Navigation Links
Experts summarize state of the science in autism disorders
Date:10/14/2009

Scientific understanding and medical treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have advanced significantly over the past several years, but much remains to be done, say experts from the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who published a scientific review of the field today.

"We summarized many new findings by autism researchers throughout the world, and give our perspective on the current state of the science in autism spectrum disorders," said lead author Susan E. Levy, M.D., a developmental pediatrician and medical director of the Regional Autism Center at Children's Hospital. "We hope our review will be a useful reference for healthcare professionals working with ASD patients and families."

The article appears in the British journal The Lancet, published online on Oct. 12. Levy co-authored the review with Robert T. Schultz, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and director of the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital, and David S. Mandell, Sc.D., a psychiatric epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Some recurrent themes of the review are the expanding knowledge of early brain development, and the importance of early diagnosis of ASDs, accompanied by intensive early treatment. The researchers also recognize the important role of parent involvement in early recognition of ASDs and in reinforcing their child's behavioral treatments at home. They also endorse research on methods for supporting families to reduce parental stress.

As evidenced by a long history of family and twin studies, ASDs are the neuropsychiatric disorder most affected by genetic factors. The authors review recent studies performed with the help of sophisticated gene-analyzing tools, and cite the finding earlier this year that a significant percentage of ASD patients have DNA alterations in a genetic area that affects how neurons interconnect in the brain. Combined with other studies of brain anatomy and function, the authors say, "genetic and neurobiological evidence point to a good causal model of this disordernamely, genetically mediated abnormal findings of synaptic maturation and connectivity."

Further research is needed to explain in detail how genes affect the development of brain cell interconnections, but the authors say that future investigation may suggest techniques to intervene early in life with medical treatments.

Neuroimaging tools, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG), a method of mapping the brain's magnetic field, hold the potential of identifying a biological signature of ASDs, so that clinicians might identify autism during early childhood and monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

Regarding therapy, the authors note that the most researched treatments are those based on applied behavioral analysis, which includes intensive, highly structured treatments beginning in early childhood. More recently, those highly structured programs have been combined with other behavioral programs more akin to real-life situations, with increased effectiveness.

Although existing drugs do not treat core symptoms of ASDs, the authors refer to results showing medications may be effective in relieving related symptoms such as irritability and anxiety. Many other proposed and existing treatments, both biological and non-biological, have not been adequately studied.

In sum, say the authors, "no cure for autism spectrum disorders is yet available." However, "outcomes are improved with early detection and intensive treatment." In the future, the authors conclude that advances in early detection and diagnosis will allow more individualized and effective early treatment to alter the course of early behavior and brain development.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research Links TV/Video Game Playing With Child Obesity; Health Experts Back a New Approach
2. MultiVu Video Feed: PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS CONVENE TO DISCUSS THE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF RABIES
3. Health IT Event Draws Experts to the Pacific Northwest
4. Experts Sort Out Good Fats From Bad
5. Experts Offer Tips on Lung Cancer Prevention
6. March of Dimes, Experts for Moms and Babies, Launches Podcast
7. World fertility experts to meet in Montreal - IVF and IVM patients to provide first-person accounts at 14th World Congress
8. Bay IVF Experts Launch One of First East-West Fertility Programs of Its Kind
9. Experts propose cholesterol tests at 15 months of age
10. Experts Publish New Lung Disease Guidelines
11. Experts, Advocates Available to Comment on Hillary Clintons Health Care Plan
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 creative ... National Family Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National Red ... 10 winning schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme: ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... they now offer a comprehensive in-house dental plan for all patients. Understanding that ... a plan that gives patients a number of perks, including discounts on many ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... Deloitte Wisconsin 75, an annual ranking and recognition of the largest closely held ... list, having ranked from 2008-2016. In addition, Standard Process was awarded the Talent ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Center For ... announced the opening of a new residential mental health treatment program in Chino ... issues such as severe anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, and other related issues. , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... and stylish design wanted by today’s consumers at an affordable price, is now ... says the new watch is “a game changer” when it comes to the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... bioLytical Laboratories, ein Weltführer bei schnellen Tests für ... Apothekenbundes von Kenia eingeführt. Continue Reading ... ... Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) bioLytical wurde durch die ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 Orthopedic Implants ... Support) is Expected to Gain a Significant Market Share Owing ... Ailments  ... According to a new ... Medical Implants Sterile Packaging: Clamshell Product Type Segment Projected to ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... December 2, 2016 On Thursday, the ... in red, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to ... of US markets, which prompted Stock-callers this morning to look ... (NASDAQ: NUVA ), Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: ... NXTM ), and Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KOOL ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: