We Have Science on the Brain!
As part of our mission to support medical science and research, Science Care donors are involved a variety of research projects dealing with the human brain. Even though many diseases and conditions affecting the brain have no cure, thanks to Science Care donors, medical researchers and institutions like the Miami Brain Endowment Bank™, more is being learned each year and the research looks promising.
In support of “National Autism Awareness Month” (April), we asked Deborah C. Mash PhD – Founder and Director, University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank™ to give us the details on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is rising. The CDC now estimates that 1 in 68 children are affected with an ASD.
Autism spectrum disorder is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Some children have repetitive behaviors, interests and activities. These children are impaired in social, occupational and other areas of childhood development and functioning.
ASD is now defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a single disorder that includes disorders that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.
The term “spectrum” in ASD refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. Although “Asperger’s syndrome” is no longer a diagnosis, it is generally thought that this condition is a mild form of the disorder.