Drug could improve working memory of people with autism, study finds – People with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have trouble communicating and interacting with others because they process language, facial expressions and social cues differently. Previously, researchers found that propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety and panic, could improve the language abilities and social functioning of people with an ASD. Now, University of Missouri investigators say the prescription drug also could help improve the working memory abilities of individuals with autism.
Increasing Access to Mental Health Services in US – This is the fact that in US 60 percent of people with mental health conditions and nearly 90 percent of people with substance use disorders don’t receive the care they need. That is why the Affordable Care Act is so important to mental health. The health care law, along with previous parity legislation, will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans.
New NIH funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence — A total of 11 centers now funded for up to five years – The National Institutes of Health has awarded $5.3 million in initial one-year funding to the latest two recipients of the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) program. With these awards, announced on World Autism Awareness Day, these and nine other ACE centers in US are now being funded for up to five years.
Folic acid lowers risk of autism – Women who took folic acid supplements from four weeks before conception to eight weeks into pregnancy had a 40 per cent lower risk of giving birth to children with childhood autism (classic autism).
Rush scientists identify buphenyl as a possible drug for Alzheimer’s disease – Buphenyl, an FDA-approved medication for hyperammonemia, may protect memory and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Hyperammonemia is a life-threatening condition that can affect patients at any age. It is caused by abnormal, high levels of ammonia in the blood.
Enhanced brain acetate metabolism may reward heavy drinkers – Increased brain uptake and oxidation of acetate in heavy drinkers – In addition to its well-known effects on the CNS, alcohol consumption has a significant impact on metabolism. After consumption, the body rapidly begins converting ethanol to acetate, which can serve as an energy source for the brain and other organs.
People with Asperger’s rarely harm others, so don’t be so quick to link Adam Lanza’s actions with syndrome – Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old gunman in the Sandy Hook school shooting is thought to have had Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism characterized by social awkwardness, but not violence.
Merck Initiates Phase II/III Study of Investigational BACE Inhibitor, MK-8931, for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease – Although several pharmaceutical companies in US have experienced setbacks with Alzheimer’s compounds, Merck & Co., Inc. hopes to defy the odds with plans to take a Alzheimer pill into a Phase II/III clinical study with patients who suffer from mild-to-moderate stages of the Alzheimer’s disease.
Low-level mercury exposure in pregnant women connected to ADHD risk in children — Researchers advise women to consider both benefits and risks of eating fish while pregnant – ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affects approximately ten percent of children worldwide, yet its causes are not well understood. Now, a study led by Susan Korrick, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Sharon Sagiv, PhD, MPH, of Boston University School of Public Health, and published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, links low-level prenatal mercury exposure with a greater risk of ADHD-related behaviors.
Baby communication gives clues to autism — University of Miami researchers find that babies’ non-verbal communication skills can help predict outcomes in children at high risk of developing Autism – Approximately 19 percent of children with a sibling diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will develop Autism due to shared genetic and environmental vulnerabilities, according to previous studies. For that reason, University of Miami (UM) psychologists are developing ways to predict the occurrence of ASD in high-risk children, early in life, in hopes that early intervention will lead to better outcomes in the future.