What to know about skin picking

People may pick their skin occasionally. For example, they might itch a scab or pop a pimple. However, occasional skin picking can develop into a chronic behavior called skin picking disorder, or excoriation disorder.

The exact cause of skin picking disorder remains unknown. That said, it may develop alongside other health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism.

Skin picking disorder can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and overall health.

Full story at Medical News Today

Study: Signs of autism may show up as early as first month

The first signs of autism may be visible as early as the first month of a child’s life, according to a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

“These are the earliest signs of autism ever observed,” says lead study author Warren Jones.

Researchers at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta followed 110 children from birth to age 3, at which point a diagnosis of autism was ascertained. Fifty-nine babies were considered “high risk” for developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they had siblings with autism; 51 were considered “low risk” because they did not have first, second or third-degree relatives with ASD.

Data was collected at 2, 3, 4 ,5, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 24 months of age. Each time, the children watched videos showing actresses playing the role of a caregiver. “Every baby watched the same videos, and then we could measure what was different about the responses of infants later diagnosed with autism versus infants who were typically-developing,” Jones says.

Lack of eye contact is one of the red flags when it comes to autism – a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

Full story of autism showing up in first months at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Breastfeeding Possible Deterrent to Autism

In an article appearing in Medical Hypotheses on September 20, a New York-based physician-researcher from the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine has called for the testing of umbilical cord blood for levels of a growth protein that could help predict an infant’s propensity to later develop autism.

Based on an analysis of findings in prior published studies, Touro researcher Gary Steinman, MD, PhD, proposes that depressed levels of a protein called insulin-like growth factor (IGF) could potentially serve as a biomarker that could anticipate autism occurrence.

His research points to numerous prior studies that powerfully link IGF with a number of growth and neural functions. Dr. Steinman — who has also conducted extensive research into fertility and twinning — further points to breastfeeding as a relatively abundant source of the protein. He says that IGF delivered via breastfeeding would compensate for any inborn deficiency of the growth factor in newborns.

If the IGF-autism hypothesis is validated by further study, Dr. Steinman says, an increase in the duration of breastfeeding could come to be associated with a decreased incidence of autism.

Full story of breastfeeding and autism at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

QUANTUM UNITS EDUCATION: New CE Credits from our APA Approved Sponsor

Quantum Units Education has added 8 new CE Courses to our APA Sponsor approved category. These courses are for APA Approval Only. Certificates issued for these courses will bear the name of our APA approved sponsor TeachMe Professional Development, a subsidiary owned by Quantum.

NEW QUANTUM LOGOBe sure to check our newly, updated state approval page to ensure your board accepts APA approval prior to taking these courses:

New! Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

New! Borderline Personality Disorder-Promoting Resiliency and Recovery

New! Core Competencies for Addressing The Treatment Needs of Women and Girls

New! Engaging Culturally Diverse Children and their Families in Mental Health Services

New! Intimate Partner Abuse and Sexual Violence

New! Parent-Child Interaction Therapy With At-Risk Families

New! The Impact of Underage Drinking

New! Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

More on CE Courses offered, visit Quantum Units Education

Potential Role of ‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin in Brain Function Revealed

In a loud, crowded restaurant, having the ability to focus on the people and conversation at your own table is critical. Nerve cells in the brain face similar challenges in separating wanted messages from background chatter. A key element in this process appears to be oxytocin, typically known as the “love hormone” for its role in promoting social and parental bonding.

In a study appearing online August 4 in Nature, NYU Langone Medical Center researchers decipher how oxytocin, acting as a neurohormone in the brain, not only reduces background noise, but more importantly, increases the strength of desired signals. These findings may be relevant to autism, which affects one in 88 children in the United States.

“Oxytocin has a remarkable effect on the passage of information through the brain,” says Richard W. Tsien, DPhil, the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. “It not only quiets background activity, but also increases the accuracy of stimulated impulse firing. Our experiments show how the activity of brain circuits can be sharpened, and hint at how this re-tuning of brain circuits might go awry in conditions like autism.”

Full story oxytocin the love hormone at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education