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September 2016arrow

Autism therapy the topic of MIND Institute's first distinguished lecture this season

September 7, 2016

The road to treating children with autism is still being paved, and while scientific, regulatory and other obstacles may slow progress, families and researchers alike are determined to forge ahead.

Cognitive function tests reliable for people with intellectual disabilities, UC Davis research shows

September 6, 2016

Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute have found that a battery of tests appears to have strong potential for measuring cognitive changes over time for people with intellectual disabilities. The work could open new doors to research into whether drugs and specialized educational programs or treatments can improve function in people with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and other causes of intellectual disabilities.

August 2016arrow

Sertraline, brand named Zoloft, improves functioning in young children with fragile X

August 26, 2016

Treatment with sertraline may provide nominal but important improvements in cognition and social participation in very young children with fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and the leading single-gene cause of autism, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

MIND Institute-INALLIANCE partnership a recipe for success

August 1, 2016

UC Davis MIND Institute has partnered with INALLIANCE, a local non-profit, to provide vocational training for people with developmental disabilities in the institute’s café on 50th Street.

July 2016arrow

2016-2017 MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series starts Sept. 14

July 27, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute kicks off its 2016-2017 Distinguished Lecturer Series in September with an address by Robert H. Ring, associate professor at Drexel University in the College of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology.

UC Davis MIND Institute hosts summer camp

July 27, 2016

One by one, the kids trickled into the room, checked in, put on their name badges and jumped into the games: matching cards, Hungry, Hungry Hippo and Guess Who?

MIND Institute partners with INALLIANCE

July 22, 2016

As the espresso machine whirs and customers browse the day’s pastries at the UC Davis MIND Institute Café, Igor Zelenov is beaming with pride as he practices his new skills.

UC Davis scientists awarded grant for rare genetic disorder research

July 21, 2016

The state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), today approved a $1.1 million grant to UC Davis for research aimed at developing a treatment for Angelman syndrome,  a rare, neurogenetic autism-spectrum disorder that occurs in one in 15,000 live births.

UC Davis researchers temporarily turn off brain area to better understand function

July 20, 2016

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers at UC Davis’ California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain.

High quality MRIs without sedation are possible in severely affected children with autism

July 19, 2016

UC Davis researchers have found a way to get MRI images of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability without sedating them first using the principles of applied behavior analysis.

MIND Institute awarded key federal training grant

July 18, 2016

Adding to its growing portfolio of important federal grants to address the needs of people with developmental disabilities, the UC Davis MIND Institute, in collaboration with California State University Sacramento, has been awarded $2.7 million, to be spent over five years, to train professionals and family members who care for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

The experts agree: Environmental toxins hurt brain development

July 1, 2016

An unprecedented alliance of leading scientists, health professionals, and children’s and environmental health advocates agree for the first time that today’s scientific evidence supports a link between exposures to toxic chemicals in air, water, food and everyday products and children’s risks for neurodevelopmental disorders.

June 2016arrow

Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities 5-year grant renewed

June 28, 2016

The Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) at the UC Davis MIND Institute has received a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities grant award from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

"Digital neurotherapeutic" in development at the UC Davis MIND Institute

June 22, 2016

A UC Davis researcher has created a video game for children who experience cognitive impairments from genetic disorders with the hope that that it will improve their ability to mentally process information about space and time.

MIND Institute researcher studies feasibility of community providers training parents of children with autism

June 22, 2016

Research has long shown that parent-implemented “naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions,” which are applied in a child’s usual setting and designed to build developmentally appropriate skills, help decrease the main symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, parent training by community providers had not previously been studied.

Mothers with diabetes, other metabolic conditions, more likely to also have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies

June 17, 2016

Mothers of children with autism who were diagnosed with metabolic conditions during pregnancy, particularly gestational and type 2 diabetes, were more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies in their blood compared to healthy women of children with autism. The presence of these anti-fetal brain autoantibodies has been previously found to be specific to some mothers of children with autism and rare among mothers of children without autism, researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found.

Risk of autism with intellectual disability linked with maternal immune dysfunction during pregnancy

June 7, 2016

Pregnant women with higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, proteins that control communication between cells of the immune system, may be at significantly greater risk of having a child with autism combined with intellectual disability, researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found.

Developing drugs to treat autism topic of next MIND Distinguished Lecture

June 7, 2016

Although emerging research has identified potential targets for investigational medications for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, there is a significant gap between when they are identified and when clinical trials begin for patients. Evdokia Anagnostou, a Toronto-based clinician/scientist, will discuss the pipeline from bench research to clinical trials during the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series.

May 2016arrow

MIND Institute study examines development of school-age children with autism spectrum disorder

May 27, 2016

Grade school is an important period in children’s development, when they begin to mature and prepare to enter adolescence. Now, researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute hope to discover how to maximize that growth among children with autism to help them learn and thrive.

Rogers expands training for children with autism across the globe

May 24, 2016

The highly successful Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) intervention for children with autism, co-developed by Sally Rogers, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has expanded training to more than 20 countries around the world.

More research needed to identify and measure quality of autism interventions

May 10, 2016

With the dramatic rise of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the numbers and types of interventions promoted to families and individuals with autism have surged as well.

Autism and cancer share a remarkable number of risk genes in common

May 3, 2016

Autism and cancer share more than 40 risk genes, suggesting that common mechanisms underlying the functions of some of these genes could conceivably be leveraged to develop therapies not just for cancer but for autism as well, an extensive assessment by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute and Comprehensive Cancer Center has found.

April 2016arrow

Distance language intervention helps adolescents with disabilities communicate

April 27, 2016

Sean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn’t always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation. But a novel intervention developed by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers seems to be making a difference.

UC Davis MIND Institute joins SPARK, nation's largest autism research study

April 21, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif. today helped launch SPARK, an online research initiative designed to become the largest autism study ever undertaken in the United States. Sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), SPARK will collect information and DNA for genetic analysis from 50,000 individuals with autism — and their families — to advance our understanding of the causes of this condition and to hasten the discovery of supports and treatments. [español]

Whites receive more state funding for autism services than other racial/ethnic groups

April 4, 2016

Whites with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in California receive more state funding than Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and others, new research from UC Davis Health System has found. The study also showed that spending on ASD increases dramatically with age. [en español]

March 2016arrow

Cancer gene twice as likely to be defective in children with autism

March 30, 2016

A large study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found that a gene whose role is to suppress cellular damage from environmental stressors is nearly twice as likely to be defective in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that the deficit is also present in their fathers.

Hales receives prestigious educator award from the American Psychiatric Association

March 23, 2016

Robert Hales, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis, has received the 2016 Vestermark Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for his excellence, leadership and creativity in the field of psychiatry education.

Bold Vision, Bright Future depicted in murals at the MIND

March 11, 2016

Visitors to the UC Davis MIND Institute’s Massie Family Clinic are now met with a wall of vibrant colors and whimsical designs in ceramic tile, a creation of The Mural Project, which combined the talents of three professional artists and artists with developmental disabilities from the Short Centers.

February 2016arrow

UC Davis MIND Institute seeks teens, young adults for imaging study of how brain transitions to adulthood

February 26, 2016

Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute are seeking teens and young adults ages 12-22 to participate in an innovative brain imaging study aimed at understanding how the brain functions and behaviors emerge during a critical yet understudied period of development:  the transition from adolescence to adulthood.  

UC Davis neuroscientist named Sloan fellow

February 23, 2016

Megan Y. Dennis, an early-career UC Davis scientist, has been named a 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Neuroscience.

UC Davis MIND Institute to host documentary film and panel at Davis Senior Center

February 22, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute, in partnership with Lynn and Keith Volkerts and the George and Lena Valente Foundation, will host an “Afternoon of Discovery and Discussion” on Sunday, March 6.

UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series features renowned neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth

February 8, 2016

Neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth, the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, will discuss “Illuminating the Brain in Health and Disease” during the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m.

December 2015arrow

Immunology expert to discuss the role of T cells in brain health

December 30, 2015

Jonathan Kipnis, director of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG) at the University of Virginia, will discuss “The Brain’s Lymphatic System and Behavior” during the next UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 4:30 p.m.

November 2015arrow

The functional anatomy of language: Four things you need to know

November 4, 2015

Gregory Hickok, founder and director, Center for Language Science, UC Irvine, will discuss “The functional anatomy of language: four things you need to know,” during the December UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

October 2015arrow

MIND Institute offers program for adults with autism spectrum disorder

October 29, 2015

Researchers with the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and MIND Institute at UC Davis are seeking adult participants, aged 18 to 38 years and diagnosed with or suspected of having autism or Asperger’s disorder, to participate in a research study, the ACCESS Program (Acquiring Career, Coping, Executive-Function and Social Skills Program).

Amaral appointed to Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the Department of Health and Human Services

October 28, 2015

David Amaral, Beneto Foundation Chair and Director of Research, UC Davis MIND Institute, has been appointed by United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), which advises the secretary on approaches to advance research, strengthen services and increase opportunities for people with autism spectrum disorder.