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Autism

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.

Autism? All You Need To Know About It.

About 1% of adults have Autism and autism is much more common in boys than in girls, with a male: female ratio of 4:1   Autism is a developmental disorder in which affected persons have problems with their emotions and behaviors, as well as delays in their social and communication skills.   Most people with autism, appear normal, except that, they behave, act and react differently.

New Research Into the Effectiveness of Cannabis for Autism

Scientists in Israel are conducting open clinical trials utilizing whole plant cannabis in search of an autism spectrum disorder treatment after stumbling upon a tremendous observation in an unrelated study.   Bonni Goldstein M.D., resident Marijuana.com medical expert and published author, said the early evidence shows autism is a result of genetic mutations and a deficit in the endocannabinoid system. Goldstein noted, “one case report and numerous anecdotal reports [have revealed] that cannabinoids may help some children with this disorder have better communication, less repetitive behaviors, less anxiety, and better social interaction.”

Prenatal Folic Acid Supplementation Found to Reduce Risk of Autistic Traits in Children of Women Taking AEDs

Prenatal folic acid supplements were found to reduce the risk of autistic traits in children born to women who were taking antiepileptic drugs while pregnant, according to a study published online on December 26 in JAMA Neurology.   The risk was less for these women compared with those who did not take folic acid supplements.

People with autism are less surprised by the unexpected

Adults with autism may overestimate the volatility of the world around them, finds a new UCL study published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers found that adults with autism were less surprised by unexpected images in a simple learning task than adults without autism, and those who were the least surprised had the most pronounced symptoms. “We know from previous studies that people with autism often aren’t surprised by things that would surprise other people,” said lead author Dr Rebecca Lawson (UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging). “Our results suggest that this may be because of differences in how people with autism build expectations. Our expectations bias our behaviour in subtle ways, so being less susceptible to these effects may result in strengths...

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...

Autism: Which children respond to oxytocin treatment?

Oxytocin treatment has been proven efficient in improving the social behavior of some children with autism, studies have found. A new clinical trial investigates which children will respond best to this treatment and why. Autism is a developmental disability that often leads to struggles in communication, reduced empathy, and social inadaptability to a greater or lesser degree.

Autism linked to many other health issues

Autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S. Challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communications are some of the issues people with autism may experience. But what many don’t know is that those with autism often struggle with an array of other health problems, too.

If your grandmother smoked, you may be more likely to develop autism

A recent study, published in Scientific Reports, concludes that if a girl’s maternal grandmother smoked tobacco during her pregnancy, she is significantly more likely to develop autistic traits. Could smoking increase the risk of your grandchildren displaying autism-associated traits? Autism, characterized by repetitive behaviors and difficulty interacting socially, appears to be on the rise. Much of this increase is thought to be due to better detection rates and greater awareness. However, many scientists believe that environmental or lifestyle factors might also play a role. A recent study, carried out by researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, looked into three generations of data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a long-...

World’s largest autism genome database shines new light on many ‘autisms’

isThe newest study from the Autism Speaks MSSNG project – the world’s largest autism genome sequencing program – identified an additional 18 gene variations that appear to increase the risk of autism. The new report appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. It involved the analysis of 5,205 whole genomes from families affected by autism – making it the largest whole genome study of autism to date.

Cerebrospinal fluid: Potential biomarker for autism found

Research published this week in Biological Psychiatry examines levels of cerebrospinal fluid in children and its potential link to autism. If confirmed by further studies, it would become the first biomarker for the condition.

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