Treatments

Young Adults With Asperger Syndrome Frequently Suffer From Depression

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 7, 2012
Abstract: 

Given that almost 70% of young adults with Asperger syndrome have suffered from depression, it is vital that psychiatric care staff are aware of this so that patients are given the right treatment, reveals research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Training Parents Is Good Medicine for Children With Autism Behavior Problems, Study Suggests

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 24, 2012
Abstract: 

Children with autism spectrum disorders who also have serious behavioral problems responded better to medication combined with training for their parents than to treatment with medication alone, Yale researchers and their colleagues report in the February issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

New Research Might Help Explain How a Gene Mutation Found in some Autistic Individuals Leads to Difficulties in Processing Auditory Cues and Paying Spatial Attention to Sound.

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 2, 2012
Abstract: 

New research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) might help explain how a gene mutation found in some autistic individuals leads to difficulties in processing auditory cues and paying spatial attention to sound.

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: Finding May Have Implications for Rett Syndrome, Other Neurological Disorders

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
January 27, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that a molecule critical to the development and plasticity of nerve cells -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -- is severely lacking in brainstem neurons in mutations leading to Rett syndrome, a neurological developmental disorder.

New Report Examines Autism Needs for Patients and Families in Pennsylvania

Source: 
Health News
Date Published: 
January 28, 2012
Abstract: 

Results were released yesterday from the Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment, which includes feedback from 3,500 Pennsylvania caregivers and adults with autism, making it the largest study of its kind in the nation.

Concern Over Changes to Autism Criteria Unfounded, Says APA

Source: 
Medscape Today
Date Published: 
January 25, 2012
Abstract: 

Concerns that proposed changes to autism criteria in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) will exclude many individuals from diagnosis and treatment are unfounded, says the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Researchers Use Workshops To Teach Job Skills And Learn More About Families With Children On The Autism Spectrum

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
January 11, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers at the University of Utah have created a program that helps kids with autism focus on building their skills and utilizing an aptitude for visual-spatial thinking, computers and other electronic media.

Study Finds Melatonin Eases Sleep Woes In Children With Autism

Source: 
MedicalXpress
Date Published: 
January 10, 2012
Abstract: 

A new Vanderbilt study shows that the over-the-counter supplement melatonin is promising in helping children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and their families, sleep better.

Dr. Eric London's Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
January 1, 2012
Abstract: 

As a psychiatrist and the parent of an adult son with autism, I found “In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules” (front page, Dec. 23) to be unfair and detrimental to the families of the developmentally disabled. Although any medication can be inappropriately administered, the wholesale denigration of psychotropic medication for this population is misplaced.

To the Editor:

As a psychiatrist and the parent of an adult son with autism, I found “In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules” (front page, Dec. 23) to be unfair and detrimental to the families of the developmentally disabled. Although any medication can be inappropriately administered, the wholesale denigration of psychotropic medication for this population is misplaced.

People with autism do indeed have a brain disorder, and so using medications that treat the brain makes perfect sense. Many autistic patients have symptoms that warrant such medications for their own protection. These include behaviors like head banging, self-biting, sleeplessness and aggression.

I recently saw a patient in a developmental center who wore a helmet because of constant head-banging. When I asked what medications had been tried, staff members proudly told me that they had successfully avoided medicating this patient. But this decision came at a terrible cost to him, as his constant head-banging caused detachment of both retinas and blindness.

Articles implying that all psychotropic medications are inappropriate for this population do a terrible disservice. They make family members and staff members fearful of medications that can often make important quality-of-life improvements and, as a result, actually hurt the patients we desire to help.

ERIC LONDON
New York, Dec. 26, 2011

Seizure Damage Reversed In Rats By Inhibitory Drug Targeting Neurologic Pathways

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
December 19, 2011
Abstract: 

About half of newborns who have seizures go on to have long-term intellectual and memory deficits and cognitive disorders such as autism, but why this occurs has been unknown. In the December 14 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston detail how early-life seizures disrupt normal brain development, and show in a rat model that it might be possible to reverse this pathology by giving certain drugs soon after the seizure.