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Autism News

Related terms: Autistic Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder

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

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

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, according to a new analysis from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. "They're projecting that a number of states could lack sufficient funds to keep their programs going," said Genevieve Kenney, co-director of the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center. "They're seeing this happening in February and March, so notices closing up programs to new applicants could start going out in just a couple of weeks." In fact, 10 states are expected to exhaust all their CHIP funds before the end ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Autism, Asthma - Acute, Asperger Syndrome

Exercise Boosts Kids' Brain Health, Too

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

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 do better in class and on tests because exercise seems to lead to larger brain volumes in areas associated with memory and thinking functions, such as behavior and decision-making. Active kids also appear to have better concentration and longer attention spans – being fit helps them stay focused to complete assignments, the study authors reported. These findings appear to be true for children with special needs as well. Physical activity can benefit children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Weight Loss, Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Prenatal Vitamins Tied to Lower Autism Risk in Kids, Study Finds

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 – Taking folic acid and multivitamins during pregnancy could reduce your child's risk of autism, a new study suggests. Kids were less likely to be diagnosed with autism if their moms took supplements before pregnancy and while they were expecting, according to a study of just over 45,000 Israeli children. "Reduced risk of [autism] in offspring is a consideration for public health policy that may be realized by extended use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements during pregnancy," the researchers concluded in the report. The international team of scientists, led by Stephen Levine from the University of Haifa in Israel, gathered data on tens of thousands of children born in Israel between 2003 and 2007, and followed their progress until 2015. The team also gathered prescription data, to see whether the kids' mothers had been prescribed folic acid or ... Read more

Related support groups: Dietary Supplementation, Autism, Multivitamin, Prenatal, Prenatal Plus, TriCare, Vinate II

U.S. Autism Rates May Be Stabilizing

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

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, researchers from the new study said. "The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder is much higher than previously thought," said senior author Dr. Wei Bao, an epidemiologist with the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Autism spectrum disorders now affects about 1 of every 41 children, a huge increase in autism from previous decades, Bao said. "Autism now is not something rare," he said. "It's not as rare as 1 per 1,000, as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. With these data, now we can see it is ... Read more

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

Genes Start Mutating Soon After Life Begins, Study Finds

Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

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 larger perspective on human development," study author Flora Vaccarino, a neuroscience professor at Yale, said in a Yale news release. "Some of our genome does not come from our parents." These early genetic mutations are also similar to those found in cancers, according to the researchers. They said this suggests that cancers can occur as a normal byproduct of cell division. They added that their findings may provide new insight into the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia ... Read more

Related support groups: Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation

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

Posted 9 Oct 2017 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 5 Oct 2017 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, Vitamin D, Multivitamin, Niacin, Autism, Folic Acid, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Deplin, Multivitamin With Minerals, Vitamin B12, Niaspan, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Metanx, D3, Asperger Syndrome, A-25, Centrum Multivitamins, Multivitamin, Prenatal, Multivitamin With Iron

Researchers Learn More About Gender's Role in Autism Risk

Posted 29 Sep 2017 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 29 Sep 2017 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, Depo-Provera, Nexplanon, Mirena, NuvaRing, Provera, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, TriNessa, Mononessa, Lutera

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, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Remeron, Savella

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

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