 pm) FUNDING AMOUNT: $25,000 per project (direct costs) BUDGET PERIOD: August 1, 2012- July 31, 2013   Please see RFA (attached below) for details including application submission requirements. (12 Mar 12)

UCLA CART 4th Annual Autism Symposium

UCLA CART 4th Annual Autism Symposium LIMITED SEATING -  REGISTER TODAY -  Friday, February 3, 2012  at UCLA NRB Auditorium   UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) 4th Annual Autism Research Symposium "Autism 2012 - Autism Spectrum Disorders: Research Update and Evidence-Based Treatment Models" This full-day continuing education symposium is for physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, other health professionals, teachers, autism service providers, and any others interested in learning of the latest breakthroughs in research and treatment in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). (15 Dec 11)

Dr. Geschwind Elected to the Institute of Medicine

Two faculty members in the David Geffen School of Medicine – Daniel H. Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., and Barbara Vickrey, M.D., M.P.H. – have been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Membership in the Institute of Medicine is one of the highest honors conferred in the Health Sciences in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor, departments of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics and director, program in neurogenetics and Center for Autism Research and Treatment, Semel Institute. His studies include the development of novel methods as well as applications to study the normal brain and its disorders using advanced genetic techniques. He has evaluated the genetic aspects of... (20 Oct 11)

UCLA geneticists report promising method for the treatment of autism

Research to develop a mouse model for autism and test new therapies that may hold benefits for human patients was covered Oct. 3 by Ivanhoe News, Oct. 2 by Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología, Sept. 30 by a Nature Medicine blog and Med Page Today, Fox News and My Health Daily, and Sept. (3 Oct 11)

'Autistic' mice created – and treated

New Scientist and reported Sept. 29; Medscape Today reported Sept. 26; and PsychCentral reported Sept. 25 on a Neuron study by Dr. Daniel Geschwind discovering that a key signaling pathway plays an important role in a common form of early-onset dementia, and may offer a potential target for treatment. (29 Sep 11)