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DR. MARTHA HERBERT JOINS AUTISM SPEAKS SAB

Dr_herbertFile this one under "P" for progress, (not pretzels.)  Dr. Martha Herbert has joined the Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Board.

Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and is a Pediatric Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also Director of the TRANSCEND (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Research Program.

Read more from the AS site HERE

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The link with my post doesn't work. Here's the abstract the link would of took you to:

Curr Opin Neurol. 2008 Apr;21(2):143-9.

What is new in autism?
Rapin I, Tuchman RF.
Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, and Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human Development, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA. rapin@aecom.yu.edu

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Autism is now recognized in one out of 150 children. This review highlights the topics within the growing autism literature that are shaping current thinking on autism and advancing research and clinical understanding of autism spectrum disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: The role of single-stranded microdeletions and epigenetic influences on brain development has dramatically altered our understanding of the etiology of the autisms. Recent research has focused on the role of synapse structure and function as central to the development of autism and suggests possible targets of interventions. Brain underconnectivity has been a focus in recent imaging studies and has become a central theme in conceptualizing autism. Despite increased awareness of autism there is no 'epidemic' and no one cause for autism. Data from the sibling studies are identifying early markers of autism and defining the broader autism phenotype. SUMMARY: Larger datasets in genetics, a focus on the early signs of autism, and increased recognition of the importance of defining subgroups of children with autism are leading to a greater understanding of the etiologies of autism. A growing interest in defining the molecular biology of social cognition, which is at the core of autism, will lead to expansion of our presently limited choices of mechanistically based interventions.

PMID: 18317271 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

I see another selectee for the AS SAB that has me shaking my head.

"Roberto Tuchman, M.D., is the Founder of the Miami Children's Hospital Dan Marino Center and Director of the Dan Marino ChildNETT (Neurodevelopmental Evaluation and Treatment Teams). He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Miami School of Medicine and is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Nova Southeastern University".

Back in early 2001 and just months after receiving my son's diagnosis , I attended a presentation for parents given by Dr. Tuchman at Florida Atlantic Univerisity in Boca Raton. After all these years I'll never forget two things Dr. Tuchman stated.

The first was that he didn't think there was an autism epidemic in South Florida at all and it was simply a matter of him diagnosing more kids because he opened the Dan Marino Autism Center. Sort of like saying..."if I build it they will come".

The second thing I recall was his response to a young mother's question regarding the gluten and casein free diet, "There's no proof it works...I don't recommend it". I was shocked by this. My son had been on the diet about two months at this time and we had seen a wonderful things with it including hearing words once again. I wanted to scream out "but there's no proof it doesn't work either" but I didn't as these were the days I still held a favorable opinion of doctors like him.

I am also aware that this is the same guy who had committed himself to appear on a local TV program about autism but withdrew when he learned a DAN! Pediatrician would also be on the show.

"Despite increased awareness of autism there is no 'epidemic' and no one cause for autism" - Dr Tuchman April 2008.
http://tinyurl.com/5e7c6w

Way to go AS! WTF were you thinking?

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