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Asperger Syndrome News

Surviving Congenital Heart Disease as Child Not a Ticket to Good Health

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 – Though the majority of children with congenital heart disease survive into adulthood, they often struggle with a number of lifelong illnesses, researchers report. The health issues may include neurodevelopment disorders such as autism, respiratory problems, and/or heart arrhythmias. "We are great at fixing the plumbing, but not at fixing the patient," said study author Martina Brueckner, a professor of pediatrics and genetics at the Yale School of Medicine. Brueckner and her team pointed out that congenital heart disease affects roughly 1 percent of newborns. About 90 percent will make it into adulthood. But a new genetic analysis that involved nearly 2,900 congenital heart disease survivors and their family members revealed that being born with that specific condition appears to be associated with a higher risk for developing other major health problems. Many ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Prenatal Multivitamins Linked to Lower Autism Risk

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2017 – Taking a multivitamin during pregnancy may reduce a child's risk of developing autism, a new study suggests. Analyzing more than a quarter-million mother-child pairs in Sweden, researchers found a link – but not cause and effect proof – between multivitamin use and risk of the neurological disorder. "Multivitamin use with or without added iron or folic acid was associated with a lower likelihood of child autism with intellectual disability, compared with mothers who did not use supplements," said lead researcher Elizabeth DeVilbiss. The odds of autism in the multivitamin group were 30 percent lower, added DeVilbiss, a graduate student in epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Since mothers-to-be are already advised to take prenatal vitamins to prevent some birth defects, this may be an added ... Read more

Related support groups: Vitamins, Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Niacin, Folic Acid, Autism, Multivitamin With Minerals, Deplin, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Niaspan, Metanx, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Centrum Multivitamins, Multivitamin With Iron, D3, Asperger Syndrome, Multivitamin, Prenatal, A-25

Researchers Learn More About Gender's Role in Autism Risk

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2017 – Having a daughter with autism is linked to an increased risk that younger siblings will also have the disorder, new research suggests. And that's especially true if the younger siblings are boys, the study authors said. It had been known that having one child with autism raised the chances of having another child with autism, but the role of gender in that risk was unclear. Having this information can help doctors and genetic counselors in assisting families who have a child with autism, the researchers said. "It is important to be able to provide worried parents who have one child with the condition some sense of what they can expect with their next child. That information is critical given how much better we've become at screening for the disease earlier and earlier in life," said study first author Nathan Palmer. He's an instructor in biomedical informatics ... Read more

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

Your Sociability May Hinge on 'Love Hormone'

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2017 – If you like to hang out with friends, it might be due to the "love hormone" oxytocin, a new mouse study suggests. Oxytocin promotes socialization by triggering pleasurable feelings when people get together, said Stanford University researchers. "Our study reveals new insights about the brain circuitry behind social reward, the positive experience you often get when you run into an old friend or meet somebody you like," said study senior author Dr. Robert Malenka. He's associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford's School of Medicine. "The reward circuitry is crucial to our survival because it rewards us for doing things that have, during our evolutionary history, tended to enhance our survival, our reproduction and the survival of our resulting offspring," he explained in a university news release. For example, when you're hungry, food ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Genetics a Cause of Autism in Most Cases: Study

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Heredity contributes to about 83 percent of the risk of autism in children with the disorder, a new study suggests. The estimate, from a re-analysis of a previous study, adds a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over how much autism is inherited from parents. Essentially, the findings suggest that rare genetic traits combine in parents and explain about eight in 10 cases of the neurodevelopmental disorder in children. However, study author Sven Sandin cautioned that "our results do not give any information about specific genes or other direct causes. It only informs us that genes are important." Sandin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, noted that the findings also don't reflect anything about the reported increases in autism rates in recent years. The higher rates must have something to do ... Read more

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

Could Folic Acid Fight a Cause of Autism?

Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 – By taking folic acid around the time of conception, mothers-to-be may reduce their child's risk of pesticide-related autism, a new study suggests. "We found that if the mom was taking folic acid during the window around conception, the risk associated with pesticides seemed to be attenuated," said study first author Rebecca Schmidt. "Mothers should try to avoid pesticides. But if they live near agriculture, where pesticides can blow in, this might be a way to counter those effects," said Schmidt. She is an assistant professor of public health sciences at the University of California, Davis. It's estimated that one in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, which can range from mild to severe. There is no single cause, but research suggests a combination of genetic and environmental influences plays a role, according to the U.S. National Institutes of ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Plan B, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Provera, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, TriNessa, Lutera, Mononessa

Mom-to-Be's Antidepressants Tied to Kids' Psychiatric Woes

Posted 7 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 7, 2017 – Children whose mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy may be at increased risk for psychiatric disorders themselves, a new study suggests. Researchers reviewed data from more than 905,000 children born in Denmark between 1998 and 2012. The children's health was followed for up to 16.5 years. During the follow-up period, 32,400 of the children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. The 15-year risk of psychiatric disorders was 8 percent among children whose mothers didn't take antidepressants during pregnancy. The risk was 11.5 percent among those whose mothers took antidepressants before pregnancy. And the risk was up to 14.5 percent among those whose mothers took antidepressants before and during pregnancy or who began taking antidepressants during pregnancy. But the researchers said their findings have to be interpreted with caution. Due to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella, Remeron

Back to School, Back to Planning for Kids With Autism, ADHD

Posted 4 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 4, 2017 – The start of a new school year isn't always easy, especially for kids with developmental and behavioral issues, such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Parents of these children may also have concerns about what lies ahead for their youngsters. But keeping a positive outlook is important for a smooth transition, according to Dr. Anson Koshy. "Starting a new school year is an exciting time, it can also be a source of anxiety to both parents and children, particularly for families with children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)," Koshy said. He is assistant professor and developmental pediatrician at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). "The sooner children with ASDs have access to evidence-based services and treatment, the more ... Read more

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

New Clues to Why Yawns Are Contagious

Posted 31 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – The "contagiousness" of yawns may be rooted in primitive brain reflexes, British researchers report. Echophenomena is the term for contagious movements such as yawns. Humans tend to yawn when they see others yawn, and so do chimpanzees and dogs. Researchers at the University of Nottingham wondered where the roots of this type of echophenomena are located. They examined 36 adults as they looked at video clips of people yawning. The participants were told to either try to stop themselves from yawning or just let it happen. The researchers found that it's hard to resist yawning when you see someone yawn, and the urge to yawn gets stronger when you're told not to do it. The researchers also found that people differ in their vulnerability to yawns. "We suggest that these findings may be particularly important in understanding further the association between motor ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Dementia, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome

Does Autism Risk Reside in Cells' Energy Engines?

Posted 23 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017 – Mitochondria, the power plants of human cells, may play a significant role in autism risk, new research suggests. Not only that, ancient human migration patterns may have predisposed some groups to a greater risk for the developmental disorder, the scientists added. "Our findings show that differences in mitochondrial function are important in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]," said study leader Douglas Wallace. He directs the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Our team demonstrates that a person's vulnerability to ASD varies according to their ancient mitochondrial lineage," he added. For the study, researchers examined the genetic data of 1,624 autism patients and 2,417 healthy parents and siblings. Within a human cell, mitochondria are the structures that supply energy to the entire cell. They have their ... Read more

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

Therapy for Kids With Autism Pays Off for Moms, Dads

Posted 11 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Behavioral therapy for children with autism also benefits their parents, a new study finds. About 70 percent of children with autism have emotional or behavioral problems and may turn to cognitive behavioral therapy to help with these issues. Usually, while kids are with the therapist, parents are in a separate room learning what the children are doing, but not participating, according to researcher Jonathon Weiss. "What's unique about what we studied is what happens when parents are partners in the process from start to finish. Increasingly we know that it's helpful for kids with autism, specifically, and now we have proven that it's helpful for their parents too," said Weiss, associate professor of psychology at York University in Toronto. The study included 57 children between 8 and 12 years of age who were undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. They had ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome

Can Scans Predict Some Autism Cases?

Posted 8 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – People with a particular genetic cause of autism show structural abnormalities in the brain that are readily detected with noninvasive imaging, according to a new study. Using MRI brain scans, researchers found clear brain structure abnormalities in people with autism caused, in part, by defects in chromosome 16. Those MRI findings were, in turn, related to particular impairments, such as problems with communication and social skills. It all suggests that brain imaging could one day be used to spot young children most in need of therapy for an autism spectrum disorder, the study authors said. It's estimated that one in 68 U.S. children is "on the spectrum," and symptoms usually appear early in life. The study included 158 people who carried either of two defects in chromosome 16 that raise the risk of autism. The flaws are found in a small piece of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Head Imaging

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Increase in Autism

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – In the long-standing debate over whether antidepressants are safe to take during pregnancy, a new study suggests that exposure to the drugs in the womb might bump up a child's risk of autism. The risk of autism was 45 percent higher for kids whose moms took antidepressants compared to kids born to mothers with psychiatric disorders who weren't prescribed antidepressants, the study found. "We found consistent results pointing towards a small effect of antidepressants with autism, especially higher functioning forms of autism without intellectual disability," said lead researcher Dheeraj Rai. He is a senior lecturer in psychiatry with the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. "We think it is important to keep in mind the absolute risk, which is small," Rai said. "Over 95 percent of women in the study who took antidepressants during pregnancy did not have ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella, Remeron

Genes May Explain Why Kids With Autism Avoid Eye Contact

Posted 13 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to avoid eye contact and look away from other people's mouths, behaviors that are likely influenced by genetics, new research suggests. Roughly 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism. The disorder affects how children learn, communicate and behave. It's common for children with autism to look away from other people's faces. Doctors often use this behavior to help screen for the condition, according to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Emory University in Atlanta. For the study, the team of scientists investigated how children's DNA affects their ability to engage visually in social settings. "Research shows that autism likely has a genetic basis. Siblings of children diagnosed with autism and people with certain genetic mutations have a higher risk of developing the disorder, compared ... Read more

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

Can a Spritz of 'Love Hormone' Help Kids With Autism?

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Social skills of children with autism appeared to improve slightly after a nasal spritz of oxytocin, the so-called "love hormone," researchers report. However, the study was small, and it's not clear if the typical improvement in "social responsiveness" was significant enough to be noticeable. "I wouldn't throw a parade over it," said study lead author Karen Parker, a neuroscientist and associate professor at Stanford University. But the findings point to avenues for future research, Parker said, especially because kids with the lowest levels of oxytocin in their bodies seemed to benefit the most. "Better understanding the individual differences in the biology of patients may hold the key to critically assessing which patients the drug will benefit," she said. Social difficulties and poor verbal communication are hallmarks of autism spectrum disorder. Symptoms ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Diagnosis and Investigation, Syntocinon

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