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Autism (sometimes called “classical autism”) is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have autism. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.
Courtagen collaborates with CCMC to identify alterations in genes associated with ASD

Courtagen collaborates with CCMC to identify alterations in genes associated with ASD

Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., an innovative molecular information company, announced today a collaboration with Connecticut Children's Medical Center to utilize Courtagen's sophisticated Next Generation Sequencing assays to help identify and characterize alterations found in genes associated with ASD. [More]
Viewpoints: The case against Jenny Mccarthy's vaccine stand; apathy on HIV; defeating Alzheimer's

Viewpoints: The case against Jenny Mccarthy's vaccine stand; apathy on HIV; defeating Alzheimer's

What do you call someone who sows misinformation, stokes fear, abets behavior that endangers people's health, extracts enormous visibility from doing so and then says the equivalent of "Who? Me?" I'm not aware of any common noun for a bad actor of this sort. But there's a proper noun: Jenny McCarthy (Frank Bruni, 4/21). [More]

Research shows epigenetic changes contributed to human survival over other extinct species

In parallel with modern man (Homo sapiens), there were other, extinct types of humans with whom we lived side by side, such as Neanderthals and the recently discovered Denisovans of Siberia. Yet only Homo sapiens survived. What was it in our genetic makeup that gave us the advantage? [More]
State highlights: Tenn. may send addicted moms to jail; Hawaii autism coverage; Florida medical marijuana

State highlights: Tenn. may send addicted moms to jail; Hawaii autism coverage; Florida medical marijuana

Pregnant women addicted to illegal narcotics or prescription pain pills could soon be jailed in Tennessee under a bill awaiting the governor's signature. [More]

Older parents are more likely to have child with autism spectrum disorder, says study

Older parents are more likely to have a child who develops an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than are younger parents. A recent study from researchers from the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia and Karolinska Institute in Sweden provides more insight into how the risk associated with parental age varies between mothers' and fathers' ages, and found that the risk of having a child with both ASD and intellectual disability is larger for older parents. [More]
Researchers investigate impact of nutrition in resource-poor regions on infant brain development

Researchers investigate impact of nutrition in resource-poor regions on infant brain development

Brain activity of babies in developing countries could be monitored from birth to reveal the first signs of cognitive dysfunction, using a new technique piloted by a London-based university collaboration. [More]

The Help Group presents ‘Help Humanitarian Award’ at 17th Annual Teddy Bear Ball event

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, The Help Group will host its 17th Annual Teddy Bear Ball to benefit children with autism and other special needs at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. [More]
Vivere-Winter Park recognizes 25th Annual National Infertility Awareness Week

Vivere-Winter Park recognizes 25th Annual National Infertility Awareness Week

Infertility is a disease affecting more than 7 million people across the U.S., according to the National Survey of Family Growth. That number represents 12 percent of women of childbearing age or one in eight couples. [More]
Researchers uncover novel function of Amyloid Precursor Protein linked to Alzheimer's disease

Researchers uncover novel function of Amyloid Precursor Protein linked to Alzheimer's disease

A research team led by the National Neuroscience Institute has uncovered a novel function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), one of the main pathogenic culprits of Alzheimer's disease. This discovery may help researchers understand how the protein goes awry in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and potentially paves the way for the development of innovative therapeutics to improve the brain function of dementia patients. [More]

New insights into possible common links between neurodegenerative diseases

The pattern of brain alterations may be similar in several different neurodegenerative diseases, which opens the door to alternative therapeutic strategies to tackle these diseases [More]

Autism in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in brain, says study

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in the brain involving the systems that help people infer what others are thinking and understand the meaning of others' actions and emotions. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]

Vanderbilt and Tennessee partner to bring novel intervention program

Vanderbilt University's Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) and the Tennessee Department of Education are partnering to bring a novel intervention program to families of young children with autism in Middle Tennessee. [More]
Prenatal exposure to SSRIs linked with ASD and developmental delays in boys

Prenatal exposure to SSRIs linked with ASD and developmental delays in boys

In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently prescribed treatment for depression, anxiety and other disorders, was associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in boys. [More]

Two biomarkers could help predict ASD, other developmental delays in young children

Researchers, including a team from Children's National Health System, have identified head circumference and head tilting reflex as two reliable biomarkers in the identification of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children that are between 9 and 12 months of age. [More]

Researchers develop screening tool to identify infants prior to 12 months at risk for ASD

The aim of this study was to develop a screening tool to identify infants prior to 12 months at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental learning delay (DLD) and provide immediate determination of risk for autism spectrum disorder. [More]

Researchers plan to train parents of children with autism

In 2004 University of Kansas researchers Linda Heitzman-Powell and Jay Buzhardt had the bold idea of training parents of children with autism to use an intervention based on the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to help them increase their children's independent skills and reduce problem behaviors. [More]
Study evaluates co-occurrence of cancers in patients with central nervous system disorders

Study evaluates co-occurrence of cancers in patients with central nervous system disorders

The study evaluated the co-occurrence of cancers in patients with central nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders, Down's syndrome, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. [More]

Researchers uncover new aspect of autism

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has uncovered a new aspect of autism, revealing that proteins involved in autism interact with many more partners than previously known. These interactions had not been detected earlier because they involve alternatively spliced forms of autism genes found in the brain. [More]
Doc receives grant for helping young adults to move from child-centered to adult-oriented health care system

Doc receives grant for helping young adults to move from child-centered to adult-oriented health care system

Oscar Taube, M.D., director of the Pediatric Outpatient department and the coordinator of Adolescent Medicine at the Herman & Walter Samuleson Children's Hospital at Sinai, has been awarded a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide adolescents, young adults and their family members with the tools to make a smooth transition from pediatric medical care to adult medical care. [More]