Autism, also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex disorder of the brain that typically lasts through a person’s lifetime.
Autism affects how a person communicates, behaves, interacts with and views the world. In most cases its causes are unknown. People with autism may have difficulty with communication and interacting with others, or demonstrate a restricted or repeated set of behaviours. Autism is referred to as a “spectrum” disorder, as it presents differently in everyone who has it. As all people with autism present differently, there is no sure set of characteristics.
Other syndromes associated with autism are Asperger’s syndrome and Rett syndrome, which almost exclusively affects females.
How The Florey is making a difference
Our researchers are working on novel compounds isolated from an abundant natural source to determine whether it might help alleviate some of the negative cognitive effects for people diagnosed with ASD. This work is being performed in conjunction with ASD clinicians at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Other work includes using preclinical genetic models of ASD to measure impaired social interaction, and develop novel therapeutic agents to improve this debilitating consequence of the disorder.
- A two-hit hypothesis of neurodevelopmental disorders: exploring BDNF val66met polymorphism and environmental prenatal exposures
- Can mice really play ipad games for milkshake rewards and how can this help us understand motivation in Autism Spectrum Disorder?
- Characterising novel drug therapies to target cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia
- Chemical exposures in utero, child neurodevelopment and epigenetic programming
- Deep-learning based tracking of behaviour in preclinical models for mental illness
For further information and support contact Autism Awareness Australia on 1300 900 681. You can also access State based services for information relevant to your home state.
Latest Florey news on Autism