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Brain Development

July 10, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
An immune system that ensures survival is one of the earliest gifts from a mother to her child. But sometimes, that gift can be a Trojan horse, sending soldiers that are programmed to attack the body's own antigens into the fetus, where they interfere with brain development. The result is maternal autoantibody related (MAR) autism, which may account for as much as 23% of the cases of that spectrum of brain disorders. Now UC Davis researchers believe they have found the targets of these maternal autoantibodies, a potential step in the path toward preventive treatment for women contemplating pregnancy.
July 3, 2006 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
ARITHMETIC flashcards at the age of 3 won't unleash the next Einstein. Nor will choosing a precise combination of educational toys guarantee a future good job and happy life. It's attention and play with adoring adults that stimulates brain development -- not just in individual infants, but in the nation's future workforce.
November 13, 2007 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
The brains of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder develop more slowly than those of other children but eventually catch up, according to a government study published Monday that suggests ADHD may be a transient condition, at least for some. Using advanced imaging techniques, scientists found that the cortices of children with ADHD reach peak thickness an average of three years later than children without the disorder.
March 19, 1990 | MARGIE PATLAK, Patlak is a free-lance writer based in Portland, Ore.
As the dramatic abortion debate plays out in courtrooms and legislatures across the nation, a basic and vitally important question arises ever more insistently--when does human life begin? The Roman Catholic Church claims conception is life's starting point, whereas most current abortion laws are keyed to when the fetus might survive if born prematurely (at the end of the second trimester).
November 26, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
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...
October 22, 2010
Slow down when you speak. That’s advice not just for children who stutter but for their parents too. Being more relaxed in your own speech helps a stutterer more than telling them to "try it again slowly. " The tip comes from the Stuttering Foundation , which marks International Stuttering Awareness Day on Friday. The goal is to spread the word about early intervention, reports the Newport News Daily Press blog Health Notes . Not every kid who stutters will do so for the rest of his or her life.
May 24, 2004 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Perhaps there's an explanation after all for why some teenagers are so notoriously difficult: Their minds cannot yet fully reason. Government researchers found in a recent study that the last areas of the brain to mature in humans appear to be those responsible for reasoning, problem-solving and other sophisticated functions. This doesn't happen until sometime between the ages of 18 and 21. The findings come from researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md.
September 7, 1998
Although the fetus weighs well under a pound, the major organs and systems of the body are formed by the end of the first trimester. MONTH ONE The embryo develops a simple brain, spine and central nervous system. Weeks 3-8: Greatest sensitivity to teratogens. Week 4: The skin cells begin to form in two layers. MONTH TWO Week 5: Fetal cells in mother's blood can be used to identify birth defects. The heart is less than a half-inch in diameter and begins to beat.
June 28, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
"Teenagers are often impulsive. " That's the opening sentence of a new scientific paper. Raise your hand if you're a parent of an adolescent and agree. Impulsivity is a major focus on researchers studing the brain and human behavior because being overly impulsive or a risk-taker or dare-devil is linked to more problems in life. Kids who can't seem to control their impulses make bad decisions: like swallowing a mysterious pill someone brought to school or riding on a skateboard attached to a car. They are driven by a need for instant gratification and fail to consider the long-term consequences of their actions.
November 24, 2002 | Martin Fackler, Associated Press Writer
As soon as they saw the empty truck brake suddenly on the deserted rural highway, the four men in dark-blue uniforms jumped into action. The truck likely was a scout, slowing to phone a warning to smugglers close behind. Piling into a white van, the officers roared down the two-lane road until they found a heavily laden truck struggling to turn around to avoid the police trap.
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