Updated Friday, June 5, 2015 It has been recognized for a long time that individuals with autism have enhanced spacial perceptions. Spatial reasoning is your mind’s ability to transform mental images into something concrete. Spatial reasoning is how an architect or engineer can look at plans and picture the completed result in their minds. The goal of this recent study was to “examine more systematically previous suggestions of a relative and absolute autistic strength on tests of abstract spatial reasoning”. The study found that individuals with autism outperformed those without autism on abstract spacial tests. Therefore spatial reasoning is an absolute strength among people with autism as a group and not particular to the individual. Interestingly […]
Updated Sunday, August 9, 2015Several clinical trials are being set up to establish whether a drug RG1662 produced by Hoffman- La Roche Ltd. can improve neurocognitive function in people with Down Syndrome. This study is a Phase One clinical trial meaning the primary goals is to assess the safety of the drug. The effectiveness of the drug will also be assessed. The study is recruiting adults with Down Syndrome between the ages of 18 to 30. At present there are study centers set up in the US and UK. For more on this clinical trial and the trial criteria, please go to: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01436955
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015 The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is due to be published next month. This edition changes the definition of ADHD significantly. Some of the major changes are: Changes to the age of onset of symptoms from on or before 7 to on or before 12 Having one diagnosis of ADHD instead of the 3 subsets Lowering the threshold for adult ADHD so that adults have to meet 5 of the 6 stated criteria Whether or not these changes will effect the number of people being diagnosed with ADHD remains to be seen but is already the subject of debate by experts. For more information on […]
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015 Johnhain on Pixabay Nearly 70 percent of children with autism are the targets of bullies, according to a study. In addition, children who have Asperger’s Syndrome are bullied more than other children with autism are. Children with Asperger’s may be targeted more because their impairments are not obvious. Their outward appearance of normality masks the difficulties they have in common with other children on the autistic spectrum. Kablam on OpenClipArt The study found that children who exhibit traits such as “flapping or spinning” are less likely to be picked on. Those traits are not associated with Asperger’s. Children who exhibited “clumsiness, poor personal and oral hygiene, rigid rule keeping, […]
Updated Saturday, August 8, 2015A small study done in England found that “children with autism do things efficiently rather than socially, whereas typical children do things socially rather than efficiently“. Unlike other children, kids with autism don’t copy or imitate any action they see, particularly if something silly is involved. Children with autism only copy what is necessary. Researchers noted that the social nature of imitation was challenging for children with autism. The study is published in Current Biology.
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015Researchers investigating the causes of Alzheimer’s found that mice who lacked the protein known as “SNX27 had many of the same learning and memory defects as mice with Down syndrome”. When they looked at this syndrome in humans with Down syndrome they found they were also lacking SNX27. The researchers also found that mice injected with this protein showed immediate improvement. Obviously there is a lot more for researchers to study but this research provides another clue to the causes of down syndrome and possible treatments. For more on this story see: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/science/protein-in-alzheimers-linked-to-down-syndrome.html?_r=0