Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 10:24 PM IST

Autism: When it's more than hearing loss

Updated: Jul 26, 2016 12:45 IST

Washington D.C, Jul 26 (ANI): While the origins of autism remain a mystery, a new study has pointed to the infant hearing loss as a potential predictor.

The University of Rochester researchers identified an inner ear deficiency in children with Autism that may impact their ability to recognize speech. The findings could ultimately be used as a way to identify kids at risk for the disorder at an early age.

"This study identifies a simple, safe, and non-invasive method to screen young children for hearing deficits that are associated with Autism," said co-author Anne Luebke, adding: "This technique may provide clinicians a new window into the disorder and enable us to intervene earlier and help achieve optimal outcomes."

In the study, researchers used a technique that measures what are called otoacoustic emissions. The test is akin to the screening that many newborns must undergo before leaving the hospital to check for hearing problems. Using miniature speaker/microphone earplugs, the researchers were able to measure hearing deficiencies by listening for signs that the ear is having difficulty processing sounds.

They tested the hearing of children between the ages of 6 and 17, roughly half of whom have been diagnosed with ASD. They found that the children with ASD had hearing difficultly in a specific frequency (1-2 kHz) that is important for processing speech. They also found a correlation between the degree of cochlear impairment and the severity of ASD symptoms.

"Auditory impairment has long been associated with developmental delay and other problems, such as language deficits," said co-author Loisa Bennetto. "While there is no association between hearing problems and autism, difficulty in processing speech may contribute to some of the core symptoms of the disease. Early detection could help identify risk for ASD and enable clinicians to intervene earlier. Additionally, these findings can inform the development of approaches to correct auditory impairment with hearing aids or other devices that can improve the range of sounds the ear can process."

Because the test is non-invasive, inexpensive, and does not require the subject to respond verbally, this technique could be adapted to screen infants, an approach that the team is currently exploring.

The study appears in Autism Res earch. (ANI)

Chronic knee pain may be treated online

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 06:41 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 21 (ANI): A study has found out that an online intervention, combining home exercise and pain-coping skills training, provided substantial clinical benefits for patients suffering from chronic knee pain.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): With rising life expectancy, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and surge in incidence of obesity, India is also witnessing a resultant rise in orthopedic problems as a natural corollary.

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Children inherit obesity from parents: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 14:54 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 20 (ANI): A study reveals that 35-40 percent of a child's 'Body Mass Index' - how fat or thin they are - is inherited from their parents.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Good news for all those lazy-headed not-really-a-cleanliness-freak out there! Scientists have found out that the obsession with hygiene could even be turning some beneficial bacteria found in the human gut into "endangered species".

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): In order to persuade someone to quit smoking, it is the 'emotions' that need to be triggered rather than inciting fear in an individual.

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No difference between good or bad diet: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 05:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Ever faced a choice between Brown and white bread?

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 19 (ANI): To boost sustainability of livestock production, a study finds that gene editing - one of the newest and most promising tools of biotechnology - enables animal breeders to make beneficial genetic changes, without bringing along unwanted genetic changes.

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People with ADHD may have smaller brain volume

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 07:09 IST

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Dads-to be face greater risk of depression

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 06:53 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Expecting a baby is always a joyous experience for both the mother and the father, however a latest study has found out that fathers-to-be can be at risk of depression symptoms if they feel stressed or are in poor health.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Do you find it difficult hearing out people at a noisy bar or a restaurant even though you have passed the hearing test with flying colors? Well, you might be secretly deaf!

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): What if we told you that rice has the potential of carrying arsenic and is more than hazardous to feed it to infants!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Now you can save your kid from surgery, as a study shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Cancer patients can improve their quality of life with just 30 minutes of walking, suggests a study.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 17 (ANI): Birth of a baby may be a sweet moment but changing life style of women is posing 'sweet' challenge to it.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 17 (ANI): Good news! A recent study shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.

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'Seagrass' can improve marine water quality

Updated: Feb 17, 2017 07:07 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 17 (ANI): Underwater flowering plants and seagrass meadows known to produce natural antibiotics, can also improve the water quality of sea by suppressing pollution, reveals a study.

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