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Monthly Archives: March 2012

New Autism Diagnostic Criteria May Encourage Symptomatic Approach to Drug Use

The fifth edition of the DSM–the “Holy Grail” of diagnosing psychiatric disorders–proposes the umbrella term of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), replacing the current “autistic disorder.” ASD will incorporate current diagnoses of Asperger syndrome, pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder, thereby eliminating these diagnostic distinctions.

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The Mirror in Your Brain

The mirror neuron system in your brain influences your emotions when you watch another human being. Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) might not have this system working properly.

Impaired social functioning is one of the main symptoms of ASD. Those with the greatest social impairment have been shown to also have the lowest brain activity in the mirror neuron system.

In a study published in the March 2012 edition of the journal Biological Psychiatry, 34 participants with ASD and 36 participants without ASD watched hand gestures while the team of researchers monitored their brain activity. The brain activity was studied using transcranial magnetic stimulation, a complex non-invasive method of monitoring brain activity. Read more ›

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