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Facebook May Be 'Safe' Social Space for Adults With Autism

Posted 4 days ago by

MONDAY, March 19, 2018 – Moderate use of Facebook may help make adults with autism happier, a new study suggests. Researchers found that happiness among adults with autism increased with Facebook use, but only up to a certain point. The researchers also said their results can't be generalized to overall use of social media, because the use of Twitter did not boost happiness. The study was led by ...

Therapy Helps Those With Autism Navigate Adulthood

Posted 13 Feb 2018 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 – For young people with autism, the leap to adulthood can feel like jumping off a cliff, but researchers may be zeroing in on a safety net. In a small study, young adults who had one of two psychotherapies were better able to deal with the thinking, flexibility and social awareness challenges of autism. They were also more employable as a result, because those issues can ...

Autism, Bipolar and Schizophrenia Share Genetic Similarities

Posted 8 Feb 2018 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 8, 2018 – By examining brain tissue, researchers say they've found similarities in certain mental illnesses, including autism and schizophrenia. Specifically, some similar patterns of gene expression were found in people with autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the researchers say. Gene expression refers to cells' conversion of genetic instructions into proteins. "These ...

As CHIP Money Runs Out, Millions of U.S. Kids May Lose Health Care

Posted 12 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 – Time is running out for millions of American kids covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Stopgap funding for the federal program for these kids will expire Jan. 19. Soon thereafter, states will begin to cut kids' coverage as the money runs dry, experts say. Nearly 1.7 million children on CHIP in 20 states could lose coverage by the end of February, ...

Exercise Boosts Kids' Brain Health, Too

Posted 5 Jan 2018 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – A lack of exercise puts kids at risk for very adult problems, like obesity and diabetes. Now there's also research that links exercise to their cognitive development and achievement in school. Turns out that physical activity gives the young brain needed boosts, according to a study published in Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. Active children ...

U.S. Autism Rates May Be Stabilizing

Posted 2 Jan 2018 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 2, 2018 – Autism rates are much higher than originally thought but may have stabilized in recent years, a new study suggests. An estimated 2.41 percent of children in the United States have autism spectrum disorder, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The most recent previous estimate put autism rates at 1.47 percent in 2010, ...

Genes Start Mutating Soon After Life Begins, Study Finds

Posted 7 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 – Hundreds of minor genetic mutations start to form in the cells of an embryo soon after conception, researchers have discovered. The Yale University and Mayo Clinic scientists said that many of these mutations occur as sex cells are forming in the embryo. That means they can become part of the embryo's genome and be passed on to the next generation. "This opens up a ...

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

Posted 9 Oct 2017 by

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 ...

Prenatal Multivitamins Linked to Lower Autism Risk

Posted 5 Oct 2017 by

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 ...

Researchers Learn More About Gender's Role in Autism Risk

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

Your Sociability May Hinge on 'Love Hormone'

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

Genetics a Cause of Autism in Most Cases: Study

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

Could Folic Acid Fight a Cause of Autism?

Posted 8 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

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

Posted 7 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

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

Posted 4 Sep 2017 by

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 ...

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