Welcome to The Visible Embryo

Home- - -History-- -Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- --Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy- -- Pregnancy Calculator- --Female Reproductive System- News Alerts -Contact

Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development awarded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grants to develop The Visible Embryo. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than ' million visitors each month.


WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new Web site to help researchers, doctors and patients obtain reliable information on high-quality clinical trials. Now you can go to one website and search all registers to identify clinical trial research underway around the world!



Home

History

Bibliography

Pregnancy Timeline

Prescription Drug Effects on Pregnancy

Pregnancy Calculator

Female Reproductive System

Contact The Visible Embryo

News Archive
Disclaimer: The Visible Embryo web site is provided for your general information only. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for medical, legal or other professional advice. Neither is The Visible Embryo responsible or liable for the contents of any websites of third parties which are listed on this site.
Content protected under a Creative Commons License.

No dirivative works may be made or used for commercial purposes.

Return To Top Of Page
Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
Search artcles published since 2007

October 29, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


Children who received the intervention exhibited greater brain activation when
viewing faces rather than objects, a response that was typical of the normal
children in the study, and the opposite of the children
with autism who received another intervention.

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Autism Early Intervention Found to Normalize Brain Activity in Children as Young as 18 Months

An intensive early intervention therapy that is effective for improving cognition and language skills among very young children with autism also normalizes their brain activity, decreases their autism symptoms and improves their social skills, a nationwide study has found

Researchers said the study is the first to demonstrate that an autism early intervention program can normalize brain activity.

"We know that infant brains are quite malleable and previously demonstrated that this therapy capitalizes on the potential of learning that an infant brain has in order to limit autism's deleterious effects," said study author Sally Rogers, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute.

"The findings on improved behavioral outcomes and the ability to normalize brain activity associated with social activities signify that there is tremendous potential for the brains of children with autism to develop and grow more normally," Rogers said.


Published online in the Journal of the American
Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
,
the randomized, case-controlled, multi-centered study:
"Early behavioral intervention is associated with normalized brain activity in young children with autism,"
found that the children who received the intervention
exhibited greater brain activation when viewing faces
rather than objects, a response that was typical of the
normal children in the study, and the opposite of the
children with autism who received another intervention.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children born today will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Hallmarks of the neurodevelopmental condition include persistent deficits in social communication and relatedness, and repetitive or restrictive patterns of interest that appear in early childhood and impair everyday functioning.

Named the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), the intervention method was developed by Rogers and Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of the research and advocacy organization Autism Speaks. The therapy fuses a play-based, developmental, relationship-based approach and the teaching methods of applied behavioral analysis.

"This may be the first demonstration that a behavioral intervention for autism is associated with changes in brain function as well as positive changes in behavior," said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study. "By studying changes in the neural response to faces, Dawson and her colleagues have identified a new target and a potential biomarker that can guide treatment development."

For the present study, the researchers recruited 48 diverse male and female children diagnosed with autism between 18 and 30 months in Sacramento, Calif., and in Seattle, as well as typically developing case controls. The ratio of male-to-female participants was more than 3-to-1. Autism is five times more common among boys than girls.

Approximately half of the children with autism were randomly assigned to receive the ESDM intervention for over two years. The participants received ESDM therapy for 20 hours each week, and their parents also were trained to deliver the treatment, a core feature of the intervention. The other participants with autism received similar amounts of various community-based interventions as well as evaluations, referrals, resource manuals and other reading materials.


At the study's conclusion, participants' brain activity
was assessed using electroencephalograms (EEGs)
that measured brain activation while viewing social
stimuli – faces – and non-social stimuli – toys.
Earlier studies have found that typical infants and
young children show increased brain activity when
viewing social stimuli rather than objects,
while children with autism show the opposite pattern.

Twice as many of the children who received ESDM
intervention showed greater brain activation when
viewing faces rather than when viewing objects –
a demonstration of normalized brain activity.

Eleven of the 15 children who received the ESDM
intervention, 73 percent, showed more brain activation
when viewing faces than toys. Similarly, 12 of the 17
typically developing children, or 71 percent, showed
the same pattern.

But a 64 percent majority of recipients in the community intervention showed the opposite, "autistic" pattern,
i.e., a greater response to toys than faces.
Only 5 percent showed the brain activation
of typical children.


Further, the children receiving ESDM who had greater brain activity while viewing faces also had fewer social-pragmatic problems and improved social communication, including the ability to initiate interactions, make eye contact and imitate others, said MIND Institute researcher Rogers. Use of the ESDM intervention has been shown to improve cognition, language and daily living skills. A study published in 2009 found that ESDM recipients showed more than three times as much gain in IQ and language than the recipients of community interventions.

"This is the first case-controlled study of an intensive early intervention that demonstrates both improvement of social skills and normalized brain activity resulting from intensive early intervention therapy," said Dawson, the study's lead author and professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "Given that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all 18- and 24-month-old children be screened for autism, it is vital that we have effective therapies available for young children as soon as they are diagnosed."

"For the first time," Dawson continued, "parents and practitioners have evidence that early intervention can alter the course of brain and behavioral development in young children. It is crucial that all children with autism have access to early intervention which can promote the most positive long-term outcomes."

Rogers, Dawson and Laurie J. Vismara, also a researcher with the MIND Institute, have authored two books on the intervention. One for professionals is titled "Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism: Promoting Language, Learning, and Engagement" and one for parents titled " An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn."

The ESDM intervention is available in Sacramento through the MIND Institute clinic and in a number of locations throughout the U.S. and other nations. Training in delivering the ESDM method is provided through the MIND Institute and the University of Washington.

Other study authors include Emily J.H. Jones, Kaitlin Venema, Rachel Lowy, Susan Faja, Dana Kamara, Michale Murias, Jessica Greenson, Jamie Winter, Milani Smith and Sara J. Webb, all of the University of Washington, and Kristen Merkle of Vanderbilt University.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and by a postdoctoral fellowship to Jones from Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

At the UC Davis MIND Institute, world-renowned scientists engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research to find the causes of and develop treatments and cures for autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fragile X syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, Down syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. For more information, visit mindinstitute.ucdavis.edu

Original article: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/7079