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Autism

Health & Wellbeing

To diagnose autism, watch the eyes

When diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, doctors currently rely on reports from parents, and direct observations, but those methods don't always produce concrete results. Now, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have looked to remote eye tracking to help streamline the process, providing a solid, early diagnosis that lets treatment start more quickly.Read More

Science

Autism-like behavior reversed in laboratory mice

MIT scientists have successfully reversed autistic-like behavioral patterns in mice. The study focused on a gene called Shank3, which is missing in 1 percent of individuals suffering from autism, and is believed to be vital for the development of a healthy adult brain.Read More

Medical

Boosting brain molecule points to treatment for autism and other neurological disorders

Rett Syndrome is a rare but severe neurological disorder that causes autism-like behavior in young females. It has long been known that behind the condition is a genetic mutation, and researchers are now claiming to have found an absent molecule that facilitates regular nerve cell function and development in healthy brains. Armed with a drug that can repair this missing link, the scientists are hopeful their work can lead to effective treatments for not only Rett Syndrome, but various forms of autism-spectrum disorders as well.Read More

Medical

Scientists uncover potential biomarker and drug target for autism

Improving our understanding of what causes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can not only lead to better drugs to treat it, but more precise methods of diagnosis. Though progress has been made, as it stands there are no reliable biomarkers for ASD, with previous research implicating hundreds of genes in the condition which has muddied the waters somewhat. But now a team of scientists has zeroed in on defects in a particular signaling pathway that may be responsible for cognitive impairments associated with the condition.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Snug Vest addresses anxiety by inflating

Sometimes, when you're feeling anxious, all you need is a hug. But the thought of actually hugging someone might instil yet more anxiety. That's where the Snug Vest comes in. It uses a clinical method known as deep pressure therapy to essentially simulate a hug, which has been found to help reduce anxiety and stress and to be an effective treatment for people with autism or ADHD.Read More

Medical

Saliva test promises simpler diagnosis for autism

In lieu of an effective medical test, physicians rely on assessments of behavioural patterns and social skills to diagnose autism. But new research suggests that this process needn't be so prolonged and intrusive. A team of scientists has identified biomarkers in the saliva of children with the condition, potentially paving the way for earlier, and more reliable, diagnoses. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

New Samsung app aims to aid social development for children with autism

A new app released by Samsung aims to improve the lives of children suffering from autism by presenting a fun, smartphone or tablet-based developmental aid. Many who have the condition struggle to convey the simplest of emotions or form bonds with others, due to the behavioral development issues that prevent simple interactions such as eye contact. The app, known as Look At Me, is targeted at improving the quality of life for those growing up with autism by aiding in the development of basic social skills. Read More

Wearables

Fraunhofer's Google Glass app detects human emotions in real time

Over a number of years, researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute have developed software to measure human emotion through face detection and analysis. Dubbed SHORE (Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition), the technology has the potential to aid communication for those with disabilities. Now the team has repurposed the software as an app for Google Glass, with a view to bringing its emotion-detecting technology to the world. Read More

Medical

Computer vision enables researchers to screen earlier for autism

When experts look back over early home movies of babies later diagnosed with autism, they can see the early behavioral markers of the disorder. The average age of diagnosis, however, is 5 years old. The availability and cost of trained clinicians limits not just early awareness, but also research into autism on a large scale. At Duke University, researchers from different disciplines are using computer vision algorithms to make early diagnosis more likely, and even intend to create an app for parents to use at home. Read More

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