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Autism Testing Failing to Detect Condition in Females

Posted: August 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler Science News, Health, Medicated | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Autism Testing Failing to Detect Condition in FemalesAutism experts are calling for changes in diagnostic testing, saying the current approach is failing to identify the true number of females with the disorder.

They say a massive imbalance in the number of autism diagnoses between the sexes could be attributed to more subtle symptoms in females that are either dismissed by clinicians, or undetected by current testing, which focuses on signs associated with male behaviour.

The challenge in diagnosing girls with autism is a focus of Dr Ernsperger, who is speaking at a conference in Melbourne.

She believes the diagnostic questionnaires doctors use for autism focus mainly on the male characteristics of the disorder and are yet to be adapted for girls :: Read the full article »»»»


The Rise and Rise of Allergies! Microbial Deprivation and Hygiene Hypothesis

Posted: August 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Health, Medicated, Wiki | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Rise and Rise of Allergies, Microbial Deprivation - The Hygiene Hypothesis - Diverse Human Gut FloraI consider myself a germaphobe, the thought of unseen creepy crawlies does serious damage to my mind, bleach is my best friend.

I’ve fallen in love with antibacterial wipes, vinegar, indeed anything that will KILL microbes on surfaces anyplace near me. I grow a huge smile every time I see Asian tourists strolling the streets in surgical face masks, are we overreacting?

It turns out I might be overreacting, scientists reckon that some germs are good? I must point out that Hygiene – as used in this post –  has little relationship with ‘hygiene’ in the usual meaning of the word. The term ‘hygiene hypothesis’ is unfortunate, as it is misleading. A better term would be Microbial Deprivation Hypothesis.

Our immune systems are our single most important line of defense against infection.

The bacteria and germs that surround us, some of these microbes can be nasty, really nasty, causing food poisoning, colds, a variety of other infections as well as diseases.

It is perhaps the ones inside that we need worry most about though, many researchers are now focusing on dysfunctional colonies of microbes within human beings for causes to disorders such as asthma, MS and autism, including disorders previously believed to be entirely brain based like epilepsy, depression and even my favourite, Bipolar Disorder.

I must warn, this is an opinion piece, it is based on several hypotesis – of others – a little thought, possibly some hyperbole and a little wishful thinking, it is meant entirely for thought provocation :: Read the full article »»»»


New Research Predicts Autism Much Earlier

Posted: January 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

New Research Predict Autism EarlierAutism, a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction, restricted and repetitive behavior. The signs of Autism all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not yet well understood.

Signs of ASD are diagnosed in the first three years of a child’s life, generally between the second and third year, the signs develop gradually, in some cases however, autistic children first develop more normally, and then regress.

New research has shown that children who develop autism may show signs of different brain responses in their first year of life, researchers say the study may in the future help doctors diagnose the disorder much earlier :: Read the full article »»»»


Extra Brain Cells May Explain Autism

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Medicated, Michael Courtenay, Science, Science News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A new study suggests that Autism starts in the womb, researchers have found a remarkable 67 per cent increase in the total number of brain cells in the prefrontal cortex of new born babies with ASD.

Extra Brain Cells May Explain AutismChildren with autism appear to have too many cells in a key area of the brain needed for communication and emotional development, say US researchers. Their findings help explain why young children with autism often develop brains that are larger or heavier than normal. Dr Eric Courchesne says the finding of excess brain cells in the prefrontal cortex explains brain overgrowth in autism, and hints at why brain function in this area is disrupted. Courchesne, of the University of California San Diego Autism Center of Excellence, and colleagues, have also found dozens of genes that may raise the risk of autism. But genetic causes only explain 10 per cent to 20 per cent of cases, and recent studies have pointed to environmental factors, possibly in the womb, as a potential trigger. The team found excess brain cells in each child with autism they studied, says Courchesne. And the brains of the autistic children also weighed more than those of typically developing children of the same age.

Researchers searching for an early indicator of autism say they’ve discovered a promising possibility, an impairment in the ability of the brain’s right and left hemispheres to communicate with each other. The researchers did brain imaging scans – fMRIs – on 29 sleeping toddlers with autism, 30 typically developing kids and 13 children with significant language delays, but not autism. All were between 1 and 4 years old. The scans showed that the language areas of the left and right hemispheres of the autistic toddlers’ brains were less “in sync” than the hemispheres of the typical kids and the children with other language delays. The weaker the synchronization, the more severe the autistic child’s communication difficulties :: Read the full article »»»»