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Latest treatments, possible causes of autism to highlight press conference


WHAT: Press conference at the opening of the sixth International Meeting for Autism Research in Seattle.

WHO: Dr. Eric Fombonne, head of the department of psychiatry at Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Center.

Dr. Manuel Casanova, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, assistant professor of psychiatry, Seaver Center and New York Autism Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 3, 2007.

WHERE: Cedar Room, Seattle Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

DETAILS: Researchers from around the world who are searching for the causes of autism and developing treatments for the developmental disorder will discuss new findings. Fombonne will present details of a new Canadian study concerning the possible link between mercury and autism, as well as a treatment called chelation that is designed to remove heavy metals such as mercury from children’s bodies. Casanova will discuss the role mirror neurons may have in autism. Mirror neurons are brain cells that are activated when a person sees a particular action performed by someone else. These cells have been linked to a person’s ability to feel empathy and to learn by imitation, traits that are often limited or missing in people with autism. Anagnostou will describe preliminary results from a treatment that uses the brain hormone oxytocin to improve social functioning and reduce repetitive behaviors.


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