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SCIENCE
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.
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SCIENCE
November 24, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
A type of brain cell once thought to be little more than the neuron's supportive sidekick may have a lead role in pruning the electrochemical connections that are crucial to brain development, learning, memory and cognition, a new study suggests. Astrocytes, a type of glial cell, turn out to be veritable Pac-men, steadily gobbling up weak, extraneous and redundant synapses that are the vital link between neurons, according to a study published online Sunday in the journal Nature.
HEALTH
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.
SCIENCE
May 31, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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).
NEWS
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...
SCIENCE
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.
NEWS
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.
SCIENCE
October 9, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
Taking a common class of antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs, during pregnancy alters the developmental time-course of the child's language processing, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the results are striking, they hardly suggest the practice should be stopped: The researchers found that the children of women who are depressed while pregnant and who do not take medication are also born with an altered course of development.
HEALTH
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.
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