Brain Development

Movement during brain scans may lead to spurious patterns

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
January 16, 2011
Abstract: 

Head movements taint the results of many brain imaging studies, particularly those analyzing children or individuals with autism. That’s the sobering message from two independent studies published over the past few months in NeuroImage.

NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances of 2011

Source: 
NIMH
Date Published: 
December 23, 2011
Abstract: 

Director of the NIMH Dr. Tom Insel shares the NIMH's Top 10 Research Advances for 2011.

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.

Autism May Involve Disordered White Matter in the Brain

Source: 
Science Daily
Abstract: 

While it is still unclear what's different in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorders, more and more evidence from genetic and cell studies points to abnormalities in how neurons connect to each other.

Brain Enlargement Seen In Boys With Regressive Autism, But Not Early Onset Autism

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 29, 2011
Abstract: 

In the largest study of brain development in preschoolers with autism to date, a study by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers has found that 3-year-old boys with regressive autism, but not early onset autism, have larger brains than their healthy counterparts.

How Brain's Structure And Genes Affect Autism And Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 17, 2011
Abstract: 

Research just released shows that scientists are finding new tools to help understand neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and fragile X syndrome.

67% More Prefrontal Brain Neurons In Children With Autism

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
November 8, 2011
Abstract: 

A small study found that male children with autism had larger brain weights and 67% more prefrontal brain neurons than children without autism.

Autistic Brains Grow More Slowly

Source: 
Psych Central
Date Published: 
October 20, 2011
Abstract: 

UCLA researchers have found the connections between brain regions that are important for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys with autism than in non-autistic children...

UCLA researchers have found the connections between brain regions that are important for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys withautism than in non-autistic children.

Researchers find autism more common with low birth weight

Source: 
Philadelphia Inquirer
Date Published: 
October 17, 2011
Abstract: 

Autism is far more common in low-birth-weight babies than the general population, researchers are reporting, a significant finding that nevertheless raises more questions than it answers and illustrates how little is known about a group of disorders that affect nearly 1 percent of American children.