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Autism Awareness: April 2014

Dr. Insel describes new scientific findings on autism, including new CDC prevalence data, being reported just as Autism Awareness Month begins.

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A Growth Chart for the Mind

Dr. Insel talks about a just-published paper that offers the first picture of a growth chart for cognitive development. As long-term studies add information on different facets of cognitive function, such a map has the potential to be just as vital a tool for evaluating growing children as charts for height, weight, and head circumference.

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Infantile Amnesia

Dr. Insel describes how insights from research into why we do not retain memories from the first four years of life may help shed light on many aspects of memory.

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The New Genetics of Autism – Why Environment Matters

Dr. Insel discusses how new research may help tie together seemingly disparate findings in genetic vs environmental risk factors in autism spectrum disorders.

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Autism Prevalence: More Affected or More Detected?

Dr. Insel discusses the CDC's latest report on autism prevalence.

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From Paresis to PANDAS and PANS

Dr. Insel discusses the connection between mental disorders and infection in light of pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders PANS and PANDAS.

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Join the Revolution

Dr. Insel discusses the state of science and math education in the U.S., scientific literacy, and Brain Awareness Week.

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Highlights in Autism Progress -- for April, Autism Awareness Month

Today, the start of Autism Awareness Month, inspires us to focus on the highlights of our research progress, and look ahead to further strengthening our investigative efforts.

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May 6th: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May is Mental Health Month and this year NIMH teams up with SAMHSA to celebrate and promote Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 6th. Dr. Insel talks about how mental illnesses are the chronic diseases of the young.

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Diagnosis: Pediatric Bipolar Disorder?

NIMH is working to better define the boundaries of pediatric bipolar disorder, discover its causes and develop more effective treatments for such mood related syndromes affecting youth. Cross-cutting comparisons of mania-related and other forms of irritability and functional brain imaging studies will help to disentangle these syndromes so that clinicians can provide children with the best care. Our goal is nothing less than pre-emtive interventions and cures.

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Autism Progress

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has made a substantial commitment to research designed to discover autism’s causes and improve diagnosis and treatment. Not only has NIMH become the lead institute for autism research at NIH, we have become the largest single source of funding for autism research in the country.

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NIMH’s Response to New HRSA Autism Prevalence Estimate

On October 5, 2009, researchers with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Massachusetts General Hospital published a new estimate of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children in the United States. Published online ahead of print in Pediatrics, the new estimate that roughly 1 in 90 U.S. children ages 3–17 were given an ASD diagnosis in 2007 is significantly higher than previous reports.

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