Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gene Find Sheds Light On Motor Neuron Diseases Like ALS

image of DNA
ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2008) — Scientists have identified a gene in mice that plays a central role in the proper development of one of the nerve cells that goes bad in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and some other diseases that affect our motor neurons.

The study is the result of a collaboration by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center who normally focus on the eye, working together with a developmental neuroscientist at Harvard who focuses on the cerebral cortex. The work appears in the Oct. 23 issue of the journal Neuron.

The work centers on corticospinal neurons, crucial nerve cells that connect the brain to the spinal cord. These neurons degenerate in patients with ALS, and their injury can play a central role in spinal cord injury as well. These are the longest nerves in the central nervous system – nerves sometimes several feet long that run from the brain to the spinal cord. As the ends of the nerves degenerate, patients lose the ability to control their muscles.

To view this entire article, please click on the title above.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Space Tech Prosthetic Leg Helps To Reach Long-jump World Record

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2008) — German athlete Wojtek Czyz, running with a space-tech enhanced prosthetic leg, set a new world record at the Paralympics 2008 in Beijing, reaching an amazing 6.50 m and beating the previous world record by 27 cm.

In spring 2004, ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme (TTP) technology broker MST Aerospace met with Wojtek Czyz and his trainer to perform a pre-screening of the most crucial elements of the prosthesis used by Czyz. Having lost part of his left leg three years before in a sports accident, he now uses a prosthesis in two athletic disciplines: long jump and sprint competitions.

"The objective was to see how to improve his performance, and we found the most important problem was related to a connection angle, the so-called L-bracket, between the knee joint and the foot module," explains Dr Werner Dupont, MST Aerospace Managing Director.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

ADHD Appears To Increase Level Of Nicotine Dependence In Smokers

smoked cigarette
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2008) — Young people with ADHD are not only at increased risk of starting to smoke cigarettes, they also tend to become more seriously addicted to tobacco and more vulnerable to environmental factors such as having friends or parents who smoke, according to a study from Massachusetts General Hospital reseachers.

The report in the Journal of Pediatrics also found that individuals with more ADHD-related symptoms, even those who don't have the full syndrome, are at greater risk of becoming dependent on nicotine than those with fewer symptoms.

"Knowing that ADHD increases the risk of more serious nicotine addiction stresses the importance of prevention efforts aimed at adolescents and their families," says Timothy Wilens, MD, director of the Substance Abuse Program in the MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology Department, who led the study. "It also gives us clues about how the neurotransmitter systems involved in ADHD and tobacco use may be interacting."

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Hope For Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers

image of medicine
ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2008)-A drug which was developed in Cambridge and initially designed to treat a form of leukaemia has also proven effective against combating the debilitating neurological disease multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study, led by researchers from the University of Cambridge, has found that alemtuzumab not only stops MS from advancing in patients with early stage active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) but may also restore lost function caused by the disease. The findings were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Alemtuzumab has a long connection with Cambridge, England. In 1984, Cambridge scientist Cesar Milstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, jointly with George Kohler, for inventing the technology to make large quantities of a desired type of monoclonal antibody.

To view the entire article, please click the title above.

NFB Launches “Project VIP” to Help Blind Voters on Election Day!

image of vote logo
National Federation of the Blind Launches
“Project VIP” to Help Blind Voters on Election Day

Voting Specialists Will Provide Advice and Assistance to Blind Voters

Baltimore, Maryland (October 21, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for the voting rights of blind people, announced today that it is launching Project VIP (Voting with Independence and Privacy), a toll-free hotline that will be available to blind voters across the United States on Election Day. The purpose of the hotline is to help blind voters who are experiencing problems voting independently and privately as required by the Help America Vote Act. The National Federation of the Blind will have voting specialists on call to provide support to blind voters who call from their polling locations and to assist in troubleshooting problems with nonvisual voting technology. If a blind voter is unable to vote independently and privately, the voting specialists will record details such as the city, state, and polling location. The information from situations that cannot be resolved during a phone call to the Project VIP hotline will be referred to the proper authorities for follow-up action.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “There is no right that is more fundamental in a democratic nation than the right to vote, and the 2008 presidential election is the first election in which blind Americans are guaranteed the right to cast their vote for president independently and privately. The National Federation of the Blind is setting up Project VIP to ensure that every blind voter can exercise this historic and invaluable right, for which blind Americans have fought and will continue to protect.”

On November 4, blind voters who experience problems voting independently and privately are urged to call 877-NFB-1940 (877-632-1940) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST). The voting specialists answering this number will assist the blind voter and/or the poll worker in resolving the issue. Voters are urged to call directly from their polling location to resolve voting issues rather than simply reporting problems after they occur.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Epilepsy Develops: New Relationship Between Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor And Inflammatory Signaling

epileptic brain
ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2008) — In the October 14th edition of Science Signaling researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine have shown that the development of epilepsy in adult rats is linked to functional changes in the expression of alpha 1 containing GABA-A receptors, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor in the brain, that may be dependent upon BDNF-induced activation of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway.

Activation of the JAK/STAT pathway has previously been shown to be dependent upon cytokines and is implicated in a large number of inflammatory diseases

The multiple subunits of the GABA-A receptor show developmental and region specific expression in the brain and produce a diverse set of functional receptor isoforms. Drs. Shelley Russek, a molecular neuroscientist/pharmacologist from Boston University School of Medicine and Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, a pediatric neurologist researcher from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, believe that changes in inhibitory receptors in a portion of the brain known as the dentate gyrus may be crtically important to the development of temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common type of epilepsy in children and adults. Decrease of GABA-A receptors containing alpha 1 subunits at the synapse, and increase of receptors containing alpha 4, has been associated with spontaneous seizures.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Enabling The Blind To Find Their Way

blind man walking
ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2008) — “Eyes on the future” is the mantra of the ‘World Sight Day’ held this month to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment. New technologies, developed by European researchers offering the visually impaired greater independence, live up to this vision.

Many of the most innovative systems have been created by a consortium of companies and research institutes working in the EU-funded ENABLED project.

The project has led to 17 prototype devices and software platforms being developed to help the visually impaired, two of which have been patented.

Guide dogs, canes, Braille and screen readers that turn digital text into spoken audio all help to improve the lives of the blind or severely visually impaired, but none of these tools can make up for having a friend or relative accompany a blind person around and assist them in their daily life. However, a human helper is not always available.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parents Still Fear Autism Could Be Linked To Vaccines, Poll Shows

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2008) — The first national survey of attitudes toward autism reveals that a small but significant percentage of people still believe the disease is caused by childhood vaccines. The survey of 1000 randomly selected adults was conducted for the Florida Institute of Technology.

Nearly one in four (24 percent) said that because vaccines may cause autism it was safer not to have children vaccinated at all. Another 19 percent were not sure. This at a time when the Centers for Disease Control reports that autism affects one in 150 children born in the United States.

Scientists say there is no evidence linking vaccines and autism, but the lingering fear is leading to fewer parents having their children vaccinated and a growing number of measles infections. The New York Times reported in August that measles cases in the first seven months of 2008 grew at the fastest rate in more than a decade and cases in Britain, Switzerland, Israel and Italy are said to be soaring.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Movement Restored To Paralyzed Limbs In Monkeys Through Artificial Brain-muscle Connections

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2008) — Researchers in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have demonstrated for the first time that a direct artificial connection from the brain to muscles can restore voluntary movement in monkeys whose arms have been temporarily anesthetized.

The results may have promising implications for the quarter of a million Americans affected by spinal cord injuries and thousands of others with paralyzing neurological diseases, although clinical applications are years away.

"This study demonstrates a novel approach to restoring movement through neuroprosthetic devices, one that would link a person's brain to the activation of individual muscles in a paralyzed limb to produce natural control and movements," said Joseph Pancrazio, Ph.D., a program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Couples With Children With ADHD At Risk Of Higher Divorce Rates, Shorter Marriages

divorce decree

ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2008)
— Parents of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are nearly twice as likely to divorce by the time the child is 8 years old than parents of children without ADHD, the first study to look at this issue in depth has shown.

Moreover, among couples in the study who were divorced, marriages involving children with ADHD ended sooner than marriages with no ADHD-diagnosed children.

William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., professor of psychology and pediatrics at the University at Buffalo and director of UB's Center for Children and Families, is senior author on the study. Pelham is known internationally for his ADHD treatment and research, and each year conducts UB's Summer Treatment Program, a highly successful behavior-modification program that has helped hundreds of children with ADHD and has been replicated nationwide.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Learning Disabilities Association of SC Conference

logo of learning disabilities association of south carolina
Dr. Russell Barkley, internationally known authority on the topic of ADHD, will be the keynote speaker for a conference titled “Reaching and Teaching the Struggling Learner” on Saturday, November 1, 2008, at the Columbia Conference Center in Columbia, SC. Dr. Barkley will speak on “Managing ADHD in the Classroom.” The conference is presented by the Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina and cosponsored by the State Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children. Breakout sessions will focus on practical strategies and information that teachers at all levels can use to help struggling learners.

When: November 1st, from 8am to 4pm
Where: Columbia Conference Center in Columbia, SC.
How much: Registration is $75 and $50 for students with student ID.

The registration form can be completed at or by clicking the title above.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


image of puzzle
Dear Friends,

If you love someone with autism, please, contact your state representative and senator NOW and encourage them to maintain funding for the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) Waiver/State- Funded Program. The PDD Waiver provides early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services in the form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to children with autism spectrum disorders in South Carolina.

Without the PDD Waiver, hundreds of children with autism across S.C. will be denied the right to live the highest quality and most independent, integrated, and inclusive lives possible.

Not every parent can afford $50,000+ a year for ABA.
Not every child is eligible for insurance coverage through Ryan's Law.
And not every parent can afford the insurance deductibles and co-payments (when their child is eligible for services through Ryan's Law).
It's NOT too late!

Please, visit the following website, follow the simple instructions, and send your personal message to your state representative and senator:


You just answer a few fill-in-the- blank questions, press a button, and our web site will send a unique and personalized e-mail to your legislators. That's all. It should only take you a few minutes. Best of all, you don't have to search through http://www.scstateh to find your legislators because the system automatically detects them from your mailing address.

By doing this, you can give hundreds of children living with autism in South Carolina an opportunity to bridge the developmental gaps with their same-age, typically developing peers -- and a chance to live independently, pursue meaningful careers and relationships, enjoy self-determination and self-sufficiency, and experience full inclusion and integration in society.

Thank you for your help.

Chris Landrum
Proud father of a six-year-old son with autism

Click on the link above, for more information.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fine Balance: Class Of Spinal Cord Neurons Makes Sure That Sides Of Body Don't Get Ahead Of One Other

V3 neurons
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2008) — Once a toddler has mastered the art of walking, it seems to come naturally for the rest of her life. But walking and running require a high degree of coordination between the left and right sides of the body. Now researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have shown how a class of spinal cord neurons, known as V3 neurons, makes sure that one side of the body doesn't get ahead of the other.

The findings, published in the Oct. 9 issue of Neuron, mark an important milestone in understanding the neural circuitry that coordinates walking movements, one of the main obstacles in developing new treatments for spinal cord injuries. In addition to establishing a balance between both sides of the body, they found that the V3 neurons ensure that the stepping rhythm is robust and well-organized.

"In the case of cervical spinal cord injuries, the spinal network that drives your limbs and allows you to walk is still there but no longer receives appropriate activating inputs from the brain." says Martyn Goulding, Ph.D., a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, who led the study. "The fact that the V3 neurons are important for generating a robust locomotor rhythm makes them good candidates for efforts aimed at therapeutic intervention after spinal cord injury."

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Swamping Bad Cells with Good in ALS Models Helps Sustain Breathing

stem cells
ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2008) — In a disease like ALS - one that's always fatal and that has a long history of research-resistant biology - finding a proof of principle in animal models is significant.

This week, Johns Hopkins researchers report that transplanting a new line of stem cell-like cells into rat models of the disease clearly shifts key signs of neurodegenerative disease in general and ALS in particular - slowing the animals' neuron loss and extending life.

The new work supports the hypothesis that artificially outnumbering unhealthy cells with healthy ones in targeted parts of the spinal cord preserves limb strength and breathing and can increase survival.

An account of the work appears online this week in Nature Neuroscience.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Parents Press States for Austism Insurance Laws


CHICAGO – In Washington state, Reza and Arzu Forough pay more than $1,000 a week for behavior therapy for their 12-year-old autistic son.

In Indiana, Sean and Michele Trivedi get the same type of therapy for their 11-year-old daughter. But they pay $3,000 a year and their health insurance covers the rest.

Two families. Two states. Big difference in out-of-pocket costs.

If autism advocates get their way, more states will follow Indiana's lead by requiring health insurers to cover intensive and costly behavior therapy for autism.

In the past two years, six states — Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana — passed laws requiring such coverage, costing in some cases up to $50,000 a year per child.

The powerful advocacy group Autism Speaks has endorsed bills in New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan and is targeting at least 10 more states in 2009, including New York, California and Ohio.

Other states, including Illinois, have similar bills in the works but aren't working directly with Autism Speaks.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Friday, October 17, 2008


PLEASE CALL: 1-800-759-4776

3:00 pm
“Is Your Child a Target of Bullying?” Workshop
P.O.P.S. – Parent Support Group
Lancaster County Library
(Meeting Room)
313 S. White Street
Lancaster, SC 29720

Tanya M. Inabinet, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 2, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
* Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Marlboro County DSS Office
713 S Parsonage Street
Bennettsville, SC 29512

PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
* Individualized Education Program (IEP) Workshop
Dillon DSS Office
1211 Highway 34 West
Dillon, SC

PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Hampton County DDSN
294 Hampton Road
Varnville, SC 29944

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

9:30 am - 10:30 am
PRO-Parents of SC Overview Workshop
Cecil A Tillis Center
2111 Simpkin Lane
Columbia, SC 29204

Tanya M. Inabinet, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 2, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Marion / Dillon County DDSN
400 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Marion, SC

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Anderson DDSN
214 McGee Road
Anderson, SC 29625

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
* Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Jasper DSS Office
10908 Jacob Smart Blvd
Ridgeland, SC

PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project

9:00 am - 11:00 am
* Positive Behavioral Interventions (PBI) Workshop
Anderson Mentor
201 South Murray Avenue
Suite 200
Anderson, SC 29624

Susan Bruce, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 3, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688


9:00 am - 3:00 pm
* Linking Families With Special Education Workshop
Marion County DSS
137 Airport Road
Mullins, SC

PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids Project


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
* Communication Workshop
Edgefield DSS
120 W. A. Reel Drive
Edgefield, SC 29824

Melinda Hawk, PRO-Parents of SC
South Carolina Special Kids
Project Coordinator

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
ADD / ADHD Workshop
Legacy Outreach
2290 Highway 56
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Gayle Munn, PRO-Parents of SC
Region 1, Education Coordinator
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688

9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004
Midlands Technical College – Airport Campus
Academic Center
1260 Lexington Drive
West Columbia, SC 29170

Heather Watson-Kelley, PRO-Parents of SC
To register call: 1-800-759-4776 or (803) 772-5688
* Parent / Foster Parent Scholarships Available.

Helping People With Disabilities Make Use Of Public Transport

image of bus
ScienceDaily — In an ideal world, all buses would be wheelchair friendly and train timetables would be available as audio recordings for the visually impaired. Reality has yet to catch up with that vision, so instead European researchers have developed a personal navigation aid to help disabled people make use of public transport.

By letting disabled people know in advance which bus routes, subway lines or rail links are disabled friendly, people with disabilities can plan journeys that they may otherwise be unable to make unassisted. Once on the move, location-based services accessed via a smart phone or handheld computer can highlight points of interest, warn them of potential obstacles and let them change their itinerary as needs be.

“Until you meet with disabled people and talk to them about their needs it is hard to imagine just how difficult using public transport is,” notes Gary Randall, a researcher at BMT in the United Kingdom. “They are scared of finding themselves isolated, of being abandoned in the world.”

To view the entire article, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Project Lifesaver

logo of project lifesaver
In keeping with his desire to provide service to every citizen, no matter the need, Sheriff Leon Lott researched and obtained information on a great program that could safeguard our "at risk wanderers" within our communities.

In 2007, Project Lifesaver was introduced to Richland County citizens. Currently there are nine clients registered with the program and personnel from Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Precious Elderly) go out each month and change the batteries and wrist bracelets for our clients.

Project Lifesaver is the only organization that is allowed to electronically track human beings. It was designed to protect our "at risk wanderers" who suffer from Alzheimer's, children of Autism and those with Down Syndrome and other brain disorders which may lead them to wander. Today, Project Lifesaver has conducted over 1,600 searches with a 100% recovery rate.

Presently in South Carolina, Project Lifesaver agencies are: Richland County Sheriff's Department (the state coordinator agency), Aiken/North Augusta, Horry County/Myrtle Beach and Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

The concept is very easy. A caregiver would call Project Hope, who does our client management, and lets them know they are interested in enrolling their loved one in the program. Project Hope would send out one of their techs and make a home visit. There, the caregiver would receive the paperwork on the program and would be advised of the conditions of the program. If the caregiver/loved one are accepted to the program, they will receive a transmitter for their loved one. If a client wanders off from their caregiver, the caregiver will call a predetermined number from the program and activate Project Lifesaver. Responding officers will use their training, equipment and knowledge of the program to bring that loved one home.

Richland County Sheriff's Department does not charge Richland County residents or their loved ones who are "at risk wanderers" to be on the program. All required paperwork, contracts, doctor exams and follow ups have to be completed before a client is admitted into the program.

Anyone with questions or who may think this program would benefit your family (or if you would like to sponsor a client) to contact either Retired Captain John Edward at 803-576-3183, Corporal Amanda Lee at 803-513-3438, or Senior Deputy Patty Weed at 803-576-3191 for information.

For more information, please click the title above.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Excel with Excel!

Excel logo

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Excel with Excel! 8:30am – 12:30pm Fast Forward Community Technology Center 3223 Devine Street, Columbia

Presenter: Elizabeth Bagley, Ed.D., Client Advocate,

This workshop will teach participants how to utilize some of the features of Microsoft Excel that often go undiscovered by teachers. Participants will learn the basics of Excel and then discover how to transform the standard spreadsheet into a teaching tool. Excel contains many features and formulas that, when used correctly, are beneficial for many students AND teachers.

Students with learning disabilities need to be careful not to practice incorrect answers. This workshop will show how Excel can offer students independent study opportunities and instant feedback for skill practices across disciplines. Teachers will learn how to make worksheets to assist in the tedious and repetitive number crunching task of averaging grades. Participant’s role will be interactive and hands-on.

(Note: This workshop is being taught in Excel 2003. Similar features in Excel 2007 may be accessed differently.)

Participants will learn the following Excel basics:
* The Excel Window
* Explanation of a Workbook versus a Worksheet
* Rows/Columns/Cells
* Menus (and the “most important” functions in them)
* Shortcut Keys
* Toolbars (how to view them, how to move them)
* Formula bar
* What displays in a cell versus what is really in a cell
* Selecting cells, rows and columns
* Selecting individual cells that aren’t continuous
* Moving cells, rows, and columns
* Formatting cells (number, alignment, font, patterns)
* Borders versus Gridlines
* Protection
* Format Painter
* Introduction to formulas (simple ones)
* Sorting Data

Participants will learn the following formulas needed for different teacher tools:
* Blank cell
* Yes/No results
* Results between two numbers
* Averaging grades (number grades)
* Averaging grades (letter grades)
* Indicator lights

Participants will learn the following teacher projects:
* Create a Gradebook
* Create Interactive Displays
* Skill Reviews
* Quizzes/Tests
* Attendance Sheets
* Forms: (Placement Charts (seating charts), Number Charts/Multiplication Charts, Calendars

Registration and Cost: There is no fee to register for this class, but pre-registration is required. Attendance is limited to 18.

To register for this workshop:
* Option 1: Complete the online registration form
* Option 2: Email Sally Young at
* Option 3: Call Sally Young at (803) 935-5263 or 800-915-4522.
* Option 4: Fax your registration information to (803) 935-5342. Please include your name, organization, address, email address, phone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

ADHD Stimulant Treatment May Decrease Risk Of Substance Abuse In Adolescent Girls; Results Mirror Findings In Boys

prescription drugs
ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2008) — Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have found that treatment with stimulant drugs does not increase and appears to significantly decrease the risk that girls with ADHD will begin smoking cigarettes or using alcohol or drugs.

Their report in the October Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine parallels the findings of several earlier studies in boys, which needed to be confirmed in girls.

"Girls with ADHD actually tend to get into trouble with substance abuse earlier than do boys with the disorder, so confirming those results was not simply academic," says Timothy Wilens, MD, director of the Substance Abuse Program in the MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology Department, who led the study. "This is also one of the first naturalistic studies showing reduced risk of cigarette smoking in adolescents being treated for ADHD and is consistent with a 2006 prospective trial of ours that found that participants receiving stimulant treatment had less risk of smoking than those not receiving stimulants."

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

October is Disability Awareness Month

image of kids playing

October is Disability Awareness Month

October is Disability Awareness Month. The Office of Student Disability
Services will be hosting several informational drop-ins designed for
faculty and staff who have little time to spare, but still would like to
be informed and updated on the disabilities and learning differences of
some of our students. You may also tour the new Assistive Technology Lab
to view the latest in Assistive Technology.

Below is a schedule of dates, topics and times of our informational

October 14th Blind/Visual/ Deaf/Hard of Hearing Impairments
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

October 16th Psychiatric Disabilities
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

October 21st ADD/ADHD/Learning Disabilities
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

October 23rd Physical Disabilities and other Health Impairments
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Office of Student Disability Services is located in LeConte College
at the corner of Pickens and Greene Streets. You will find us in Room
112A, first floor.

If the drop-in dates are not convenient for you, please feel free to
contact the office (777-6142 or TDD 777-6744) to schedule a time more
convenient for you. You may also contact our office by e-mail at

Dr. Karen R. Pettus and staff are looking forward to meeting and working
with you.

Accessibility is Everyone's Responsibility

The Office of Student Disability Services providing students with
documented disabilities equal access to campus-wide services

Submitted by: Dorothy Prioleau

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Tool To Assess Speech Development In Infants, Toddlers With Hearing Impairments

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — The number of hearing impaired infants and toddlers who are successfully aided by technological devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, continues to grow, but there are still unknowns about these children's speaking abilities, according to a Purdue University expert.

A new assessment tool, a game-like activity to monitor early auditory-guided speech development in infants and toddlers, is available for speech-language pathologists, said David Ertmer, the tool's co-creator and an associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences.

"We have universal newborn hearing screenings, which are mandatory in more than 40 states, to thank for identifying hearing issues immediately. Some children receive hearing assistance when they turn 1," said Ertmer, who specializes in early speech and language development in children with hearing losses. "Given the growing number of infants identified with hearing loss through newborn hearing screenings, there is a pressing need for a reliable and practical way to estimate how improved hearing affects listening and vocalizing during the first years of life."

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Researchers Propose Minocycline As A Promising Drug For Patients With Fragile X Syndrome

fragile x
ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2008) — A UC Riverside-led team of biomedical scientists has found that a readily available drug called minocycline, used widely to treat acne and skin infections, can be used to treat Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental impairment and the most common cause of autism.

The study's findings have already impacted future therapies, with the approval of a new clinical trial in Toronto, Canada, that will test minocycline in patients with Fragile X.

Neurons in the brain communicate with each other at specialized contact sites called synapses, with many of these synapses occurring on small mushroom-shaped structures called dendritic spines.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Autism Efforts Go Global at U.N. Forum

Ban Soon-taek
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Seeking to make the world of autism a little smaller, members of the international diplomatic community gathered Friday at the United Nations World Focus on Autism.

"Not too long ago, those affected by autism-related disorders were set aside, placed in institutions, or dismissed as untreatable lost cases," explains Ban Soon-taek, chair of the Forum and wife of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. "Today, sadly this reality is still prevalent in some parts of the world."

Ban called for the professional community and society as a whole to become more involved, compassionate and accepting of this complex condition and stressed the importance of early intervention for every child in the world who lives with autism.

To view this complete article, please click the title above.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cochlear Implants In Children A Safe Procedure, Study Suggests

image of ear
ScienceDaily— In the six decades since French and American surgeons implanted the first cochlear hearing devices, the procedure in children has become reliable, safe, and relatively free of severe complications, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.*

The study, conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, determined that out of 155 cases of pediatric implantation between 2001 and 2006, the rate of the most common complications in patients was below 3 percent, with only 25 total complications observed during that period. The most common complication was related to local surgical wounds in the ear flap. Furthermore, the rate of device failure, which was cited as the most common complication in previous studies, was very low in this study.

The researchers stress that it is critical that patients undergo a lifetime of continuous follow-up.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Olfactory Bulb Glial Cell Transplant Preserves Muscles In Paraplegic Rats

image of muscles
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2008) — Researchers from the “Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM), Córdoba University and the “Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia” (CSIC) have analysed the degree of preservation in the skeletal muscles of paraplegic rats treated with a transplant of Olfactory bulb glial cells (OBG).

Spinal chord injuries represent a serious and irreversible handicap that is sadly frequent in our society. Because of the permanent break in the nervous connections between the brain and the organs and muscles, such injuries impair their movement inducing atrophy and deterioration while they disturb organic functions.

The pioneering studies carried out by Santiago Ramón y Cajal established that while nerve cells from the peripheral nervous system (PNS) have the capacity to repair themselves, the same does not apply to adult brain cells and spinal cord cells from the central nervous system (CNS). The difference is not in the nerve cells themselves but in the cellular enviroment that gives them support - the glial cells.

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Nanoparticles Used To Deliver Treatment For Brain, Spinal Cord Injuries

image of brain
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — Purdue University researchers have developed a method of using nanoparticles to deliver treatments to injured brain and spinal cord cells.

A team led by Richard Borgens of the School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Paralysis Research and Welden School of Biomedical Engineering coated silica nanoparticles with a polymer to target and repair injured guinea pig spinal cords. That research is being published in the October edition of the journal Small.

The team then used the coated nanoparticles to deliver both the polymer and hydralazine to cells with secondary damage from a naturally produced toxin. That research was published in August by the journal Nanomedicine.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Prom King with Down Syndrome Goes to College

Zach Wincent
(CNN) -- Marget Wincent has never met Sarah Palin, but she hopes the Republican vice presidential candidate will respond to her recent e-mail. Wincent said she encouraged Palin, whose son Trig has Down syndrome, to "get that little guy on skates when he's a couple years old, and enjoy those snowmobile rides."

"Sometimes you're scared as a parent, and you wonder if your child is going to be able to do this and this and this," Wincent said recently. "And you know what? You just go out and try it, and you live each day at a time, and you celebrate all the great things that happen."

Wincent's own son Zach, now 19, also has Down syndrome. But the genetic disorder, which causes intellectual disabilities and other difficulties, has not prevented "Zach Attack" from enrolling in community college, climbing the Great Wall of China, coaching hockey games or becoming Prom king in high school.

As many as 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year in the United States, according to People with Down syndrome have extra genetic material from the 21st chromosome, the result of abnormal cell division during development.

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