How Might Autistic Children Be Similar? In Their Brainwaves!

Baby in EEG cap at Boston Children’s Hospital

Baby in EEG cap at Boston Children’s Hospital

 

See today’s article by Karen Weintraub for Boston WBUR radio about Bright Minds Institute’s special brain scan technology in action — referenced by researchers in two new peer-reviewed medical articles.

The article quotes Dr. Miranda as well as Dr. Duffy, two key people responsible for Bright Minds Institute’s medical excellence and continued success.  The article also highlights a new study about EEG spectral coherence in children with Autism vs a “neuro-typical” control group, as well as another new study about Developmental Trajectories of Resting EEG Power.

Exerpts:

Duffy said he hopes his EEG analysis could also be used to show whether an autism treatment is working.

“If you think you have a useful therapy, looking at the physiological brain changes might be a hint that you’re going in the right direction or not,” he said.

 

Dr. Fernando Miranda, a cognitive behavioral neurologist in San Francisco, and long-time friend of Duffy’s, said an EEG-based test will also be much easier for people with autism than other types of brain scans. Children don’t have to lie still for an EEG to work, or be placed into an MRI tube — both of which can be a challenge for a child on the spectrum.

“This is really an important way of looking objectively” at the brain of someone with autism, Miranda said.

It’s almost Summer! A review of spring progress.

 

It’s nearly summer, the end of the school season, in the United States.  Kids are all but out of their seats raring to go swim, play hide and go seek, linger around a round, black Webster BBQ grill and bask in the sun.  Or maybe I’m thinking of parents everywhere.

In any case, it’s almost summertime everywhere except foggy, cold San Francisco (we get summer a bit later in the year) so here’s a wrap-up of what we accomplished at Bright Minds this spring. Read more »

Problems with CDC Autism Data Release?

Dear patients, parents, therapists, educators and other care-givers,

You may already know that Centers for Disease Control released new data about the prevalence of Autism across America this week.

Key takeaways from CDC:

  • About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. [Read article]
  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethinic, and socioeconomic groups. [Read article]
  • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252). [Read article]
  • Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with an ASD with an average prevalence of about 1%. A recent study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%. [Data table Adobe PDF file]
  • About 1 in 6 children in the U.S. had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.  [Read article]

 

CNN’s medical expert Dr. Sanjay Gupta chimes in on the CDC Autism Data Release

 

BMI Comments:

  • The most important takeaway for me is that “1 in 88″ is “only” 1.1% of the 8-year old pediatric population in public schools. The greater apparent increase in cases is likely due primarily to better awareness and knowledge of ASD.
    • However, the criteria of diagnosis of autism are so broad (a spectrum, in fact), and getting broader in the next DSM-V, that more children than ever are being, and will be, diagnosed as Autistic due to broader criteria
    • Many children initially diagnosed with ASD actually have speech or language problems and not Autism. We already see this with a portion of our own patients.
    • Is the CDC later reviewing the cases of children initially diagnosed with Autism to verify that they still bear this diagnosis — that the initial “Autism” diagnosis was accurate or not? We don’t know.
  • We already know from our own patient evaluation and treatment experience that ASDs are more common in boys than girls.
  • We have also seen ASDs across different demographic groups – though with more representation in some groups than others. We will provide details at a later time.
  • We agree that older parents seem to lead to more cases of children with learning or socialization oddities/ differences from general population of children of younger parents, but do not see what can be done from a socioeconomic standpoint other than lowering one’s economic standards and expectations for childbearing.

 

There are already nearly 2,000 news articles presenting and commenting on the new CDC information and more by the time you read this post.  If you have any thoughts we are happy to hear them.  You may also call 415-561-6755 to speak with one of my colleagues or to schedule a consultation.

Ken

BMI Patient Adviser

Dr. Miranda’s Autism Q&A with Parents

This week we are reposting a Q&A session with Dr. Miranda conducted by ABC News/Good Morning America several years ago.  You may view the video features by ABC News on our news page.  The questions and advice are evergreen since the same issues and questions come up for every new generation of parents with children on the “Autism Spectrum,” with developmental delays and with ADHD.

 

Autism Doctor Answers Viewers’ Questions

May 20, 2008

Neurologist Dr. Fernando Miranda takes a radically different approach to behavioral disorders. Using high-tech scanning imagery he looks inside people’s brains to diagnose and treat autism and attention deficit disorder.

After discussing his groundbreaking research on “Good Morning America,” we asked viewers to send in their questions for Miranda and received hundreds of emails. Answers to selected questions are below.

Viewers can also visit Bright Minds Institute for more information.

 What are the signs one should look for in a child (who has been diagnosed with autism) to see if it could be something else like seizures? And can it be hereditary?
E., Whittier, Calif.

Dr. Miranda: Day dreaming, staring spells, abnormal awakenings at night, sleep terrors and family history of seizures.

 I have a 5-year-old son with autism who had a 30 minute EEG when he was 4. We suspected silent seizures but in the 30 minutes none were noted. Is this enough time? Should we pursue more extensive testing? If so, what testing would you recommend?
A.M., Little Rock, Ark. Read more »

Coming soon: East Coast BEAM/DEEP Assessments!

Dear BMI parents and prospective parents,

Although Dr. Miranda currently sees some of your children for follow-up visits in Florida, we do not offer our Brain Electrical Activity Mapping (BEAM)/Digital EEG and Evoked Potentials (DEEP) Assessment technology there.  We are very excited to let you know that we will soon be inaugurating the BEAM/DEEP Assessment system in our Vero Beach office this summer! Offering our full range of services in Florida will greatly aid those of you living in the South, Midwest and along the East Coast.  We look forward to more quickly and easily testing your children’s baseline cognitive performance as well as ongoing progress improvements. Read more »

Neurofeedback: Myth and Reality

By Fernando G. Miranda, M.D.
FAAN, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Medical Director, Bright Minds Institute

 

INTRODUCTION:
The purpose of this paper is to present an objective view, governed by rigor and clarity, of so-called Neurofeedback, EEG Biofeedback, and/or Neurotherapy.

This method of treatment has been used extensively to try to treat children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [1] (ADHD,) traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.

As a practicing Neurologist, with expertise and certification in electroencephalography and Cognitive-Behavioral Neurology, I have had opportunity to observe objectively the reported advantages of this technique.

I have been able in Los Angeles, to observe closely, two large institutions whose business is to teach, sell equipment, and clinically utilize EEG biofeedback.

I have had the opportunity of observing the clinical skills of their Practitioners as well as the overall expertise of the Program Directors. Read more »

Event: Nov 12 Autism Conference

Hear Dr. Miranda and other experts speak about autism and AD/HD next Saturday, November 12th in South San Francisco at the Second Annual Bay Area Autism and AD/HD Conference.

Catch early bird rates before November 7th!

 

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