Rainfall linked to autism

County-level autism prevalence rates and counts among school-aged children were positively associated with a county’s mean annual precipitation. – Children living in counties with higher levels of annual precipitation appear more likely to have higher prevalence rates of autism, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The results raise the possibility that an environmental trigger for autism may be associated with precipitation and may affect genetically vulnerable children.

Do animals think like autistic savants?

Autism gives special insight into the inner workings of the animal mind. – When Temple Grandin argued that animals and autistic savants share cognitive similarities in her best-selling book Animals in Translation (2005), the idea gained steam outside the community of cognitive neuroscientists.

Babies excrete vaccine-mercury quicker

Infants? bodies expel the thimerosal mercury much faster than once thought ? thereby leaving little chance for a progressive building up of the toxic metal. – February’s issue of Pediatrics offers another reason to rethink blaming the spike in autism diagnoses on thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative routinely used in several childhood vaccines until the late ?90s.

Pediatricians call for cancellation of ABC’s ELI STONE premiere

ABC plans to run an episode of ?Eli Stone? in which the title character successfully argues in court that a vaccine caused a child?s autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of 60,000 pediatricians, is alarmed that this program could lead to a tragic decline in immunization rates. The AAP calls on ABC to cancel the episode. – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is demanding ABC cancel the opening episode of “Eli Stone” scheduled for Thursday, January 31. As reported in The New York Times, the episode features a lawyer who argues in court that a vaccine caused a child’s autism.

Chromosomal abnormalities play substantial role in autism

Chromosomal abnormalities play substantial role in autism, revealed in a study. Noting this change would help early diagnosis for autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a kind of developmental disorder. – Genome-wide scans of families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have revealed new evidence that previously unknown chromosomal abnormalities have a substantial role in the prevalent developmental disorder, according to a report published online Jan. 17th in the American Journal of Human Genetics, a publication of Cell Press.

Potential drugs for mental retardation and autism treatment

US researchers say they have successfully corrected key symptoms of a type of autism and mental retardation in mice, a development which could offer sufferers a potential treatment. – Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have corrected key symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice. The work, which will be reported in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron, indicates that a certain class of drugs could have the same effect in humans. These drugs are not yet approved by the FDA, but will soon be entering into clinical trials.