autism

This week: lupus, autism spectrum disorder and sonography

May 1, 2015

The survival rate for lupus has improved significantly, but treatment of the chronic autoimmune disease remains difficult. That's according to Dr. Andras Perl, division chief of rheumatology at Upstate Medical University.

Lupus can affect almost any organ of the body and patients can suffer flares that last for days or months. But with new drugs on the horizon, the outlook for lupus patients is brighter today than it was 20 years ago, says Perl. He talks about the increasing use of indicators called biomarkers to measure a patient’s response to treatment.

A Syracuse University professor is beginning a study of the sensory issues many children with autism face.  More than 70 percent of autistic children have sensory issues, like extreme sensitivity to sound or light. 

Natalie Russo, of Syracuse University’s psychology department, says there isn’t much research on the issue and she’s hoping a study funded with a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will find out how these issues fit in with a disorder that affects 1 out of every 88 children.

Sue Weisler/RIT

It’s exactly what it sounds like. "Wearable technology" involves sensors that are worn in something like a bracelet that gather information and sends the data to a computer via Bluetooth. This technology is now being developed for use across a range of health-related applications. New research suggests that it could be used to help prevent seizures in people living with epilepsy.

The effects of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December that killed 26 children and staff, lingers in the psychological community. It's one reason Syracuse University's psychology department is hosting a panel discussion Monday night focusing on different aspects of the psychology of school violence. One presenter is worried how this tragedy could end up further stigmatizing mental illness.

Joanna Richards

About one in 88 children in America are thought to have some form of autism. Usually, the illness that affects communication and social abilities is diagnosed when autistic children show slower language development than other kids. But a team at Clarkson University in Potsdam is hoping their research into the disease might make earlier diagnosis and intervention possible.