Managing Epilepsy in Patients With Intellectual Disability

While an estimated 1.8% of US adults have epilepsy, the prevalence is more than 22% among people with intellectual disabilities.1,2 Managing epilepsy in this patient population can be particularly challenging for a variety of reasons. “This group will have a higher likelihood of communication problems and other issues that make it more difficult to be treated than patients with a higher IQ, and they tend to have more behavioral issues,” Scott Hirsch, MD, a neuropsychiatrist […]

Study Advocate New Therapeutic Approach for Autism Spectrum Disorders

The social impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder actually may be driven by sensory neurons found outside the brain, according to new research conducted by Penn Medicine. The loss of a particular protein, neurofibromin 1, disrupts peripheral neurons that control how people perceive the environment around them, including their senses of smell and touch. This finding suggests there may be a more accessible therapeutic approach to treating ASD-related symptoms, researchers said. New therapies could restore social behaviors […]

Studying Baby Steps Could Lead To Better Treatments For Cerebral Palsy

By understanding more about walking and balance, researchers hope to develop new treatments for cerebral palsy. Understanding the progression from the stepping reflex to independent walking could help find new therapies for children with cerebral palsy (CP) – a movement disability caused by brain damage before, during or shortly after birth. A baby’s first steps are a magical moment – an early stepping stone towards independent walking. Children usually begin to walk around the time […]

Uncertainty Is Specially Hard For Special-Needs Children During the Virus Lockdown

Weeks into France’s strict coronavirus lockdown, Mohammed, a 14-year-old with autism, took a pickax and started hitting the wall of his family’s house. His explanation: “Too long at home, too hard to wait.” The disruptions in daily life caused by the virus pandemic are a particularly trying ordeal for children with disabilities and the people who love and are caring for them confined at home while special-needs schools and support programs remain closed. Mohammed hasn’t […]

Possible new therapeutic treatments for intellectual disability in Down syndrome

A team of researchers led by Dr. Victoria Puig from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), which also involved the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), has studied the neural basis of intellectual disability in mice with Down syndrome and has discovered that the neural networks of brain circuits relevant to memory and learning are over-activated and that the connectivity of these circuits is poor. The researchers have also observed that neural activity during […]