We all carry the genes for autism, study finds

The autism spectrum is a continuum, scientists say, and we’re all on it. A large international study of the genes that predispose people to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) suggests that the same gene variants are also present in the wider population, where they can contribute to a range of behavioural and developmental traits with lesser severity than clinical ASD. According to the researchers, there’s no real cut-off point on the autism spectrum – rather, it’s a continuum of complex genetic factors that can affect our behaviour. But for a small…

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Blue Man Group Promises More Sensory-Friendly Shows for Kids With Autism

Blue Man Group announced on Monday that they will continue their partnership with Autism Speaks and host a set of sensory-friendly shows suitable for children with autism in five major U.S. cities over the next year. “Creating a version of our show that is more accessible for families affected by autism has been a very meaningful experience for us,” Phil Stanton, Blue Man Group co-founder said in a press release. “We are thrilled to provide a safe and welcoming environment and are often quite moved by the emotional response to the show.” To make the show…

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Holly Robinson Peete talks new reality show, autism awareness

For Peete’s Sake is an American reality television series starring Holly Robinson Peete, Rodney Peete, their four kids, and her mom, Dolores. It premieres on March 19, 2016 on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as part of its Saturday-night reality lineup. Holly Robinson Peete has her plate full for the next couple of months. The “21 Jump Street” actress has a reality show debuting on the OWN network and she plans to release book about autism, titled “Same But Different” that she co-authored with two of her children. The 52-year-old actress…

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Tool Could Modify Genes to Treat Cancer, Autism

A new technique could allow scientists to edit and repair the human genome, and perhaps one day treat diseases or conditions linked to our genes. Researchers have figured out how to use the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, on the messenger RNA that carries genetic instructions from the cell’s nucleus to make new proteins. The experiment, by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, could lead to new treatments for diseases caused by malfunctions in the messenger RNA, such as fragile X syndrome, some types of cancer, autism and…

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Pa. to become 1st state to add autism as qualifying condition for medical marijuana

Click here to read full story at wgal.com HARRISBURG, Pa. —Pennsylvania is set to become the first state in the country to explicitly stipulate autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. That will happen if the amended version of the bill, a “functional medical marijuana bill,” passes the Senate and gets a signature from the governor. “Functional” states list out the ailments for which doctors can prescribe medical marijuana. In addition to autism, the House-passed version of the bill lists 16 other eligible conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer.…

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Alpha, Beta Brainwaves Differ in Those With Autism

A new study shows that brain waves in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from those in people without ASD. The findings show that ASD individuals exhibit fewer beta and alpha waves in certain regions of the brain as well as irregular patterns in the frontal lobe. Beta brainwaves are higher frequency waves that dominate when we feel alert, attentive, and are intensely focused. Alpha waves are slower frequency waves that are predominant during a waking restful state. You can read the full story here…

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Scientists Glean Insight On Rare Type Of Autism

Scientists at an independent Baltimore laboratory that studies the brain say they may have figured out how a rare form of autism called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome develops from a gene mutation, and they soon will begin testing a treatment. The scientists at the Johns Hopkins-affiliated Lieber Institute for Brain Development don’t expect a cure but believe children especially could have significant improvements in their intellectual, developmental and communication deficits. If the treatment – an existing drug intended to treat pain – is effective it could be tried on similar syndromes on…

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Meds and Pregnancy risks

Taking meds during pregnancy brings autism risk, benefits For a pregnant woman, the factors that can raise autism risk in her unborn child may seem to abound. Studies suggest that getting the flu, having a fever orgaining too much weight while pregnant can all boost the odds of having a child with autism. Certain medications may also raise the risk. For instance, pregnant women who take the epilepsy drug valproate are up to seven times more likely to have a child with autism than those who don’t. In the past…

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Child prodigies and Autism

Studying child prodigies could be the key to the autism breakthrough scientists have been waiting for Child prodigies have long been a riddle. Two academics, David Feldman and Martha Morelock, once complained—only somewhat facetiously—that “divine inspiration, reincarnation, or magical incantation” were the best explanations for child prodigies that science had to offer. But the psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz developed a startling hunch after a chance encounter with a music prodigy’s autistic cousin:  Could autism have something to do with prodigious talent? Full article can be found here at Business Insider  

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Amazon Echo – A virtual assistant for your home

I’m going to start this review with a quote from Wikipedia to get you up to speed quickly on what the Echo is: Amazon Echo is a wireless speaker and voice command device from Amazon.com. The device consists of a 9.25-inch (23.5 cm) tall cylinder speaker with a seven-piece microphone array. The device responds to the name “Alexa”; this “wake word” can be changed by the user to either “Amazon” or “Echo”. The device is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather,…

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