Tuesday, January 26, 2016

News about a Variety of 2e-related Conditions, and More

TODAY'S POSTING consists of news items relating to depression, autism, ADHD, and more...

DEPRESSION. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that a new type of antidepressant acts quickly in mice, having an effect in minutes rather than weeks. Clinical trials are necessary to check its effect in people, but the drug, designated as CGP3466B, has already been approved for other uses in humans. (In the meantime, feed it to your depressed mice.) Read more. Separately, other research is underway to use genetic testing to determine which antidepressants -- or other drugs -- might or might not be effective in a particular individual. Find out more. Finally, as many as eleven percent of U.S. adolescents are estimated to suffer from depression by the age of 18. In California, according to one report, the rate of depression among middle-schoolers might approach 30 percent. Read more.

AUTISM. Group therapy helps children with high-functioning autism with their social skills, according to a study at a German university. The weekly therapy lasted three months. Find out more. And another study found that intensive reading intervention in children with autism can help better connect various parts of the brain. According to a study write-up, subjects showed "increased activation of the brain regions involved in language and visual/spatial processing in the left hemisphere of the brain -- where language abilities reside -- and also compensatory recruitment of some regions in the right hemisphere and regions of the brain beneath the outermost cortex." Find the write-up.

ADHD. According to NPR, a professor of pediatrics says that "ADHD does a disservice to children as a diagnosis." The professor would prefer to conceptualize ADHD as a spectrum disorder rather than something which is medicated or not depending on some cut-off score. Read more. Separately, the Child Mind Institute has on its site a new article on the topic of misdiagnosing ADHD for sleep disorders because both disorders can cause attention problems. Is attention an issue at your house? Find out more.

TOURETTE'S. The particular brain circuits responsible for vocal tics in Tourette Syndrome have been identified by a research team. The circuits are part of the limbic system. Researchers say, "A reproducible model of these behaviors now provides an opportunity to more fully understand how the disease affects the brain and provides a platform on which to test new treatments." Find out more.

RTI. Wrightslaw, in Special Ed Advocate, takes on the topic of RTI -- how it works, when it should be used, and how it should be monitored. Find Special Ed Advocate.

FOR BRAIN MAVENS, in particular those who find dopamine of interest. Evidently researchers at University of Florida Health have discovered the mechanics of how dopamine transports into and out of brain cells, a finding important for figuring out how dopamine is involved in various disorders. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. The memory capacity of our brains could be ten times higher than previously thought. If you'd like to know how, go here to read more about synapse size, the hippocampus, and other neural considerations.

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