Treatments

Are Celebrities Crossing the Line on Medical Advice?

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
December 22, 2009
Abstract: 

Doctors say they can understand why patients sympathize with celebrities and closely follow their battles with serious illnesses. It helps to know that health problems can even affect celebrities.

Yet celebrities — who can command huge audiences and sell thousands of books — have a special responsibility to get their facts right, says Bradford Hesse, who studies health communication at the National Cancer Institute. Many doctors say they're troubled by stars who cross the line from sharing their stories to championing questionable or even dangerous medical advice.

Behavioral Training Improves Connectivity and Function in the Brain

Source: 
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Date Published: 
December 9, 2009
Abstract: 

Children with poor reading skills who underwent an intensive, six-month training program to improve their reading ability showed increased connectivity in a particular brain region, in addition to making significant gains in reading, according to a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Early Intervention for Toddlers With Autism Highly Effective, Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
November 30, 2009
Abstract: 

A novel early intervention program for very young children with autism -- some as young as 18 months -- is effective for improving IQ, language ability and social interaction, a comprehensive new study has found.

Autism Treatment: Success Stories More Persuasive To Some than Hard Data

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
November 22, 2009

Parents often swear their children with autism get better while they are undergoing alternative therapies. Pitches from doctors providing alternative treatments are difficult to resist, he said. But in evaluating a therapy, the challenge is determining how much, if any, of the progress can be credited to the treatment. Some parents are beginning to realize their child was progressing despite the use of alternative treatments.

Autism Treatment: Science Hijacked to Support Alternative Therapies

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
November 22, 2009

Dr. Carlos Pardo, a Johns Hopkins neurologist, and his colleagues autopsied the brains of people with autism who died in accidents and found evidence of neuroinflammation. This rare look inside the autistic brain had the potential to increase understanding of the mysterious disorder.

He knew it could also inspire doctors aiming to help children recover from autism to develop new experimental treatments -- even though the research was so preliminary the scientists did not know whether the inflammation was good or bad, or even how it might relate to autism. He was right.

Over and over, doctors in the autism recovery movement have used the paper to justify experimental treatments aimed at reducing neuroinflammation.

Autism Treatment: Risky Alternative Therapies Have Little Basis in Science

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
November 22, 2009

Thousands of U.S. children undergo these therapies and many more at the urging of physicians who say they can successfully treat, or "recover," children with autism, a disorder most physicians and scientists say they cannot yet explain or cure. But after reviewing thousands of pages of court documents and scientific studies and interviewing top researchers in the field, the Chicago Tribune found that many of these treatments amount to uncontrolled experiments on vulnerable children. 

The therapies often go beyond harmless New Age folly, the investigation found. Many are unproven and risky, based on scientific research that is flawed, preliminary or misconstrued. Laboratory tests used to justify therapies are often misleading and misinterpreted. And though some parents fervently believe their children have benefited, the Tribune found a trail of disappointing results from the few clinical trials to evaluate the treatments objectively.

Experts Summarize the State of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
October 14, 2009
Abstract: 

Scientific understanding and medical treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have advanced significantly over the past several years, but much remains to be done, say experts from the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who recently published a scientific review of the field.

CDC Finds Higher Incidence of Autism

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
October 5, 2009
Abstract: 

About 1 in 100 8-year-old children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers who will be releasing details of their study later this year. The rate -- significantly higher than the government's 2007 estimate of 1 in 150.

Utah Researchers Discover Another Genetic Link to Autism

Source: 
Salt Lake Tribune
Date Published: 
October 8, 2009
Abstract: 

An international consortium of researchers, including three from the University of Utah, has discovered yet another genetic link to autism. Studying the genes of more than 1,000 families -- including 150 from Utah -- who have more than one person with the disorder, the researchers found a region on chromosome 5 that is strongly associated with autism.

Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer Speaks

Source: 
BlogHer
Date Published: 
October 7, 2009
Abstract: 

Autism Science Foundation president Alison Singer is well known in the autism community for her formative role at Autism Speaks, for her controversial participation in their Autism Every Day video, and for leaving Autism Speaks to found the Autism Science Foundation.

She a role model for autism parents struggling to balance advocacy with positivity and work with family, especially those who tirelessly investigate ways to help our children lead fulfilling lives, actively respect neurodiversity, and continue to educate ourselves and others about autism perspectives and attitudes.

Read on to learn about the founding and goals of the Autism Science Foundation.