Three review articles in the May 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online April 4) examine the scientific evidence behind medical, behavioral and developmental interventions for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The studies, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, examined research published between 2000 and May 2010 on ASD interventions for children ages 12 and younger. Researchers found strong evidence for a few treatments, but also a critical need for additional studies to pinpoint specific approaches that are most effective for individual children.
Researchers at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy led by Mattia Maroso and colleagues have found that giving mice repeated doses of a specific enzyme inhibitor significantly reduced both chronic epileptic activity and acute seizures.
A newly published report reveals that children with epilepsy are more likely to have psychiatric symptoms, with gender a determining factor in their development. Findings showed that girls had more emotional problems, while boys had more hyperactivity/inattention problems and issues regarding peer relationships. Details of this study in Norwegian children are now available online in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy.
Carbamazepine causes various forms of hypersensitivity reactions, ranging from maculopapular exanthema to severe blistering reactions. Researchers have now identified a gene, called HLA-A*3101, in Caucasian patients that increases the risk of developing a reaction to the drug from 5% to 26%.
Researchers at Concordia University have pioneered a computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures as they occur - a new technique that may open a window on the brain's electrical activity. Their paper, "A Novel Morphology-Based Classifier for Automatic Detection of Epileptic Seizures," presented at the annual meeting of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, documents the very successful application of this new seizure-detection method.