Home > Autism in the News > Autism in the News – 03.02.11

Autism in the News – 03.02.11

Children’s Specialized Hospital to host Autism Symposium, March 17 (Mountainside, N.J.)
Children’s Specialized Hospital will host a special seminar titled, “2011 Trends in Autism: Hear from the Experts” on March 18, at the Pines Manor in Edison for the parents and professionals caring and treating children with autism. Read more.

Scientists Link ‘Sets’ of Genetic Abnormalities to Autism Risk (HealthDay News)
While the genetic underpinnings of autism are enormously complex, new DNA research is honing in on sets of abnormal genes that may play a role in the disorder. Read more.

Local lawyer leads 10th annual autism walk in West Palm Beach (The Palm Beach Post)
As a civil trial lawyer and partner with the firm Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, Joe Landy spends all his time fighting for victims who can’t fight for themselves – everyone from abused elderly nursing home patients to victims of corporate greed. Read more.

Autism bill waiting for Gov. McDonnell (Dailypress.com)
Conservative business groups remain opposed to a bill mandating autism insurance coverage in Virginia, pinning their final hopes on a veto from Gov. Bob McDonnell. Read more.

Conn. parents sue over fake autism therapist (Norwalk, Conn.)
Four Connecticut couples whose children received therapy from a fake autism specialist are suing a school district that hired the woman. Read more.

  1. March 3, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I would like to see AS support more research on the brain than on genetics, and brain mechanisms underlying the developmental language disorder should be an urgent matter. I just added the following comment to the US News website:

    Brain and the language handicap

    The association of autism with many different genetic and environmental disorders is not new. Phenylketonuria (PKU), adenylosuccinate lyase defect, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, fragile-X, have long been recognized as genetic predispositions for autistic disorder. Prenatal rubella infection, prenatal exposure to valproic acid (Depakote), alcohol, and thalidomide are also recognized to be responsible for autism in some cases. Anoxic and traumatic birth is also clearly a factor in some cases of autism.

    Autism’s many etiologies affect some specific system in the brain that prevent normal development of language and social awareness. The idea of multiple genes causing neurotransmitter defects at synapses throughout the brain is too vague. Loss of inhibitory synapses in the auditory system may well prove to be relevant to the auditory-verbal problems of children (and adults) with autism.

    The auditory system is fully myelinated before birth, and nuclei in the auditory pathway of the brainstem have higher blood-flow and metabolism than any other area of the brain. High blood flow brings anything in the circulation in greater contact with these auditory centers. Toxic metabolites in disorders like PKU, or drugs like valproic acid will have a greater affect on auditory processing in these highly active brainstem nuclei. Asphyxia at birth injures auditory centers like the inferior colliculi (Windle WF. Brain damage by asphyxia at birth. Sci Am. 1969 Oct;221[4]:76-84). Kulesza et al. have recently published a finding of superior olive malformation in people with autism (Brain Res. Brain Res. 2011 Jan 7;1367:360-71).

    The “multiple genes” ideas about autism are somewhat naïve and too simplistic. We have a horrible tragic epidemic on our hands. Environmental causes, including invasive medical interventions in childbirth and neonatal care, need to be made the primary focus of research.

  1. March 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

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