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Asperger Syndrome News

When is Tourette Syndrome Actually Autism?

Posted 1 day 10 hours ago by

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – More than one in five children with Tourette syndrome also tests positive for autism, a new study shows. But it's unlikely that so many children actually have both disorders. What's more probable is that Tourette's symptoms often mimic or seem quite similar to those of autism, the researchers noted. "Our results suggest that although autism diagnoses were higher in individuals with Tourette's, some of the increase may be due to autism-like symptoms, especially repetitive behaviors that are more strongly related to obsessive-compulsive disorder," said study first author Sabrina Darrow, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Tourette's affects between one and 10 in 1,000 children, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It is more common in males, and typical tics include repetitive ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation

Do Older Dads Produce Brainy Boys?

Posted 2 days 10 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – In a finding that might bring older Dads some peace of mind about their sons' future job prospects, a new study shows these kids are more likely to be "geeks." Previous research has shown children of older fathers have higher odds of autism and schizophrenia, but this study highlights the benefits of being the son of an older dad. "We have known for a while about the negative consequences of advanced paternal age, but now we have shown that these children may also go on to have better educational and career prospects," said study author Magdalena Janecka. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The researchers discovered that boys born to older dads are more intelligent, more focused on what interests them and are less concerned about fitting in. All qualities offer an edge in ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Oligospermia

Study Cites Top Reasons Young Autism Patients Are Hospitalized

Posted 7 days ago by

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – Having a mood disorder significantly boosts the odds that young people with autism will be hospitalized for psychiatric care, according to a new study. People with autism are often hospitalized when their behavior problems overwhelm their caregivers, the study authors said. "The demand is far greater than the number of clinicians, the number of programs and the number of beds we have," said study leader Giulia Righi. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior research at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School. Righi's team reviewed records of 473 people with autism, aged 4 to 20. The risk of hospitalization was seven times higher for those with a mood disorder. In addition, sleep problems more than doubled the chances of a hospital stay. And those with high scores on a scale of autism symptom severity had a slightly increased risk, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Fever During Pregnancy Tied to Autism in Study

Posted 9 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 – Children whose moms have any type of fever during pregnancy may have slightly increased odds of developing an autism spectrum disorder, a new study suggests. The large study found that one episode of fever in the second trimester might increase the risk for autism by 40 percent. Several bouts of fever after the twelfth week of pregnancy could raise the risk threefold, researchers reported. "Fever is a response to a wide range of infections, and it is common during pregnancy," said lead researcher Dr. Mady Hornig. She's an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. But she pointed out, "The absolute risk is low. The vast majority of women who get an infection with fever, even flu, are not going to end up having a child with autism." Hornig also cautioned this study cannot prove that a fever ... Read more

Related support groups: Fever, Autism, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Asperger Syndrome, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Special Brain Scans May Predict Autism in High-Risk Babies

Posted 16 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 – Researchers say a special type of MRI may someday help doctors predict which high-risk babies might develop autism in their toddler years. Known as functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI), the scan gives a peek at how different regions of the brain work together. As it turns out, certain areas that are connected also seem linked to autism risk, the researchers said. The fcMRI allowed the researchers to accurately predict 9 out of 11 high-risk babies who later showed behavioral signs of autism. "We used functional brain imaging information at 6 months and clinical information from 24 months to figure out if we could identify which high-risk infants would go on to develop autism," said study author Robert Emerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The hope is that such a prediction tool could one day be used to identify babies ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Baby Teeth Study Points to Links Between Autism, Lead Levels

Posted 2 Jun 2017 by

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 – An analysis of chemicals in baby teeth suggests that exposure to lead in pregnancy or shortly after birth might make infants more vulnerable to developing autism. At the same time, the investigators found that babies who don't get enough zinc and manganese during the same time frame may also face an increased risk for the developmental disorder. Zinc and manganese are typically found in certain foods. The teeth used in the study came from a pool of twins who were studied at various points in their development. The scientists determined lead, zinc and manganese levels by using lasers to map the growth rings in baby teeth. Environmental exposures can change constantly, explained study author Dr. Manish Arora, vice chairman and division chief of environmental health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. That means that "we need to consider ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lead Poisoning, Lead Poisoning - Mild

Communication Problems Not at Root of Tantrums in Kids With Autism

Posted 31 May 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – Children with autism spectrum disorders probably aren't throwing more tantrums because of a lack of ability to communicate, new research suggests. Speech and language problems are common in autism. Many children with autism aren't able to speak clearly. Some can't speak at all. But in this study, the researchers found that children with autism who have clear speech and a high ability to communicate have just as many outbursts as those who don't. "There is a common pervasive misbelief that children with autism have more tantrum behaviors because they have difficulty communicating their wants and their needs to caregivers and other adults," said lead research Dr. Cheryl Tierney. "The belief is that their inability to express themselves with speech and language is the driving force for these behaviors, and that if we can improve their speech and their language, ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome

Could a Century-Old Drug Help Ease Autism Symptoms?

Posted 26 May 2017 by

FRIDAY, May 26, 2017 – A drug first used in the early 1900s to treat sleeping sickness has shown promise in an early trial as a potential treatment for autism. The study involved just 10 boys, aged 5 to 14, with autism. This was the first human trial to attempt to replicate encouraging results seen in work with mice, the researchers noted. The drug is called suramin. "The main finding was that a single dose of suramin was safe and produced improvements in language, social interaction and restricted and/or repetitive behaviors in five children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]," said study author Dr. Robert Naviaux. He is co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at the University of California, San Diego's School of Medicine. He added that no such improvements were observed among the five children not treated with suramin. However, the gains from the one-dose ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation

Autism's 'Worryingly' High Suicide Rates Spur Conference

Posted 25 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – High rates of suicide among people with autism are drawing specialists to a conference this week in England. "What relatively little we know about suicidality in autism points to a worryingly high prevalence of people with the condition contemplating and attempting to take their own life," said Sarah Cassidy, co-author of a paper written in advance of the meeting. "More concerning still, the small body of research that does exist exposes serious shortcomings in how prepared we are to intervene and provide effective support to those with autism who are most at risk of dying by suicide," said Cassidy. Cassidy is with Coventry University's Center for Research in Psychology, Behavior and Achievement. Researchers at Coventry and Newcastle universities organized the two-day meeting. Urgent action is needed to help those most at risk, but the issue is poorly ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Autism, Dysthymia, Asperger Syndrome, Depressive Psychosis

Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark

Posted 25 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – Parents of children with autism often try diet changes or supplements to ease symptoms of the disorder, but a new review concludes there's no solid evidence that any work. After analyzing 19 clinical trials, researchers found little proof that dietary tactics – from gluten-free foods to fish oil supplements – helped children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Some studies showed positive effects, while others found nothing, the researchers said. Overall, the trials were too small and short-term to draw conclusions one way or the other. "Even though we don't have clear evidence documenting safety and efficacy, many – if not most – families of children with ASDs try different diets and nutritional supplements at some point in time," said senior researcher Zachary Warren. Parents often feel there is at least no harm in trying, according to Warren, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Asperger Syndrome

Are All Those 'Fidget Spinners' Really Helping Kids?

Posted 25 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – Fidget spinners may be the latest must-have kids' toy, but claims that the gizmos help students pay attention aren't backed by science, experts say. Some retailers market the devices as a way to help kids with anxiety, autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) keep themselves calm and focused in the classroom. However, there have been no studies showing that fidget spinners benefit kids struggling to stay still, said Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Louis Kraus. "To the best of my knowledge, there's no science behind what they're advertising," said Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry for the Rush University Medical Center. "Without any research to show it's of benefit, I think it's wrong for them to advertise these things as helpful," he said. The claims likely are based on small-scale studies that show kids with ADHD pay better attention if ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Executive Function Disorder

Treat Autism Even Before Symptoms Show?

Posted 11 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Treating emerging signs of autism in young babies who are at high risk for the disorder helped improve their attention, language, communication and social skills, preliminary research shows. In the first study of its kind, British researchers used months of video feedback to help the parents of 28 infants – at high risk of autism because a sibling has the disorder – understand and respond to their baby's individual communication cues. The children were tracked until they were 3 years old, an age at which autism symptoms often surface. "We wanted to see the downstream effects on this kind of development and see it play out over the next few years," said study author Dr. Jonathan Green. He's a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at University of Manchester. "By the end of treatment, babies in the treatment group showed an impact of therapy," he added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Program Helps Young Adults With Autism Find Jobs

Posted 11 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – When kids with autism graduate high school, they may need adult services to help them find a job or live on their own. And parents may need a helping hand in navigating the new and confusing system, researchers say. In a small study, investigators found that young adults with autism fared better when their parents received help in understanding the adult services system. The young adults were twice as likely to be working or in some type of post-secondary education, versus their peers whose families were on a waitlist for the program. In the real world, it's often difficult for parents to figure out the system of services available to young adults with autism, according to Julie Taylor, the lead researcher on the study. That's, in part, because those services are not mandated like school-based services for children. "So they tend to be underfunded," said ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Tracking Devices May Ease Minds of Parents of Kids With Autism

Posted 5 May 2017 by

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017 – An electronic tracking device can calm worried parents who fear their child with autism might wander off and stumble into danger, a new survey shows. With the device, "parents were more comfortable letting their child spend time with family and friends," explained lead researcher Dr. Andrew Adesman. "When there is such a high wandering concern, parents are often not comfortable with their children spending any time outside of their direct supervision," Adesman said. "But an electronic tracking device provides an additional form of assurance that if something were to happen, the risks could be mitigated." A full 96 percent of parents surveyed who said they were using an electronic tracking device claimed it improved their quality of life, Adesman said. He is chief of developmental & behavioral pediatrics at the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "This is ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Could Smoking in Pregnancy Affect a Grandkid's Autism Risk?

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – When a woman chooses to stop smoking during her pregnancy, the potential effects to her baby are probably on her mind. But a new British study hints that smoking in pregnancy could even affect the health of a woman's grandchildren – specifically, their risk for autism. "We already know that protecting a baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things a woman can do to give her child a healthy start in life," said study co-author Jean Golding of the University of Bristol. "Now we've found that not smoking during pregnancy could also give their future grandchildren a better start, too." The study can't prove cause-and-effect, but one U.S. autism expert who reviewed the findings said the researchers' conclusion is not farfetched. While the finding is new, "the mechanism by which it might be occurring has been a focus of study for half a decade," noted Alycia ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

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