Why many children with autism have oral health problems

The World Health Organisation estimates that one in 160 children around the world has an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a condition related to the development of the brain and is usually noticeable by the time a child is three years old. Statistics aren’t available for any African country, so researchers like me in South Africa are using international prevalence […]

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In some children with autism, ‘social’ and ‘visual’ neural circuits don’t quite connect

Among the first and most-documented symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a child’s aversion to interaction with others. Specifically, they appear uninterested in social activities and stimuli that would normally attract a young child’s attention, such as watching other children play, sing or dance. In a new study, published online December 17, 2019 in the journal eLife, researchers at […]

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Study: Children with intellectual disability have less access to healthcare than children with autism

A study completed by researchers at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine has found that children with Intellectual Disability (ID) have less access to medical care than children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The investigation was led by Kelly Haller, a second-year medical student. Haller, from Strongsville, Ohio, has always been highly interested in behavioral pediatrics. This led […]

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Parents left in the cold when it comes to kids with autism

First-line health professionals must vastly improve their communication and engagement with parents if they are to help address the growing prevalence of autism among children, say researchers from the University of South Australia. Undertaking a meta-synthesis of 22 international studies, researchers consolidated the voices of 1178 parents advocating for their children with autism, finding that parents feel ignored and dismissed […]

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Molecular control of neurotransmitter linked to autism described

Many neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism have been linked to disruption of the key neurotransmitter GABA, but the underlying causes of the disruptions have been difficult to pinpoint. In two new papers published Oct. 15 in Science Signaling, researchers from Yale, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom have zeroed in on a molecular mechanism crucial to normal […]

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Ford government backs off changes to autism funding plan

The Ford government announced Monday that it was backing off its controversial autism plan. In a release, the Ontario government said it is instead charging its autism expert panel to consider what a “new needs-based and sustainable autism program would look like.” “Our government is committed to a needs-based program that provides children and youth with the supports they need […]

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Exploring genetic ‘dark matter,’ researchers gain new insights into autism and stroke

With its elegant double helix and voluminous genetic script, DNA has become the of darling of nucleic acids. Yet, it is not all powerful. In order for DNA to realize its potential — for genes to become proteins — it must first be transcribed into RNA, a delicate molecule that requires intense care and guidance. “Gene expression is a lot […]

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Autism largely caused by genetics, not environment: Study

(HealthDay)—The largest study of its kind, involving more than 2 million people across five countries, finds that autism spectrum disorders are 80% reliant on inherited genes. That means that environmental causes are responsible for just 20% of the risk. The findings could open new doors to research into the genetic causes of autism, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control […]

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