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Harvard University To Launch Center For Autism Research
Autism and related disorders—a constellation of neurodevelopmental conditions affecting one in 59 children in the United States alone—have become one of modern medicine’s most confounding mysteries. The condition is believed to arise from the complex interplay between genes and environment, yet its basic biology remains largely a black box.
Now, a new research effort at Harvard University led by Harvard Medical School is poised to identify the biologic roots and molecular changes that give rise to autism and related disorders with the goal of informing the development of better diagnostic tools and new therapies. Harvard University has received a $20 million gift from philanthropists Lisa Yang and Hock Tan, an alumnus of Harvard Business School, to establish The Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at Harvard Medical School. The latest gift brings the total autism-rel
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App To Improve Lives Of Older Adults Is Set For First Major User Tests
A new app that aims to improve the functional lives of older adults is about to get its first major user tests.
Developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) through a collaboration that began in 2015 between the College of Nursing, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Art, Art History & Design, the app is called mPACT, for mobile Physical Activity Training.
It integrates low impact physical activity in the form of chair exercises with colorful brain training games that have been proven to improve cognitive function and mind-body coordination. Participants win gold star rewards for their successes and improvements.
“Research has shown that physical activity and brain training will improve cognition,” says Dr. Lenora Smith, an assistant professor of nursing and distinguished educator in gerontological nursing. The new app is the first time anyone has combined
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Hidden Halloween Allergy And Asthma Triggers Are Truly Frightful
For some families, Halloween means being on guard for food allergy triggers like peanuts in tiny candy bars. Some fun-sized bars contain no labels to alert you to allergens, so parents must be on the lookout. The ingredients can change depending on the size, so while a full-size bar might be safe for someone with a food allergy, the smaller version could contain allergens not marked on the package. But peanuts in candy bars aren’t the only hidden allergens kids with allergies and asthma need to watch for to stay alert to Halloween frights.
“Halloween happens in the fall, so trick or treating involves being aware of fall allergies,” says allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “You need to add fall allergy triggers to your list of things to be aware of as you and your child with allergies or asthma prepare for Halloween fun.
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The E-cigarette Backlash
A string of deaths in the United States linked to the use of electronic cigarettes has stirred concern worldwide about their growing popularity among young people and the health risks they pose to millions of users. Now, a multibillion-dollar product held up by some as a safer alternative to tobacco is facing a severe test.
Since last month, a dozen people in the United States have died from a breathing illness that researchers say could be connected to vaping, or the inhaling of vaporized liquid that contains nicotine. More than eight hundred people in the country are reportedly being treated for the illness.
More than twenty countries already have some sort of ban on e-cigarettes. Several U.S. states and cities have also at least temporarily or partially banned the products, including Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York. Now, countries with the largest markets fo