May 24, 2009 |
Desperate to help their autistic children, hundreds of parents nationwide are turning to an unproven and potentially damaging treatment: multiple high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders. The therapy is based on a theory, unsupported by mainstream medicine, that autism is caused by a harmful link between mercury and testosterone. Children with autism have too much of the hormone, according to the theory, and a drug called Lupron can fix that.
May 31, 2013 |
How an autistic baby's brain fires up in response to words at 2 years of age may predict how well that child will learn language and even think and behave later in life, a new study shows. The research, published this week in the online journal PLOS One, suggests that a “social gateway” based in the brain impedes not only early language processing, but a broader spectrum of cognitive development, including the ability to adapt behavior to circumstances, according to Patricia Kuhl, who studies early language and brain development at the University of Washington's Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences.
October 27, 2009 |
A tactic used by insurance companies to deny expensive behavioral therapy to autistic children has been deemed illegal by a Los Angeles judge. In a preliminary ruling, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant found that Kaiser Permanente's refusal to pay for a child's autism treatment because the provider was not licensed by the state runs counter to California's Mental Health Parity Act. That act requires insurers to cover care...
July 15, 2013 |
Comedienne turned Playboy centerfold turned autism advocate Jenny McCarthy may not have a medical degree like Dr. Mehmet Oz. But she has publicly embraced some medical opinions that are even more flimsily supported by scientific evidence than some of those espoused by her TV colleague. And now that McCarthy has got a seat on "The View," she'll have a similarly vast audience to misinform. When she's not holding forth on sex -- and let's face it, McCarthy's probably no less qualified than many others to speak expertly on the subject -- McCarthy portrays herself as an expert on the subject of autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder with which her 11-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed in 2005.
November 26, 2012 |
In a finding that points to a link between environmental toxins and autism, a new study shows that children who were exposed to the highest levels of traffic-related air pollution during gestation and in early infancy were three times more likely to be diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder than were those whose early exposure to such pollutants was very low. The study , published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that...
January 26, 2012 |
An early symptom of autism might be found in a baby's gaze, researchers reported Thursday. Diagnosing autism as early as possible is of critical importance. Studies show the earlier therapy begins, the more likely the child can overcome the deficits linked to the brain disorder. The new study, published online in the journal Current Biology , examined babies 6 months to 10 months of age who were at higher risk of developing autism because they had an older sibling with autism.
February 25, 2009 |
Patient advocates called on state regulators Tuesday to force health insurers to cover certain autism treatments. Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica sent a letter to Cindy Ehnes, executive director of the state Department of Managed Health Care, and her boss, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressing concern about delays in resolving coverage complaints from parents of autistic children. The parents say insurers are refusing to cover needed behavioral therapy for their children.
May 5, 2011 |
Children conceived in winter are more likely to develop autism than those conceived in other months of the year, according to a study of more than 7 million births in California. The findings suggest that at least some cases of the disorder may be linked to infectious diseases or other environmental facts, say researchers from UC Davis who conducted the study. Epidemiologist Irva Hertz-Picciotto, graduate student Ousseny Zerbo and their colleagues studied birth records of more than 7.2 million children born in California from 1990 to 2002.
June 3, 2013 |
Hyperactive brain cells firing together could be an early indicator of autism and developmental disabilities, a team of UCLA researchers has found. Networks of neurons were found to be firing in a highly synchronized and seemingly unrelenting fashion, even through sleep, in the brains of juvenile mice that have a genetic abnormality similar to one that causes mental retardation and autism symptoms in humans, according to the research published online Monday in Nature Neuroscience.
March 10, 2009 |
California regulators said Monday that insurers must provide speech, occupational and physical therapies to their autistic members but rejected pleas to require insurers to cover the cost of behavior therapy that aims to help patients live in society. At issue is so-called applied behavior analysis, a therapy that teaches patients skills such as self-feeding and stopping injurious behaviors such as head banging. The therapy can cost as much as $70,000 a year per patient.