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autism and epilepsy

Early-Life Seizures Prematurely Wake Up Brain Networks Tied to Autism

Antiepileptic Drug May Keep Synapses ‘Silent’ Longer So Brain Can Develop Normally, Penn Study Suggests   Early-life seizures prematurely switch on key synapses in the brain that may contribute to further neurodevelopmental delay in children with autism and other intellectual disabilities, suggests a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine published online in Cell Reports. Importantly, the study shows that an existing targeted therapy may keep those synapses “silent” after seizures to allow the brain to develop normally during a critical time in a person’s life. “Silent” synapses become active with experience, and removal of the reservoir of these synapses due to seizures results in a decreased capacity to engage these synapses in later learning.   Seizures from epilepsy earl...

Can Marijuana Treat Autism? These Clinical Trials Aim to Find Out

A growing number of clinical trials are looking into whether compounds in marijuana can be used to treat some of the symptoms of autism.   One of these clinical trials was just announced at the University of California, San Diego, and others are slated to take place in New York at Montefiore Medical Center and New York University, and in Israel at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.   These trials were prompted, in part, by the success of other clinical trials investigating whether cannabis could effectively and safely treat other neurological disorders, including two rare forms of epilepsy and a condition called fragile X syndrome. [7 Ways Marijuana May Affect the Brain]

New blood test predicts autism with 92 percent accuracy

(Note: Up to 30% of children with Autism have epilepsy) Researchers led by those from Warwick University in the United Kingdom have developed a diagnosis test for autism that may predict it with an unprecedented level of accuracy.   A new test may help physicians to diagnose autism in young children.   Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that impacts cognition, behavior, and social interaction.

Eye test could help diagnose autism

A new study out in European Journal of Neuroscience could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, may indicate deficits in an area of the brain that plays an important role in emotional and social development. “These findings build upon a growing field of research that show that eye movement could serve as a window into a part of the brain that plays a role in a number of neurological and development disorders, such as Autism,” said John Foxe, Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Medical Center Del Monte Neuroscience Institute and co-author of the study. ASD is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that can vary in severity from person to...

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