Researchers continue to add pieces to the autism puzzle. By studying mice, researchers at UT southwestern in Dallas have found a gene they believe may cause the symptoms. After removing that gene from a section of the brain involved in learning and memory, the mice without the gene were much less likely to interact with other mice, mothers were less likely to care for their children, and their brain structure was similar to the brains of people with autism. While not all of the symptoms of autism were displayed, the Dallas researchers are hoping this will help them close in on the region of the brain involved in the disorder. Published in the may 4 issue of "neuron."
Would you buy a baby Einstein video if it could make your baby smarter? Parents today spend a lot of money on educational videos for their babies to listen and learn. The companies that make the videos claim they can help nurture important skills like cause and effect communication. But the American academy of pediatrics recommends that kids under age two should not watch TV or videos at all. And now, a children's advocacy group called the campaign for a commercial-free childhood wants the FTC to stop those video companies from making subtle claims that their baby videos can make a baby smarter. "They're marketed on the basis that they're educational and will speed along the child's development in every area but they have no proof to back up those claims what so ever," said Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint a psychiatrist. In fact, Dr. Poussaint says letting children under two watch videos may be harmful because the best way to enhance a child's development is through interaction. He says a TV screen is two dimensional but interaction and playtime use all the senses. You can see, hear, touch, taste smell everything that really has to do with learning.