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Autism Spectrum Disorder

July 28, 2009 | Lorenza Munoz
A self-possessed individual graced with the good looks of a matinee idol -- large, bluish-gray eyes, a firm jaw line and fistfuls of brown, wavy hair -- actor Hugh Dancy seemed, at first glance, completely wrong for the lead in Fox Searchlight's unconventional romantic drama "Adam."
August 19, 2005 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
The Manhattan Beach school district and the state education department have agreed to pay more than $6.7 million to settle a long-running legal battle with the family of an autistic special education student.
June 17, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
A human voice has no special ring to the autistic brain because areas related to reward and emotional context are not well wired to its center of voice recognition, a Stanford University study has found. The findings, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lend support to the theory that social motivation lies at the heart of language and speech deficits that are endemic among children with autism spectrum disorder.  The social motivation theory of autism holds that deficits in communication and speech skills result from the brain's diminished ability to build a social context for human voices.
August 23, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have pinpointed a likely source for many cases of autism and schizophrenia: Men who become fathers later in life pass on more brand-new genetic mutations to their offspring. The finding buttresses observations from population studies that rates of these disorders are more prevalent in children born to older fathers, sometimes by a factor of 2 or more, experts said. The research, published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, also should help correct an overemphasis on the riskiness of women giving birth at older ages, some researchers said.
April 25, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Researchers believe they have come up with a way to tell whether a newborn infant has a higher-than-normal risk of developing autism -- by looking for abnormalities in the placenta shortly after birth. The abnormalities in question are called trophoblast inclusions, or TIs. They are created when the placenta doesn't develop properly, and they are a marker for various genetic abnormalities. When a placental sample is examined on a slide under a microscope, TIs appear as dark blobs.
July 24, 2005 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
Early in his career, actor Gary Cole auditioned for a lead role in "Miami Vice." At the time it looked like it could have been his big break, but as he sees it now, the competition wasn't even close. Don Johnson was nowhere near the waiting room where he sat with the other Sonny Crockett types. "I think we were all decoys," he said.
December 7, 2009 | By Trine Tsouderos and Patricia Callahan >>>
James Coman's son has an unusual skill. The 7-year-old, his father says, can swallow six pills at once. Diagnosed with autism as a toddler, he had been placed on an intense regimen of supplements and medications aimed at treating the disorder. He was injected with vitamin B12 and received intravenous infusions of a drug used to leach mercury and other metals from the body. He took megadoses of vitamin C, a hormone and a drug that suppresses testosterone. This complex regimen -- documented in court records as part of a bitter custody battle over the Chicago boy between Coman, who opposes the therapies, and his wife -- may sound unusual, but it isn't.
February 14, 2005 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Dr. PAULINE FILIPEK sizes up her tiny patient in her toy-strewn clinic in Orange. As the 22-month-old boy enters the room, he doesn't look at Filipek or anyone else. He plows into a pile of toys on the floor, sometimes walking or crawling over them, but doesn't speak. He could easily pass as a good-natured child who needs little attention. But Filipek, a neurologist, sees something else, behaviors "that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up."
December 7, 2009 | By Trine Tsouderos and Patricia Callahan
Dr. Carlos Pardo was trying to head off trouble. The Johns Hopkins neurologist and his colleagues had autopsied the brains of people with autism who died in accidents and found evidence of neuroinflammation. This rare look inside the autistic brain had the potential to increase understanding of the mysterious disorder. It also, he knew, could inspire doctors aiming to help children recover from autism to develop new experimental treatments -- even though the research was so preliminary the scientists did not know whether the inflammation was good or bad, or even how it might relate to autism.
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