Driven: CAR's Science Blog

Celebrating 10 Years: A Special Report on the Past, Present, and Future of Research CAR
2018 marks the the 10th anniversary of CAR's founding. We are celebrating with a series of blog posts and the release of a special report on the past, present and future of CAR's research. We are grateful for your partnership and excited for what lies on the near horizon. ...

Strength In Numbers
Hundreds of different genetic factors contribute to autism and likely a similar number of environmental factors. Each combines differently to affect an individual diagnosed with ASD. The many different possible combinations of genomic and environmental “risk factors” results in many different individuals with ASD. ...

Categories: Genetics
The Revolution Will Be… Digitized
In the three years since its inception, the Center for Autism Research (CAR)’s Technology and Innovation Lab has developed tools with the potential to revolutionize the way in which psychologists assess a child for ASD, develop new therapies, and predict and measure the effectiveness of a behavioral therapy or medication ...

Innovation Overcomes A Longstanding “Speed Bump” In Autism Research
Nonverbal and verbal communication forms the basis of our social connections and relationships. During a conversation, partners respond to or reciprocate countless verbal and nonverbal cues, without thinking about it at all. ...

Future Focused: Pathway to Personalized Medicine
Looking to the future, scientists at CAR say studies examining brain structure and function as it relates to social cognition, repetitive behaviors, anxiety, and ADHD- as well as those aimed at refining research methodology to incorporate emerging data processing capabilities- hold the most promise for helping us to understand how we might develop treatments that target the core symptoms of autism. ...

What Do We Know About Autism and the Brain?
Over the past decade, foundational brain imaging research looking for the brain regions responsible for ASD has provided a deeper understanding of how the brain works, but has raised as many questions as it has provided answers. We learned that the brain’s role in ASD is not as simple as pinpointing a single aspect of brain development or function. ...

Building a Strong Foundation: CAR’s Roots in Brain Imaging Research
Looking back over the last decade, much of the research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been centered on one goal: to find the cause(s) of this neurodevelopmental diagnosis that affects so many. CAR’s initial brain imaging research led to several key discoveries  revealed the complexities of ASD and the brain and laid the foundations for today's research aimed at discovering new ways to treat the core symptoms of ASD. ...

Seeking Reward in Restricted Interests
Restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests (RRBIs) represent one of the defining characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While many brain imaging studies on ASD exist, few have investigated the brain’s activity and processing during RRBIs. ...

Autism’s Chicken – or –Egg Dilemma: Social Difficulties or Restricted Interests
When it comes to two of the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diminished social interest and restricted and repetitive interests, researchers have long puzzled over which comes first. ...

Early Data on a Potential Digital Treatment for Autism+ADHD
Digital medicine company Akili Interactive announced the results of a successful randomized, controlled clinical trial of an investigational digital treatment for children with Attention Deficient/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).   ...