It has long been recognized that autism runs in families, suggesting a substantial genetic component to the disease. Yet few genes have so far been identified and the underlying genetic architecture of autism – that is, how many genes contribute and to what extent they influence a person’s chances of developing the disorder – remains poorly understood.
Archive for December, 2012
For children with autism, being born several weeks early or several weeks late tends to increase the severity of their symptoms, according to new research out of Michigan State University.
Caring for a wife with breast cancer can have a measurable negative effect on men’s health, even years after the cancer diagnosis and completion of treatment, according to recent research. Men who reported the highest levels of stress in relation to their wives’ cancer were at the highest risk for physical symptoms and weaker immune responses, the study showed.
A study, published online in the journal Seizure, reveals that over 33% of patients believed to have intractable seizures were actually presenting stress-triggered symptoms. A team of Johns Hopkins physicians and psychologists found that more than one-third of patients admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit had symptoms caused by stress, rather than a true seizure disorder.
Worrying may have evolved along with intelligence as a beneficial trait, according to a recent study by scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and other institutions.
Stress And How Breast Cancer Patients Manage It Can Affect Brain Function Even Before Chemotherapy Begins
Women undergoing treatment for breast cancer can experience cognitive declines, such as decreased verbal fluency or loss of memory and attention. Often experienced by patients undergoing chemotherapy, the declines have become known as “chemo brain.” However, a health psychologist at the University of Missouri says “chemo brain” isn’t always to blame.
On Tuesday, the U.S. took a critical step forward in addressing the Syrian crisis, as Obama announced his decision to recognize a coalition of Syrian opposition groups as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Yet, this recognition of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is not enough – the announcement is merely an attempt to increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Al-Assad has already made clear that he will respond to threats against him with an “iron hand.” Obama’s statement did not come with commitments to an establishment of a no-fly zone or support of rebel forces with airstrikes or provision of arms. Nor did it extend legal authority of a state to the coalition. Yesterday’s statement did little more than follow on the heels of Britain, France, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, who have already recognized the Syrian opposition coalition.
A new study in Clinical Epigenetics, suggests that the epidemic of autism amongst children in the U.S. may be associated with the typical American diet. The study explores how mineral deficiencies, affected by dietary factors, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), could have a potential impact on how the human body frees itself of common toxic chemicals, for instance, pesticides and mercury.
DOL is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Benefits.gov program and its service to the American public. Formerly, GovBenefits.gov, the program has increased access to information on government benefits. The site’s key feature is the Benefit Finder, a tool that asks users questions about themselves to help them determine which government benefit programs they may be eligible to receive.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has added 52 new Compassionate Allowances (CA) conditions mainly involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases. The CA program speeds up disability decisions to make sure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. SSA is also improving its online disability application process. Learn more about how to apply for disability benefits. If you’ve already filed an application and it was denied you can file an appeal.
Share of Cost, Department of Labor Announces Unprecedented Grant Funding under Employment First Initiative
Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Kathy Martinez announced first-of-its-kind grant funding for four states – Iowa, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington – under the “Employment First” initiative. The effort helps facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities into the workplace and community. Learn more about the four states selected.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the creation of the new Administration for Community Living that will bring together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency. This new agency will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached settlement agreements with Magna Bank in Nashville, TN, and Home Loan Center, Inc. in Irvine, CA, resolving allegations that the two lenders denied mortgage loans to women because they were pregnant and on maternity leave. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination in lending, sales and rental transactions based on a person’s sex, family status, race, color, national origin, religion or disability. HUD announced the discrimination settlements as part of its annual Fair Housing Month commemoration kick-off.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has entered into an agreement with Simsbury, CT, that requires its recreation department to adopt a policy on diabetes management for children attending its summer camp program. A parent complained that the town didn’t provide reasonable modifications to its summer camp program so camp staff could test blood glucose and provide diabetes-related care to his daughter. Under Title II of the ADA, a public entity must provide reasonable modifications for a person with a disability, unless it significantly changes the nature of its service, program or activity.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against CTW L.L.C., a Wendy’s franchisee, for denying employment to a job applicant because he has a disability. The applicant had worked at another fast food restaurant before, but wasn’t hired at Wendy’s because of his hearing impairment. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability, unless it causes significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
Share of Cost, Frontier Airlines Fined for Violating Rules Protecting Air Travelers with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Frontier Airlines for violating the Air Carrier Access Act. A passenger who is quadriplegic needs a restraint to sit upright in an aircraft seat. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits seatbelt extenders as upper body restraints. The passenger did not have an alternative restraint method on his return flight, so he was removed from the airplane. The airline did not accommodate the passenger and also did not give him adequate assistance to get on and off the plane.