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Stem Cell Therapy for Autism

DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-5-30

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Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are reaching epidemic proportions, believed to affect approximately 1 in 166 children. Autism, Asperger's syndrome, Rett's disorder, and childhood disintegrae disorder are all encompassed by the term ASD. Autism is the most prevalent ASD, characterized by abnormalities in social interaction, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive, obsessive behavior. Autism may vary in severity from mild to disabling and is believed to arise from genetic and environmental factors. While symptomology of autism may be noted by caregivers around 12–18 months [1], definitive diagnosis generally occurs around 24–36 months, however in some cases diagnosis may be made into adulthood [2]. Determination of autism is performed using the DSM-IV-TR, or other questionnaires and tests. Children with autism appear withdrawn, self-occupied, and distant. Inflexibility in terms of learning from experiences and modifying patterns to integrate into new environments is characteristic of autism. Depending on degree of severity, some children with autism may develop into independent adults with full time employment and self sufficiency; however this is seldom the case.Current treatments for autism can divided into behavioral, nutritional and medical approaches, although no clear golden standard approach exists. Behavioral interventions usually include activities designed to encourage social interaction, communication, awareness of self, and increase attention. Nutritional interventions aim to restrict allergy-associated dietary components, as well as to supplement minerals or vitamins that may be lacking. Medical interventions usually treat specific activities associated with autism. For example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, and clomipramine, are used for treatment of anxiety and depression. Some studies have shown that SSRI's also have the added benefit of increasing social interaction and inhibiti

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