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Archive for June 22nd, 2011

 

Should you disclose Asperger’s in the workplace?


 

Article Date: 22 Jun 2011 – 1:00 PDT


Did you ever make mud pies as a kid? Remember how good it felt to get your hands in the dirt, to run through the sprinkler, and get pollen from a sweet-smelling flower on your nose? Most kids who grow up in cities today never have this experience. But the latest research is about to change all that.



Jill Litt, PhD, author and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado Boulder has been studying neighborhoods and health over the past decade. Litt ‘s research has shown that places such as community gardens matter in terms of neighborhood quality and people’s health. “Community gardens may provide a way to enhance neighborhood environments while also promoting health and well being through economic, social and physical changes. Gardens yield fresh food, bring ‘nature’ to urban areas, bridge ethnically, economically and age diverse communities, promote neighborhood beauty, build skills and knowledge of everyday life, strengthen community capacity and one’s sense of community, and promote active and healthy lifestyles” said Litt.

Read in Full:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/229236.php

 



 

Wallowing in the bath, immersed in soothing warm water, the benefits are more than sensuous, they’re social too. That’s according to John Bargh and Idit Shalev, researchers at Yale University, whose new research shows that physical warmth can compensate for social isolation. Indeed, their study suggests that people subconsciously self-comfort against loneliness through the use of warm baths and showers.

 

Among 51 undergrads, those who reported being more lonely also tended to bath or shower more often, to do so for longer and with warmer water. Overall, 33.5 per cent of the variation in these measures was accounted for by loneliness. A similar result was found for a community sample of 16 women and 25 men. Perhaps lonely people simply have more time to take baths because they go out less, but the association with preferring warmer water is harder to explain away.

 

A second study confirmed the causal role that physical temperature can play in people’s sense of social warmth. Students conducted what they thought was a product test of a small therapeutic pack, which was either warm or cold. Those who evaluated the cold pack, holding it in their palm, subsequently reported feeling more lonely than those who tested a warm version of the pack.


Read More …

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2011/06/feeling-lonely-have-bath.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BpsResearchDigest+%28BPS+Research+Digest%29



 

By Psych Central News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 19, 2011


Two popular antipsychotic medications made by Johnson & Johnson — Risperdal and risperidone — have been recalled due to possible contamination with a chemical used to treat the wood pallets the drug is often transported on.


The drug is from the Johnson & Johnson-owned subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals.


The recall was prompted by reports from two consumers of an odd odor emanating from their medication. Johnson & Johnson tracked the odor down to trace amounts of TBA (2,4,6 tribromoanisole).


According to Johnson & Johnson, TBA is a byproduct of a chemical preservative sometimes applied to wood often used in the construction of pallets on which materials are transported and stored.


While not considered to be toxic, TBA can generate an offensive odor and a very small number of patients have reported temporary gastrointestinal symptoms when taking other products with this odor.


As it relates to Risperdal and risperidone, there have been no reported serious adverse events caused by the presence of TBA.


The antipsychotic drug is commonly used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar mania in teens and adults, and the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder in children and teens.


Two lots are affected by the recall. The Risperdal lot was shipped to pharmacies between 8/27/2010 and 2/15/2011 and the risperidone lot was shipped to pharmacies between 11/10/2010 and 1/01/2011. The recalls are for Risperdal tablets 3mg, Bottles of 60 Tablets (Lot #0GG904, expiration 5/2012) and risperidone tablets 2mg, Bottles of 60 Tablets (Lot #OlG175, expiration 8/2012).


Johnson & Johnson warns that patients should not stop taking their medication.


Instead, anyone experiencing an uncharacteristic odor associated with Risperdal 3mg Tablets or risperidone 2mg Tablets should return the tablets to their pharmacist, and contact their healthcare professional if they have questions.


Patients or healthcare professionals can contact the Medical Information Recall Line at 1-800-634-8977 (Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm ET). Information can also be found on www.risperdal.com and www.patriotpharmaceuticals.com.


Investigation Into the Contamination


According to information supplied by Johnson & Johnson, they conducted an investigation involving suppliers to evaluate the potential source of this TBA issue.


Read in Full:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/06/18/recall-of-antipsychotics-risperdal-risperidone-issued/27056.html



 

Jun 17, 2011


If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, you may be wondering whether you should opt for behavioral therapy or medication to treat Asperger Syndrome.


Several years ago, the FDA approved risperidone or Risperdal for the treatment of “irritability in

autistic children,” but the drug has serious side effects especially for boys.


People with Asperger Syndrome have a different “brain wiring,” and Asperger falls on the autism spectrum. However, it’s not a disease or a medical condition. If a psychiatrist wants to prescribe a medication such as Risperidone, it will be for symptoms such as aggression or accompanying disorders not for social awkwardness.


One of my friends with a son with Asperger Syndrome had him on Risperidone. Because of the side effects such as impotence and massive weight gain that can lead to diabetes, many parents are skeptical about allowing their child with autism to take Risperidone.


Here are some key facts about Risperidone as a medication to “treat” Asperger Syndrome …:


Why Risperidone is prescribed


In most cases, Risperidone, an antipsychotic, is used to treat schizophrenia in adults as well as children 13 and older. Psychiatrists may prescribe it to treat mania for those with bipolar disorder. For autistic children ages 5-16, Risperidone may be used to reduce aggression.


Side effects of Risperidone


In addition to extreme weight gain and impotence in men, Risperdal may cause dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, heartburn, stomach pain, drowsiness, anxiety, agitation, difficulty urinating, vision problems, insomnia. Symptoms that may require immediate attention from emergency personnel include confusion, fever, muscle stiffness, rash, hives, fever, sweating. Other adverse events reported include pituitary tumors in males.


Read in Full:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8153759/dark_side_of_risperidone_for_boys_with.html?cat=5



Scales of Justice, Human Rights

 

MPs are calling for British citizens facing extradition to be given greater rights – equal to the protection afforded to Americans under the UK-US treaty.


The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) says the Government should renegotiate the UK’s extradition agreement with the US.


US authorities should be required to show enough evidence to establish probable cause before a Briton can be extradited, the committee said in a report.


Judges also need the power to refuse extradition requests if the alleged offence took place wholly or largely in the UK, the MPs and peers said.


The report follows a series of high-profile cases, including that of retired businessman Christopher Tappin and alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon – campaigners have argued it would be best for both men to be tried in the UK.


And now a teenager suspected of masterminding a global computer hacking plot from his bedroom could face a fight against extradition to the US.


Ryan Cleary was arrested at his family home in Essex yesterday as part of a Scotland Yard and FBI probe into LulzSec, a group claiming responsibility for hacking attempts on the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, the US Senate and the CIA.


Home Secretary Theresa May has said a review of the UK’s extradition arrangements is looking at whether the UK-US treaty is “unbalanced” and a report is expected later this summer.


Critics of the Extradition Act 2003 argue it is unfair for the US to require “sufficient evidence to establish probable cause” before agreeing to extradite anyone to the UK, while Britons are not afforded the same protection.


Dr Hywel Francis, chairman of the JCHR, said the UK’s current safeguards were “clearly inadequate” and were failing to protect human rights.


The committee also urged the Government to “urgently renegotiate” the UK-US treaty to ensure extradition requests are refused if “the UK police and prosecution authorities have already made a decision not to charge or prosecute an individual”.


It referred to the cases of terror suspect Babar Ahmad and the so-called NatWest Three.


Mr Ahmad, 37, was arrested in the early hours of December 2, 2003, on suspicion of leading a group that provided support for al Qaeda and other fundamentalist networks.


He was never charged in relation to his arrest but has spent nearly seven years in British prisons without trial awaiting extradition to the US for alleged terrorism offences.


And the NatWest Three – Gary Mulgrew, Giles Darby and David Bermingham – fought and lost a four-year battle against extradition to the US over allegations of conspiring with former Enron executives to dupe the bank out of $20m.


The men admitted one charge of wire fraud and were sentenced to 37 months in jail.
Judges should play a more active part in extradition cases to ensure their role “is more than only ‘rubber stamping’ extradition requests”, the committee said.


Making countries show there is a case to answer first would reduce the likelihood “that a person could be extradited on speculative charges or for an alleged offence which they could not have committed”.

 

Former home secretary David Blunkett, who signed the Extradition Act, has admitted that he may have “given too much away” to the Americans.


Michael Caplan QC, who represented former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in his extradition case, called for the Home Secretary to defer all contentious decisions until she has considered the JCHR report and the findings of the review.


“Any changes to our extradition procedure should take place without delay,” he said.


“Extradition itself is a draconian measure that should be reserved for only the most deserving of cases,” he added.


Source:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/calls-overhaul-us-extradition-treaty-034058335.html



 

Published on Wednesday 22 June 2011 21:40


“A foolproof test for autism in adults and children is “a major step” closer,” The Daily Telegraph has reported. The newspaper says that the new brain scan “can detect the condition with almost 100 per cent accuracy”.


The news is based on research that compared brain scans of 30 male children and adults with high-functioning autism with 30 matched males with the same IQ but typical development. Scientists found that using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to examine enhanced details of brain cell fibre patterns allowed them to detect subtle structural differences in the brains of the two groups, specifically within two areas associated with language and social cognition. When they concentrated on six characteristic differences the scientists were able correctly to identify a person with autism 93.6% of the time and to identify individuals without autism correctly 89.6% of the time.


Although this research is a useful preliminary step in finding a biological measure that can distinguish between autistic individuals and typically-developing individuals, further research is needed to see whether these findings apply to a broader group of people with autism, such as those with more severe autism, women and younger children.


Where did the story come from?


The study was carried out by researchers from Harvard Medical School and was funded by The National Institutes of Health in the US. It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Autism Research.


The research was covered accurately by The Daily Telegraph, although further validation is required before this method could be used as a clinical test. The Daily Mail reported that a brain scan has been developed that could “diagnose autism in children in just ten minutes”, allowing the condition to be detected at a much younger stage so children could begin therapy and treatment before they start school. This research only conducted MRI scans on individuals over seven years of age, including fully grown adults. Therefore, it is not possible to say whether this technique would be able to detect autism in younger individuals as successfully as conventional methods.


Read in Full:

http://www.garstangcourier.co.uk/news/health/scans_find_autistic_brain_changes_1_2831008



 

Assistive technology devices are simple or advanced devices that can help in improving the quality of life of those suffering from disabilities. In this article, we will look into the types of assistive technology for autism and the benefits of using assistive technology for autistic individuals.


The term ‘assistive technology’ refers to devices or products that are used for maintaining or improving the functional capabilities of people suffering from physical disabilities or developmental disorders. The development of a wide range of computer devices for the physically challenged has made the lives of people with disabilities much better. These devices have given them access to the vast information that is available on the web pages.

 

There are various types of disabilities that can affect children and adults, and the nature of the disability one may be suffering from needs to be considered while selecting an assistive technology device. Individuals diagnosed with any condition that is classified under the autism spectrum disorders, have impaired communication and often find it hard to relate to others and form relationships, which is why, augmentative communication devices can certainly help such individuals communicate in a better way. The main objective behind using such devices is to improve the communication skills of autistic children and help them become self-reliant. In this article, we would look at some of the common types of assistive technology for autism.


The Need for Assistive Technology for Autistic Children
Before I tell you more about the assistive technology devices for autistic children, let me give you a brief overview on autism. Autism is a developmental disorder that develops in early childhood. Classic autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism, Rett’s syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder are all developmental disorders that are grouped under the autism spectrum disorders. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction and repetitive behavior patterns. Such children are unable to relate to others, and understand their perspective. They often end up being friendless due to their inability to express themselves or reciprocate. Children affected by autism often face problems in acquiring language skills. Since autistic children often face difficulty while learning languages and are unable to react properly in social situations, there is a great need to find ways to help them learn. This is where assistive technology for autism comes into picture. There are various types of devices that can help such children learn to communicate better. Given below is some information on the wide range of assistive technology devices for autistic children.


Types of Assistive Technology for Autism
Visual representation systems have often proved helpful in helping such autistic children acquire language and social skills. Objects, photographs or drawings are often used so as to help the child identify objects or persons. Picture Exchange Communication System is one such simple augmentative communication tool that can help autistic children. These are a stack of picture cards that are bound together. These picture cards may contain pictures explaining the child’s daily routine or the activities the child needs to perform. Since autistic children may have trouble maintaining eye contact, through these visual cues, the child can get a basic idea about things that must be remembered. Similarly, the child can also use visual cues or picture cards to tell others what he/she wants to say. Once the child grows older, simple battery-operated devices such as voice output communication devices, tape recorders or projectors can be used for improving the child’s communication skills.


Read in Full:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/assistive-technology-for-autism.html



 

By Beth Anspach, Contributing Writer 3:07 PM Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Cassie LeDuc graduated from Stebbins High School this year after spending her junior and senior year there. Prior to moving to Ohio, she lived two years in Italy and, like most military kids, has seen a lot of the world.


“My mom is a retired Air Force officer and worked as an operating room nurse,” LeDuc said. “I was born into a military family, and have visited just about every European country and have lived all over the United States.”


It’s also the life LeDuc wanted for herself as an adult. Which is why she decided to enroll in the AFJROTC program in high school her freshman year in Italy. And though she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, at the age of 15, LeDuc excelled academically and continued to plan for a future in military service.


“My mom was transferred to Wright Patterson and I was pretty nervous about coming to America, but excited too because I would be graduating from high school in the States,” LeDuc said.


LeDuc’s Asperger’s never held her back. “The diagnosis helped me understand why I went from having a bunch of friends to having very few friends,” she said. Asperger’s is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and, according to LeDuc, most people with the syndrome have higher levels of intelligence. “I never had any problems in school,” LeDuc said. “I always had an ability to comprehend things much faster and most people, including my teachers, would never know anything was wrong with me.”


As LeDuc progressed through her two years at Stebbins in the ROTC program and flourished, her academic successes made her eligible for a full Navy ROTC scholarship. She graduated with a 3.81 grade point average and, as a result, was awarded the scholarship.


“I had decided to attend Norwich University in Vermont to study physics,” LeDuc, who had planned a career in the Navy, said. But within a few weeks she received notification that her scholarship was being revoked due to medical reasons since no branch of the military will take an Asperger’s patient.


“It was very disappointing,” LeDuc said. And though LeDuc suspected her Asperger’s might disqualify her, she had been working to get a waiver earlier in the school year and she does have a back-up plan.


“I’m attending Wright State University in the fall to study nursing,” LeDuc said. “I know the military needs nurses, and if have my degree in nursing my hope is that I will get my waiver.”


Source:

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/community/dayton/local-grad-hopes-to-join-military-despite-autism-diagnosis-1190264.html?cxtype=rss_dayton