Week in Review - March 9, 2012
WEEK IN REVIEW
NewNASETPublications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
March 9, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 10
The Practical Teacher
Training Parents Is Good Medicine for Children With Autism Behavior Problems, Study Suggests
Children with autism spectrum disorders who also have serious behavioral problems responded better to medication combined with training for their parents than to treatment with medication alone, Yale researchers and their colleagues report in the February issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. "Serious behavioral problems interfere with everyday living for children and their families," said senior author on the study Lawrence Scahill, professor at Yale University School of Nursing and the Child Study Center. "Decreasing these serious behavioral problems results in children who are more able to manage everyday living." To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
If someone has a food allergy, there is a chance that the person may experience a severe form of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis may begin suddenly and may lead to death if not immediately treated.
Children Who Are Overweight May Not Respond as Well to Asthma Medications
Overweight children may not respond as well to common asthma medicines known as inhaled corticosteroids, new research finds. As a result, they may need more of the long-term control medication, said researcher Dr. Pia Hauk, an assistant professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health, in Denver. "In our patient population, and we see a lot of severe asthmatics, the overweight and obese children have about twice as high an inhaled corticosteroid requirement than those of a healthy weight," Hauk said. The study was small, including just 61 children with asthma, aged 2 to 18, so the results should not be considered conclusive. To read more,click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members
Through an agreement with The American Academy of Special Education Professionals(AASEP), NASET members now have the opportunity to achieve AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) at a reduced fee. AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) is a voluntary choice on the part of the candidate. The candidate for Board Certification wishes to demonstrate a commitment to excellence to employers, peers, administrators, other professionals, and parents. From the standpoint of the Academy, board certification will demonstrate the highest professional competency in the area of special education. Board Certification in Special Educationestablishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.
For more information on Board Certification in Special Education,click here
Understanding Brain Performance: People Who Take Ritalin Are Far More Aware of Their Mistakes
A new study, by Dr Rob Hester from the Department of Psychological Sciences and colleagues at the Queensland Brain Institute, investigated how the brain monitors ongoing behavior for performance errors -- specifically failures of impulse control. It found that a single dose of methylphenidate (Ritalin) results in significantly greater activity in the brain's error monitoring network and improved volunteers' awareness of their mistakes. Diminished awareness of performance errors limits the extent to which humans correct their behaviour and has been linked to loss of insight in a number of clinical syndromes, including Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The findings demonstrate that activity within those parts of the brain that deal with human error, including the dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) differs depending on whether participants are aware of their performance errors. Critically, researchers showed that a single, clinically relevant dose of methylphenidate, which works by increasing the levels of catecholamines in the brain, dramatically improved error awareness in healthy adults. To read more,click here
Smoke Exposure Late in Pregnancy Might Boost Baby's Eczema Risk
A mother's exposure to tobacco smoke during the last three months of pregnancy may increase the risk that her child will develop the allergic skin condition eczema during infancy, a new study suggests. The study authors pointed out that it is already known that children whose mothers were exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy are at a higher than normal risk for developing asthma or respiratory infections. However, previous studies regarding the relationship between smoke exposure and eczema risk came up with mixed results. To investigate the potential connection, the research team focused on more than 1,400 infants between the ages of 2 months and 18 months. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Anaphylaxis includes a wide range of symptoms that can occur in many combinations. Some symptoms are not life-threatening, but the most severe restrict breathing and blood circulation.
Study Compares Traits of Autism, Schizophrenia
A UT Dallas professor is studying the differences between the social impairments found in autism and schizophrenia to help develop better treatments for people with both disorders. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia are distinct disorders with unique characteristics, but they share similarities in social dysfunction. For many years, this similarity resulted in confusion in diagnosis. Many young people with ASD were thought to have a childhood version of schizophrenia, said Dr. Noah Sasson, assistant professor in the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Sasson points out that clear differences exist between people diagnosed with schizophrenia and ASD. Symptoms of ASD can be seen from very early in life, while the onset of schizophrenia typically occurs in young adulthood. And individuals who have schizophrenia often experience hallucinations and delusional thoughts, which are far less common in individuals with ASD. To read more,click here
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to: Olumide Akerle, Lois Nembhard, and Jessica L. Ulmer who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
What do the letters "NOS" stand for with respect to names of psychological disorders (e.g., Anxiety Disorder NOS; Depressive Disorder NOS; Eating Disorder NOS)?
If you know the answer, send an email email@example.com
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, March 12, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
In What Ways Does Lead Damage the Brain? It Derails the Brain's Center for Learning
Exposure to lead wreaks havoc in the brain, with consequences that include lower IQ and reduced potential for learning. But the precise mechanism by which lead alters nerve cells in the brain has largely remained unknown. New research led by Tomás R. Guilarte, PhD, Chair of Environmental Health Sciences, and post-doctoral research scientist Kirstie H. Stansfield, PhD, used high-powered fluorescent microscopy and other advanced techniques to painstakingly chart the varied ways lead inflicts its damage. They focused on signaling pathways involved in the production of brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF, a chemical critical to the creation of new synapses in the hippocampus, the brain's center for memory and learning. To read more,click here
Enhanced Brain-Computer Interface Promises Unparalleled Autonomy for Individuals with Disabilities
In the 2009 film Surrogates, humans live vicariously through robots while safely remaining in their own homes. That sci-fi future is still a long way off, but recent advances in technology, supported by EU funding, are bringing this technology a step closer to reality in order to give disabled people more autonomy and independence than ever before. From wheelchair-bound victims of car accidents to people suffering full-body paralysis or locked-in syndrome, millions of Europeans have some form of motor disability that restricts their ability to move, interact or communicate with others. In recent years a variety of technologies have been developed to help people with such disabilities live more independent and autonomous lives. Now these technologies are being improved and combined into an innovative hybrid system that will enable users to operate a robot with their thoughts alone, interact in virtual environments, remotely control lighting, heating and other devices in their homes, and more easily communicate with friends and family. To read more,click here
Timing of Preemie Birth May Be Key to Kids' Health Later
Preemies face a relatively unhealthy childhood when compared with full-term babies, and new British research suggests that the degree to which a child's health is compromised seems to depend on exactly how premature the child was. Those born between the 32nd and 36th week of gestation (moderate/late preterm) appeared to have more health issues than those born slightly later in the 37th or 38th week (early term), the study found. The findings are the result of work conducted by researchers from the Universities of Leicester, Liverpool, Oxford, Warwick and the British National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, and were published online March 1 in the BMJ. To read more,click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual
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New Infant Formula Ingredients Boost Babies' Immunity by Feeding Their Gut Bacteria
Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report. "The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-important to an infant's health, growth, and ability to fight off infections," said Kelly Tappenden, a U of I professor of nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology. "Breast-fed babies acquire this protection naturally. Formula-fed infants get sick more easily because the bacteria in their gut are always changing." The idea is to make formula more like breast milk by promoting the sorts of intestinal bacteria that live in breast-fed babies' intestines, she added. To read more,click here
Web-Based Therapy May Help Teens With Chronic Fatigue
Teens with chronic fatigue syndrome, which can cause poor concentration and memory as well as joint and muscle pain, may benefit from an Internet-based treatment known as FITNET, a new study has found. Researchers in the Netherlands studied teens with the debilitating condition and found that 63 percent reported that they felt better or had recovered after six months of the Web-based therapy, according to the report published online March 1 in The Lancet. FITNET gave the teens electronic access to cognitive behavior therapy, which has shown promising results for this age group. To read more,click here
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet May Help Some Children With Autism, Research Suggests
A gluten-free, casein-free diet may lead to improvements in behavior and physiological symptoms in some children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to researchers at Penn State. The research is the first to use survey data from parents to document the effectiveness of a gluten-free, casein-free diet on children with ASD. "Research has shown that children with ASD commonly have GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms," said Christine Pennesi, medical student at Penn State College of Medicine. "Notably, a greater proportion of our study population reported GI and allergy symptoms than what is seen in the general pediatric population. Some experts have suggested that gluten- and casein-derived peptides cause an immune response in children with ASD, and others have proposed that the peptides could trigger GI symptoms and behavioral problems." To read more,click here
Preschool Kids Best Prepared for Kindergarten: Study
All children can benefit from going to preschool, especially those who come from minority or poor families or from homes where parents don't provide much mental stimulation, a new study says. The study included 1,200 identical and fraternal twins from 600 families who were followed from age 2 until they entered kindergarten at age 5. Overall, children who went to preschool did better once they started kindergarten than those who didn't go to preschool, according to the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science. Going to preschool appeared to be particularly beneficial for minority and poor children, and for those whose parents didn't play with them in a way that stimulated the child's mental development. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Anaphylaxis caused by an allergic reaction to a certain food is highly unpredictable. The severity of a given attack does not predict the severity of subsequent attacks. Any anaphylactic reaction may become dangerous and must be evaluated immediately by a healthcare professional.
How Does Nearsightedness Develop in Children?
Myopia (nearsightedness) develops in children when the lens stops compensating for continued growth of the eye, according to a study in the March issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. Using detailed information on eye growth and vision changes in children over time, the new research shows "decoupling" of lens adaptation from eye growth about a year before myopia occurs. Donald O. Mutti, OD, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, is lead author of the new study. To read more,click here
Adults with Disabilities More Apt to Be Victims of Violence
Adults with disabilities are at higher risk of being victims of violence than adults who aren't disabled, new research finds. Those with mental illness are particularly vulnerable, with about 24 percent reporting having experienced physical, sexual or "intimate partner" violence during the past year, according to the study published online Feb. 27 in The Lancet. For the study, researchers from Liverpool John Moores University in England analyzed the results of 26 prior studies that included some 21,500 people with a range of physical and mental disabilities from seven countries -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa. The meta-analysis, which pools the results of prior research, found that disabled adults are 1.5 times more likely to be a violence victim than those without a disability, while adults with mental illness are nearly four times more likely to be victimized. To read more,click here
Understanding and Treating the Cognitive Dysfunction of Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder in live born children arising as a consequence of a chromosomal abnormality. It occurs as a result of having three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two. It causes substantial physical and behavioral abnormalities, including life-long cognitive dysfunction that can range from mild to severe but which further deteriorates as individuals with DS age. It is not currently possible to effectively treat the cognitive impairments associated with DS. However, these deficits are an increasing focus of research. In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers at Stanford University, led by Dr. Ahmad Salehi, have published a review which highlights potential strategies for the treatment of these cognitive deficits. To read more,click here
Food For Thought..........
One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives
Euripides, Greek playwrite