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.
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.
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
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 »
“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 have a 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 »