Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Simplified Approach by Daniel Rossignol, MD, & Richard Frye, MD, PhD
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Autism Therapy: Buspar (buspirone hydrochloride)
definition of Buspar (buspirone hydrochloride): Buspar® is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for short-term relief of more severe symptoms of anxiety. Buspirone may be prescribed off-label for people with autism to help reduce anxiety and aggression and to help improve behaviors. Buspirone has helped improve behaviors in some people with autism. This medication is currently being tested in children and adults with autism.
Friday, December 9, 2011
OVERVIEW: Response interruption/redirection (RIR) is an evidence-based practice used to decrease interfering behaviors, predominantly those that are repetitive, stereotypical, and/or self-injurious. RIR often is implemented after a functional behavior assessment (FBA) has been conducted to identify the function of the interfering behavior. RIR is particularly useful with persistent interfering behaviors that occur in the absence of other people, in a number of different settings, and during a variety of tasks. These behaviors often are not maintained by attention or escape. Instead, they are more likely maintained by sensory reinforcement and are often resistant to intervention attempts. RIR is particularly effective with sensory-maintained behaviors because teachers/practitioners interrupt learners from engaging in interfering behaviors and redirect them to more appropriate, alternative behaviors.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
One in every 110 kids in the United States have autism, but the Lakeside Center for Autism in Issaquah is turning technology into treatment.
"It`s always a barrier for our kids with autism to connect socially and with peers especially," said Lakeside counselor Peiera Miller.
That's where the Kinect comes in. The gaming system is helping to teach basic skills most of us take for granted.
When Landon Kacatin arrived at Lakeside three years ago, he wasn't talking. "He's OK with adults, but with children that's very difficult for him; he would avoid it all the time," said his mother, Laconia Kacatin.
After just a year of playing games on the Kinect, Landon isn't just talking to other kids, he's rooting for them.
Curemark LLC Reports Positive Phase III Results of CM-AT In Children With Autism
Wednesday, December 7th - 2011
RYE, New York, Dec. 7, 2011 – Curemark LLC, a Rye, New York-based drug research and development company, today announced that its Phase III double blind randomized placebo controlled multicenter clinical trial of CM-AT for autism met its primary and secondary endpoints. The trial compared CM-AT to placebo in children with autism aged 3 – 8. Top line results demonstrate a statistically significant effect of CM-AT over placebo on both core and non-core symptoms of autism. Analysis of the full trial data is ongoing and the results will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of our trial,” said Dr. Joan Fallon, CEO of Curemark. “We wish to thank all the children and their parents who participated in the study, and look forward to a full review of the data by the FDA.”
CM-AT has been granted Fast Track status by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The fast track programs of the Food and Drug Administration are designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A team of scientists at a California non-profit organization just announced a pilot study to determine if Ecstasy might help fight the effects of autism. This isn’t the first time that MAPS, or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has researched the psychiatric benefits of MDMA. A 2010 study of twenty Iraq veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder found that a combination of Ecstasy and therapy resulted in an 80-percent success rate, high enough to convince the Food and Drug Administration to greenlight further studies of the drug.
To assess the effect of escitalopram in the treatment of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).
This 10-week study had a forced titration, open-label design. Twenty-eight subjects (mean age 125.1 +/- 33.5 months) with a PDD received escitalopram at a dose that increased weekly to a maximum dose of 20 mg as tolerated. The Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community Version (ABC-CV) and the Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI) were used to assess outcome.
To determine the effect of serotonin transporter polymorphism promoter region (5-HTTPLR) genotypic variation (low, intermediate, and high expression groups) on response to escitalopram treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Monday, December 5, 2011
BOSTON,Dec. 5, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's still unclear what's different in the brains of people withspectrum disorders (ASDs), but evidence from genetic and cell studies points to abnormalities in how brain cells (neurons) connect to each other. A study at Children's Hospitalnow provides visual evidence associating autism with a disorganized structure of brain connections, as well as defects in myelin -- the fatty, insulating coating that helps nerve fibers conduct signals and that makes up the brain's white matter.
Researchers led byMustafa Sahin, MD, PhD, of the Department of Neurology,Simon Warfield, PhD, director of the Computational Radiology Laboratory, and first authorJurriaan Peters, MD, of both departments at, used advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image the brains of 40 patients (infants to age 25) with tuberous sclerosis complex and 29 age-matched,controls. Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic condition often associated with cognitive and behavioral deficits, including ASDs about 50 percent of the time....Armed with these, Sahin has launched a Phase II clinical trial of a rapamycin-like drug called Afinitor® (everolimus; formerly RAD001), sponsored by, the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and Autism Speaks. The trial will enroll 50 patients with TSC to test whether Afinitor improves neurocognition, autism, seizures and sleep disorders. "Specifically modulating neurocognition with a small molecule is only starting to be done," says Sahin. (For more on this trend, seethis related blog post.)
Read more:Autism May Involve Disordered White Matter in The Brain | Medindiahttp://www.medindia.net/health-press-release/Autism-May-Involve-Disordered-White-Matter-in-The-Brain-123572-1.htm#ixzz1fgxcOj9a
"Face recognition is an important social skill, but not all of us are equally good at it," says Beijing Normal University cognitive psychologist Jia Liu. But what accounts for the difference? A new study by Liu and colleagues Ruosi Wang, Jingguang Li, Huizhen Fang, and Moqian Tian provides the first experimental evidence that the inequality of abilities is rooted in the unique way in which the mind perceives faces. "Individuals who process faces more holistically" - that is, as an integrated whole - "are better at face recognition," says Liu. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science
Friday, December 2, 2011
In a newly published study involving autistic adults, half of those who took Prozac (fluoxetine) experienced meaningful declines in repetitive behaviors.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Researchers led by Connie Kasari, Ph.D., discovered children with ASD who attend regular education classes are more likely to improve their social skills if their typically developing peers are taught how to interact with them.
Notably, the indirect educational method appears to improve skills better than if the ASD children are directly taught such skills. The National Institutes of Health-funded study suggests a shift away from more commonly used interventions that focus on training children with ASD directly may provide greater social benefits for children with ASD.
The study was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.