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 […]

Teen cancer patient gives back to kids with autism

Make-A-Wish unveiling at UC Davis MIND Institute (SACRAMENTO) —Carlo Sandoval will receive red carpet treatment Friday, for a special Make-A-Wish ceremony and reception at the UC Davis MIND Institute. The 16-year-old Sacramento native passed on gifts for himself. Instead, he’s providing something meaningful to kids with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. “I burst into tears because I was so proud,” said Carlo’s mom, Rhonda Sandoval, of his selfless decision. Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and […]

Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Treatment Can Delay Future Attacks Most of the time, multiple sclerosis, or MS, starts mildly, with unpredictable symptoms that can seem baffling. Without treatment, the disease can worsen to the point that you can’t write, speak, or walk. MS starts when the body’s immune system slowly attacks the fatty coating around nerves. Without an intact coating, communication between nerves and the brain becomes impaired. However, it may be years before the first symptoms appear. The symptoms […]

2,000 human brains yield clues to how genes raise risk for mental illnesses

Artificial intelligence model improves prediction six-fold It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health-funded PsychENCODE Consortium (link is external) leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about […]

Scientists find new approach that shows promise for treating cystic fibrosis

NIH-funded discovery uses common antifungal drug to improve lungs’ ability to fight infection. Researchers say a widely-used antifungal drug may hold promise for treating people with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disorder that causes serious damage to the lungs. In studies using human cells and animals models, the researchers found that the medication, called amphotericin, helps lung cells function in a way that could make it easier for patients to fight chronic bacterial lung infections […]

Children’s brains reorganize after epilepsy surgery to retain visual perception

NIH-funded study shows that in children, the brain can compensate for missing regions of the visual cortex. Children can keep full visual perception — the ability to process and understand visual information — after brain surgery for severe epilepsy, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. While brain surgery can halt seizures, it carries significant risks, including an impairment in visual perception. However, a […]

Special Tree Adds Visagraph to Robust Vision Therapy Program for Brain Injury Rehabilitation

ROMULUS, Mich. – After three separate eye surgeries to repair detached retinas, resulting in 75 days total spent face-down to recover fully, Special Tree CEO Joseph Richert knows first-hand how powerful vision can be in everyday functioning. That’s one reason he is passionate about evaluating all patients with brain injury for vision challenges when they first come to Special Tree. Another is simply the good sense it makes to screen patients for impaired vision at […]

New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorder in 4-Year-Old Children

CDC scientists published a report on the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 4-year-old children. This report is based on information from the Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Early ADDM is a subset of the broader ADDM Network, which has been doing ASD surveillance among 8-year-old children since 2000. In this report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries, scientists analyzed information from the health […]

Looking for Answers to Epilepsy in a Blood Test

by Dr. Francis Collins Millions of people take medications each day for epilepsy, a diverse group of disorders characterized by seizures. But, for about a third of people with epilepsy, current drug treatments don’t work very well. What’s more, the medications are designed to treat symptoms of these disorders, basically by suppressing seizure activity. The medications don’t really change the underlying causes, which are wired deep within the brain. Gemma Carvill, a researcher at Northwestern […]

Data on Autism: Five Facts to Know

Many children are living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and they need services and support, now and as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. More can be done to ensure that children with ASD are evaluated as soon as possible after developmental concerns are recognized. Read on to learn more about CDC’s data on ASD. Findings from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network help us understand more about the number of children with […]