On June 5, 2013 the International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism) held the conference, “Autism: Cutting Edge Research and Promising Treatment Approaches,” at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in conjunction with Montefiore Medical Center.
From neurology to psychology and everything in between, the speakers presented studies on the many aspects of autism research and treatment methods. Dr. Eric Hollander, Director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center and Chairman of the ICare4Autism Advisory Council discussed Inflammation, Temperature and Personalized Therapeutics of ASD. His studies suggest, “Oxytocin has potent effects on social cognition and lower order repetitive behaviors and clinical response may be magnified in syndromal forms of ASD.”
Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D., of HarvardMedicalSchooland the Massachusetts GeneralHospital, presented her research, Taking a Fresh Look at Autism: Chronic Dynamic State, not Fixed Trait. Dr. Herbert is the Director of the TRANSCEND Research Program (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) with key interests in the concept of autism as a “dynamic encephalopathy (changeable) rather than a static encephalopathy (fixed for life).
Dr. Gary Steinman, Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, presented Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism at Birth. Dr. Steinman’s studies suggest the potential for addressing autism by looking at the role of depressed IGF (insulin-like growth factor) at birth. He is collaborating internationally to develop a protocol for early identification of autism.
Non-verbal until age 4 and diagnosed with autism himself, Dr. Stephen Shore of Adelphi University presented Special Ways and Techniques (SWAT) for Achieving Meaningful Inclusion. Dr. Shore is a self-advocate who promotes early intervention andeducational strategies to embrace difference and access learned knowledge through unconventional, yet creative and effective, means.
Dr. Alisa Woods from Clarkson University presented Protein Biomarkers in Autism Spectrum Disorders, where she discussed using mass spectrometry to identify protein biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder, which may have a variety of purposes including diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Her group has identified more putative autism biomarkers than have been previously described in the literature.
Carlos A. Pardo, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, presented on Exploring the Immune-Brain Interactions in Autism: A Look at Cytokines-Chemokines Networks. Theoharis C. Theoharides, M.S., Ph.D., M.D., of Tufts University School of Medicine, spoke about Activated Mast Cells Secrete Innate Pathogens Causing Focal Brain Inflammation Reversed by Methoxyluteolin. Akeksandra Djukic, M.D., Ph.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Tri-State Rett Syndrome Center at Montefiore Medical Center discussed Communication Deficits in Rett’s Syndrome. Dr. Nathaniel Heintz, Ph.D. of John Hopkins University School of Medicine presented A Role for 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in ASD? and Dr. Sophie Molholm of Albert Einstein College of Medicine discussed Electrophysiological Mapping of Sensory Processing and Multisensory Integration in Autism.
Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Founder & CEO of ICare4Autism reported on ICare4Autism Global Autism Initiatives including the Global Autism Center that will be opening in Jerusalem in 2017.
The event was streaming live and is now available to view on Autism Brainstorm’s website, www.autismbrainstorm.org, as well as ICare4Autism’s website, www.icare4autism.org.
ICare4Autism is a New York City based non-profit organization that works to facilitate communication and collaboration between medical and educational specialists worldwide with the aim to alleviate autism spectrum disorder. Together we can uncover the etiology of autism, design successful intervention strategies, and innovate sustainable inclusion practices for persons with autism.