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.
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 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 »
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 ]
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
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 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.
Through my years of dealing with patients with the diagnosis of ASD and Cerebral Palsy, I have found families investing in this expensive treatment and occasionally buying the equipment so that they can perform the treatment at home with an increased frequency.
It is clear from the medical literature that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has a significant therapeutic effect in infections of limbs, in which anaerobic bacteria is found. Specifically, in gangrene.
It also has a significant role in the treatment of diving encephalopathies (ie, the famous “bends” -Ed), decompression syndromes, for which hyperbaric oxygen is of incredible value as a therapeutic tool.
However, to my knowledge, there is no peer-reviewed journal in the Neurosciences that has noted the value in any situation for ASD or CP. Read more »
“How to Modify Aggressive Behavior in Children with Autism”
by Fernando Miranda, M.D., F.A.A.N.
A frequent question from both parents and teachers is how do you discipline children that behave badly — and by that I mean become physically aggressive or start having tantrums and throwing things around physically.
The first thing to remember is the fact that patients with Autism Syndromes havea brain disorder. This brain disorder is particularly manifested by abnormal neuropathology. These children have hyperfunctioning of local neural microcircuits in the brain which produce hyperreactivity and hyperplasticity.
If we were to stay with those two concepts, hyperreactivity meaning reacting more to any sensory stimulation, most children will hyperreact to auditory stimulation but it is also on occasions visual stimulation as well. Some of them will react to sensory stimulation such as touching or changes in temperature.
What this causes is an overabundance of stimuli in an individual who cannot quickly adapt and react appropriately.
The other piece of the puzzle that most people do not recognize is that all humans are genetically determined to have patterns of reactivity to very basic specific stimulus. We have a reactivity to situations that produce anger, fear, or threat as examples, and most of our instinctive reaction is to protect ourselves physically. Within those patterns of reaction, aggression is a frequent one.
These hyperfunctioning microcircuits in many of occasions become autonomous and “memory trapped” (similar to “muscle memory” through repetition) leading to hyperperception, hyperattention, and hyperemotionality. Read more »