ALS: ‘Unique’ cells could open up new avenues for therapy

By Maria Cohut Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to the death of nerve cells that control movement, leaving people unable to move and, eventually, to breathe. ALS is fatal and, so far, incurable. Can new findings bring hope for novel therapies? ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States alone. Still, its causes remain largely unknown. There is currently no cure, […]

Later-born siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders

(SACRAMENTO) — Later-born siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at elevated risk for both disorders, a new study led by Meghan Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has concluded. The findings appear today in JAMA Pediatrics. The study suggests that families who already have a child diagnosed with ASD or ADHD may wish to monitor younger […]

What is stimming?

By Lori Smith BSN MSN CRNP Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP Repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects is referred to as self-stimulatory behavior, abbreviated to stimming. Stimming can occur in people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Some people will stim when nervous, employing behaviors such as pacing, biting their nails, hair twirling, or tapping their feet or fingers. In this article, we will examine why stimming occurs and the different […]

High functioning autism through my eyes

Contrary to what professionals thought when I’d been diagnosed, I loved fiction and cultural critique. By Jonathan Rowland At the risk of explaining the obvious to the neurotypicals — people not on the autistic spectrum — in the audience, I know that I am not every autistic person. I can only speak of my experience as a thirtysomething white cis man who grew up in semirural Hertfordshire. This is still an autistic experience and, while […]

Epilepsy Can Follow Traumatic Brain Injury

Did you know that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause epilepsy? Learn how to protect your brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone, especially young children and older adults. TBIs can range from mild (such as concussions) to severe, life-threatening injuries. They can cause changes in: Thinking and memory; Sensations and balance; Language, such as talking and understanding; and Emotions, such as depression, anxiety, or aggression.1 TBIs can also cause epilepsy Epilepsy […]

Early intervention in autism improves language, IQ and social skills

Major study confirms pioneering treatment approach (SACRAMENTO) —Breakthrough research demonstrating that children with autism as young as 18 months can vastly improve their language, cognition and social skills with an early intervention developed by UC Davis Professor Sally Rogers has been replicated in a major new study. Sally Rogers working with a child Rogers, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the MIND Institute, began work on a novel developmental approach to autism in […]

Disability-Inclusive Communities

July 26, 2019 marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at work, school, or other community settings. Learn what CDC is doing to include people with disabilities in public health research and health promotion activities. An estimated 61 million people are living with a disability in the United States,1 and many people will experience a disability at some time […]

What are the symptoms of autism in a 3-year-old?

By Jayne Leonard Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP Parents and caregivers who notice particular changes or challenges in a 3-year-old may wonder if these could indicate autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1 in 59 children. ASD covers a range of conditions that doctors used to believe were different, including autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Behavioral symptoms often develop in early childhood, with research suggesting that parents and caregivers tend to notice some […]

Prenatal vitamin intake may reduce autism recurrence in high-risk families

Starting prenatal vitamins even before pregnancy may cut risk Editor’s note: Watch video of Dr. Rebecca Schmidt talking about prenatal vitamins and autism risk (SACRAMENTO) —High-risk younger siblings of children with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have significantly lower autism symptom severity, and higher cognitive scores if their mothers take maternal prenatal vitamins during their first month of pregnancy, UC Davis research has found. Rebecca Schmidt The study appearing in […]

Tapping into Your Child’s Potential

By MaryAnn Bennett 700 hours, 11 months and 56,000 Legos went into creating the world’s largest Titanic replica. At the center of this creation was a 10-year-old boy from Iceland with a passion for Legos and a deep interest in the Titanic. Brynjar Karl Bigisson, now 15, is on the Autism spectrum. Like many children with autism, he struggled with communication and constantly needed help in school. In a recent interview, Bigisson said those struggles […]