Home Page > Article > New Research Regarding Mental Illness and Autism

Sensory-Motor interventions may improve behavior in boys with autism, finds a study led by scientists at the University of California, Irvine. Researchers assigned 28 autistic boys ages 3 to 12 to either standard behavioral therapy for autism or standard behavioral therapy supplemented with daily environmental enrichment exercises involving different combinations of sensory stimuli for touch, temperature, smell, sight and movement. After six months, 42% of the children in the enrichment group significantly improved in behaviors such as relating to people and responding to sights and sounds, compared with 7% of the standard care group. Please read the full article (Behavioral Neuroscience, online May 20).

People with schizophrenia and those with bipolar disorder both have a specific brain disruption, finds research led by scientists at the Yale School of Medicine. Investigators used fMRI to examine the interactions between the thalamus and other areas of the brain and found that communication was significantly altered between the thalamus and prefrontal cortical areas in people with either disorder, adding to evidence that distinct mental illnesses may have biological similarities. Please read the full article (Cerebral Cortex, online July 3). New research continues to provide us with more valuable information for these populations.

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