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Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it. Continue reading

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it. Continue reading

Genetic risk for autism stems mostly from common genes

Genetic risk for autism stems mostly from common genes

Using new statistical tools, Carnegie Mellon University’s Kathryn Roeder has led an international team of researchers to discover that most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches. Published in the July 20 issue of the journal Nature Genetics , the study found that about 52 percent of autism was traced to common genes and rarely inherited variations, with spontaneous mutations contributing a modest 2.6 percent of the total risk Continue reading

Personalized approach enhances communication skills in children with autism

Personalized approach enhances communication skills in children with autism

A UCLA-led study has found that the communication skills of minimally verbal children with autism can be greatly improved through personalized interventions that are combined with the use of computer tablets. Continue reading

Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer’s early

Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer’s early

A decreased ability to identify odors might indicate the development of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, while examinations of the eye could indicate the build-up of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s, in the brain, according to the results of four research trials reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2014 (AAIC® 2014) in Copenhagen. In two of the studies, the decreased ability to identify odors was significantly associated with loss of brain cell function and progression to Alzheimer’s disease. In two other studies, the level of beta-amyloid detected in the eye (a) was significantly correlated with the burden of beta-amyloid in the brain and (b) allowed researchers to accurately identify the people with Alzheimer’s in the studies. Continue reading

Brain activity in sex addiction mirrors that of drug addiction

Brain activity in sex addiction mirrors that of drug addiction

Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour — known commonly as sex addiction — similar to that triggered by drugs in the brains of drug addicts, according to a University of Cambridge study published in the journal PLOS ONE . However, the researchers caution that this does not necessarily mean that pornography itself is addictive. Although precise estimates are unknown, previous studies have suggested that as many as one in 25 adults is affected by compulsive sexual behaviour, an obsession with sexual thoughts, feelings or behaviour which they are unable to control Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

Women veterans want options, follow up support when dealing with intimate partner violence

Women veterans want options, follow up support when dealing with intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant health issue faced by women veterans, but little has been known up until now about their preferences for IPV-related care. A new study has found that most of these women support routine screening for IPV and want options, follow-up support, transparent documentation and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and community resources. These findings appear in the journal Research in Nursing and Health Continue reading

Genetic link to autism found, known as CHD8 mutation

Genetic link to autism found, known as CHD8 mutation

In a collaboration involving 13 institutions around the world, researchers have broken new ground in understanding what causes autism. The results are being published in Cell magazine July 3, 2014: “Disruptive CHD8 Mutations Define a Subtype of Autism in Early Development.” “We finally got a clear cut case of an autism specific gene,” said Raphael Bernier, the lead author, and UW associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the clinical director of the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s. Continue reading