Published by: Medical X Press
Written by: Kyoto University
Down syndrome is mostly known for the learning disabilities it causes, but patients typically suffer from a wide number of ailments. One is the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Using iPS cells from Down syndrome patients, a new study by CiRA researchers suggests that the molecular signs of Alzheimer’s disease result from higher oxidative stress in neurons and that antioxidants could have therapeutic effects.
Healthy individuals have 23 pairs of chromosomes, with one chromosome in each pair inherited from the mother and the other from the father. Down syndrome is caused by trisomy 21, in which chromosome 21 has three copies instead of the normal two. Among the many genes in this chromosome is amyloid precursor protein, or APP. The APP protein is a precursor of beta-amyloid, which makes up the plaques that are commonly seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
“The extra copy of the gene increases the expression of APP and the subsequent production of beta-amyloid, and many Down syndrome patients with cognitive impairment show high levels of beta-amyloid plaques,” explains CiRA Associate Professor Megumu Saito, who led the study. Click here to read the rest of the story
Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that children on the autism spectrum who have impaired executive functioning skills, which help control thoughts, emotions, and actions, can face challenges at school that are different from the ones they face at home.
Additionally, as children experience adolescence, problems with executive functioning can worsen, suggesting the need for more intervention supports. This is the first study of its kind to examine how these skills are impacted specifically in a school setting. The findings were published in the journal Autism.
Executive functioning skills encompass a variety of key abilities like keeping information in mind, flexibly shifting focus or breaking from a routine, and ignoring irrelevant information. These skills are often impaired in children on the autism spectrum, and the extent of impairment can predict how they perform in school and their ability to carry out daily activities such as hygiene or keeping their room clean.
While caregivers have identified significant executive function challenges in the home setting, there are no large studies where school personnel rated executive function skills for children on the autism spectrum. Click here to read the rest of the story.
The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of Tourettte Syndrome and co-occurring conditions on school methods.
Data was taken from information reported by parents from the Natioanal Survey of Children’s Health. Children with Tourette Syndrome were compared with those who never had Tourette Syndrome on school measures
Tourette Syndrome severity and co-occurring conditions are associated with school challenges and educational service needs.
Awareness among health care providers, teachers and parents of the potential challenges related to both Tourette Syndrome and co-occurring conditions would help to support the child’s education.
Claussen, A.H.; Bitsko, R.H.; Holbrook, J.R.; Bloomfield, J.; Giordano, K.; (2018). Impact of Tourette Syndrome on School Measures in a Nationally Representative Sample. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 39(9) 335-342.
If you’ve ever wondered whether you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’re not alone.
When many people hear the term “ADHD,” they often think of how it presents in children. They may not even know that ADHD also impacts adults.
In fact, the misconception that it doesn’t affect adults is part of the reason why ADHD is not effectively diagnosed after childhood. People with ADHD might not realize that the symptoms can be present into adulthood.
In fact, studies have shown that 50% to 80% of children with ADHD carry it on to adolescence, and another 35% to 65% then carry it into adulthood.
It was a common belief that ADHD disappeared in adulthood, and this was probably because ADHD looks different in adults than it does in children, and its symptoms were overlooked. The truth is, researchers believe that at least 75% of adults who have ADHD don’t even know that they have it.
So, what does it look like? Here are some of the subtle signs you may have ADHD.
1. Having an altered sense of time
One of the hallmarks of ADHD is “living in the now.” People with ADHD find it hard to keep track of time. They’re often late for appointments, can’t accurately estimate how long it will take for them to complete a task, and leave complicated tasks until the last minute. This is referred to as “time blindness.”
The reason this happens, according to researchers, is that the brain’s prefrontal cortex — which is responsible for executive functioning — doesn’t work as well at managing focus and behavior in adults with ADHD.
This is also the part of the brain that helps you plan for the future. It’s what allows you to prepare yourself for what’s coming next and plan how much time you have to realistically complete tasks.
If that part of the brain isn’t functioning properly, then you’re unable to accurately look into your future.
As a comparison, think of people who are nearsighted: They can only read things that are near to their face. Similarly, people with ADHD sometimes have difficulty anticipating and preparing for future events. The farther away an event is, the harder it is to deal with it.
2. Lack of executive functioning skills
For people with ADHD, time management isn’t the only difficulty. Other executive functioning skills can be challenging too, making it hard to manage the details of your life.
A person with ADHD will find it difficult to organize their thoughts and manage their schedule. You’ll likely also struggle with planning and prioritizing the order of tasks that you’re supposed to do, which can make it hard to meet deadlines.
While the level of executive functioning will vary from person to person, all folks with ADHD will find some challenges in each of the following categories when it comes to doing tasks or assignments:
organizing, prioritizing, and getting started
concentrating and staying focused, as well as shifting your attention to a new task
staying alert, maintaining the same level of effort, and understanding what you’re doing
managing your frustration and emotions
holding and using multiple pieces of information at once, and remembering things you’ve read or learned
Alistair Sims, who runs the Books on the Hill store in Somerset, has published the Both Press series of books adapted to help dyslexic adults enjoy reading.
Alistair Sims loves running a bookshop but never intended to set up a publishing company. After years of waiting for existing publishers to bring out titles aimed at adults who like himself have dyslexia, however, he decided to blaze a trail.
In his independent store, Books on the Hill in Clevedon, North Somerset, Mr Sims has always stocked a range of books by Barrington Stoke, a Scottish publisher which specialises in titles for children and teenagers who are dyslexic, or lack confidence in reading.
But with around 6.3 million dyslexic people in the UK – about 10 per cent of the population – it never sat right with Mr Sims that dyslexic adults were so poorly catered for. Click here to read the rest of the story.