Tuesday, July 2, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AUTISTIC HYPERCONNECTIVITY. A study of 20 children with high-functioning autism indicates that they have higher-than normal connectivity among five major brain networks. Hyperconnectivity to and from one area, the salience network, means that a greater-than-normal number of brain areas are activated at the same time. This hyperconnectivity could lead to restrictive and repetitive behaviors, according to the researchers. Find out more from a news release, or read a fuller article in the Los Angeles Times.

OMEGA-3 AND MOOD DISORDERS. An Ohio State professor of psychiatry is studying the effect on mood disorders of omega-3 oils plus a psychotherapy called psychoeducational psychotherapy. The disorders include depression and bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). The researcher notes epidemiological studies showing an inverse relationship between the consumption of the certain omega fatty acids and mood disorders. Read more.

IRON AND MOOD DISORDERS -- and ADHD and autism. A researcher thinks that iron deficiency anemia is linked to all of those conditions. A write-up of the study notes that iron is "necessary for the proper function of the brain’s chemical messenger systems—including those that regulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine." Those chemicals sound familiar if you're a parent or educator of twice-exceptional children, right? The write-up hedges on causation, but says that a serum iron level check would be a good idea in any child with a psychiatric disorder. Read more.

VISUAL WORKING MEMORY IN TODDLERS evidently can hold 1.3 to 1.8 objects at a time, according to researchers at the University of Iowa. This compares to 3 to 4 objects for adults. The researchers used optical neuroimaging in three- and four-year-olds to come to their conclusions, and think that the research can help with earlier identification of conditions such as ADHD. Find out more.

DMDD -- get used to it. It's a new diagnosis in the DSM-5, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, and it's like tantrums on steroids. An article at Philly.com explains it, starting with a great picture of what looks like a very testy young person. Find the article.

THANKS TO THE NAGC, you can find out what's happening in terms of gifted ed legislation in the U.S. Go to NAGC's "Capital Update."

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE is planning a series of webinars on topics relevant to dyslexia, including one called "High School Dropout to Harvard." Sign up at DyslexicAdvantage.com to find out more.

TED ON ED -- education, that is. TED has bundled nine talks on the topic, covering the importance of champions for kids, feedback for teachers, ways to spark learning, "gangland daughter to star teacher," and more. Find them.

SENG CONFERENCE. The last day to register online for the conference is July 3, according to the organization. If you're thinking about attending, check out the conference site.

THE GUT AND THE BRAIN. We've blogged previously about studies showing a connection between gut bacteria and the brain, but Cerebrum has posted a lengthy article on the topic. From the article: "Remarkably, these naturally occurring, ever-present commensal bacteria may be instrumental in how our brain develops, how we behave, react to stress, and respond to treatment for depression and anxiety." Have a "gut feeling" the article might be interesting? Find the article.

ADDITUDE has two articles posted online which might be of interest. One is on fish oil dosages for ADHD, the other is on how to get your ADHD child to talk to you. (Although sometimes we'd be just as happy when they don't talk to us.)

CYBERSCHOOLS. We're usually skeptical of press releases from organizations touting their products or services, but one from a Pennsylvania charter school caught our eye. It told story  of a ninth-grader with Asperger's who was about to drop out of high school... but who instead became a National Merit Scholar by way of the charter school. Find the press release.

ANOTHER THING TO WORRY ABOUT. A rat study showed that nursing mama rats exposed to the antibacterial soap ingredient triclocarban adversely affected their offspring's chances of survival. Now, this was just a rat study... and there are balancing factors for the use of antibacterial soap... but if extrapolating from these study results makes you nervous, check out the study write-up.

No comments: