Health News

Recommendations Issued for Sleep Disturbance in Pediatric Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 — In an American Academy of Neurology practice guideline, published online Feb. 12 in Neurology, recommendations are presented for addressing sleep disturbances in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ashura Williams Buckley, M.D., from the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues reviewed pharmacological and nonpharmacological […]

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Unlocking speech for kids with autism

For parents of a child with autism, communication is often the No. 1 hurdle. But what if there were a simple way to help them get their youngster talking? A new study suggests there just might be. It’s called “pivotal response treatment” (PRT). And those who have tried it say it can open up a […]

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Finding a cause of neurodevelopmental disorders: Scientists uncover a mechanism linking a protein mutation with abnormal nervous system development

Neurodevelopmental disorders arising from rare genetic mutations can cause atypical cognitive function, intellectual disability, and developmental delays, yet it is unclear why and how this happens. Scientists suspected a mutation in a complex of proteins could be the culprit for a group of rare genetic disorders and, now, Salk Institute researchers have identified the molecular […]

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Brain region linked to altered social interactions in autism model

Although psychiatric disorders can be linked to particular genes, the brain regions and mechanisms underlying particular disorders are not well-understood. Mutations or deletions of the SHANK3 gene are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a related rare disorder called Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Mice with SHANK3 mutations also display some of the traits associated with […]

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Pupil dilation and heart rate, analyzed by AI, may help spot autism early: Study provides much-needed objective measures for predicting neurodevelopmental disorders

Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders often aren’t diagnosed until a child is a few years of age, when behavioral interventions and speech/occupational therapy become less effective. But new research this week in PNAS suggests that two simple, quantifiable measures — spontaneous fluctuations in pupil dilation or heart rate — could enable much earlier diagnosis of […]

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Classification system based on co-occurring conditions may provide insight into autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often affected by co-occurring conditions, such as epilepsy, immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and developmental delays. According to research published today in Autism Research, creating a classification system for ASD based on co-occurring conditions could provide useful insights into the underlying mechanics of ASD and these conditions. The study […]