Cognition and Autism
A London-based study has found that some of the cognitive weaknesses associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)—especially theory of mind—may improve for some children. Researchers assessed the executive function and central coherence of 37 children with ASD and 31 typically developing children when they were 5Р6 years old and again three years later. The children with ASD exhibited the same profiles typically associated with ASD, but most of them had improved considerably in the areas of theory of mind.
B Vitamins and the Brain
An ongoing research project shows reason to believe that B-6, B-12, and folate may play a role in preventing brain function decline. The study, which includes research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the University of California-Davis Medical Center, has analyzed the blood of almost 1,800 volunteers, ages 60 to 101, since 1996. Blood samples with lower levels of B vitamins and folate were associated with symptoms of dementia and poor brain function. Low folate levels in the women were associated with symptoms of depression. Search "B vitamins; aging" at the USDA's website.
Biomarker for Alzheimer's
Biomarkers in blood serum may, when combined with clinical information, accurately classify an Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis. Researchers analyzed the serum proteins in 197 patients diagnosed with AD and 203 patients without AD. Biomarkers in the serum correctly identified 80% of the individuals with AD and accurately excluded 91% of the individuals without AD. Go to JAMA's Archives of Neurology for more information.