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Virtual world helps adult Asperger's patients in the real world

Second Life, an online virtual world where people meet, "work", date and carry on most other aspects of of normal life, has become fertile ground for adult Asperger's patients trying to learn how to survive in the real world. The University of Texas Dallas Center for Brain Health has adopted the virtual world for adult patient therapy. The game has successfully been used to help patients learn socially appropriate behavior in everything from job interviews to everyday interactions.

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Mon, 01/14/2008 - 21:54

Study links brain over-growth in one-year-olds to Autism

A new study out of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology has linked brain over-growth in one-year-olds with the onset of Autistic characteristics. This new study is in harmony with other research which has linked brain-overgrowth with similar characteristics in two-year-olds. The study states that high-risk infants begin showing typical non-social characteristics by age one. Researchers say this leads to hope that there is a window in the child's first year for very early intervention and possibly prevention.

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Mon, 01/14/2008 - 17:18

A new study hopes to "prevent" Autism in high-risk siblings

A new study hopes to determine whether high-risk babies can be helped by encouraging eye contact and verbal communication. Two hundred babies (with older siblings who have already been diagnosed with Autism) are currently being recruited in the Seattle, Washington area. The study hopes to examine the effects of encouraging communication and social interaction at early development. Researchers involved in the study are quick to point out that Autism is a neurological disorder and in no way is a result of parenting. Rather, they hope to further the cause of intervention.

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Mon, 01/14/2008 - 16:00

Autism rates still on the rise after vaccine changes

The California State Department of Public Health have found that Autism rates in California have continued to rise even after the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines. The twelve year study showed that a reduction in cases expected by some did not materialize between 2004 and 2007. Thimerosal is still present in vaccines such as flu shots. The results were published in the January issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Fri, 01/11/2008 - 16:39

New genetics study could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of Autism

A new genetics study may help to shine some light on the diagnosis and possible drug treatment for Autism. Centering on a structural variation on chromosome 16, the study's authors believe they have located one of the single most influential causes of Autism. The study entailed the analysis of 2,000 DNA microarrays from individuals with Autism. The results were independently identified by three groups dealing with three separate populations. The most immediate benefit is seen to be new, inexpensive diagnostic tests.

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Fri, 01/11/2008 - 16:04