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Latest News Around the Web

Most Kids With Autism Go Undiagnosed Until After Age Three

Scientific American (4/5, Zamzow) runs a Spectrum article reporting, “Most children with autism go undiagnosed until after age three, and many of these children remain undiagnosed until after they reach school age,” researchers found in a large study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “Screening Status Quo Misses Most Children with Autism,” Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, April 5, 2017.

Death Penalty Targets Those Who Have Mental Illnesses

In a detailed, nearly 1,300-word analysis piece in the Washington Post (4/3), Frank R. Baumgartner, the Richard J. Richardson distinguished professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Betsy Neil, who is about to graduate from UNC at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science, write that the majority of Americans “oppose the death penalty for” people with mental illness.

Research conducted by Baumgartner and Neil, however, “suggests that the death penalty actually targets those who have mental illnesses.” The authors go on to make the case that those “who are executed have a far higher rate of mental illness than” members of “the general public,” using in their piece a graph that “compares the prevalence of the different diagnoses of these executed inmates with that in the general public, as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health.”

Related Links:

— “Does the death penalty target people who are mentally ill? We checked.,” Frank R. Baumgartner and Betsy Neill, Washington Post, April 3, 2017.

“Super-Agers” Lose Less Brain Volume Than Regular Seniors

AFP (4/4, Sheridan) reports that research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests certain older people “known as “super-agers” lose less brain volume than regular seniors, which may help them stay sharp.” Investigators found “that super-agers, 80 and older, have a significantly thicker brain cortex than people who are aging normally.”

HealthDay (4/4, Thompson) points out that the study used brain scans.

Related Links:

— “Brains of ‘super-agers’ don’t shrink as fast as others,” Kerry Sheridan, Agence France Presse, April 4, 2017.

Patients With A Cancer Diagnosis May Have Higher Risk Of Fatal Suicide Attempts

MedPage Today (4/4, Harrison) reports that research indicated “patients with a cancer diagnosis had a significantly greater risk of fatal suicide attempts compared with individuals who did not have diagnosed cancer.” Investigators found, in “the analysis of seven studies and almost 250,000 patients…that patients with a cancer diagnosis had a 55% greater risk of death by suicide (OR 1.55) compared with controls who didn’t have cancer.” Meanwhile, “two additional studies focusing on suicide death versus death from other causes showed that cancer patients had a 53% greater risk of suicide death than those without cancer.” The findings were presented at the European Congress of Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “Cancer Diagnosis Tied to Suicide Risk,” Pam Harrison, MedPage Today, April 4, 2017.

Kids Who Experience Severe Interpersonal Violence During Youth Sport More Likely To Have Mental Health Problems As Adults

Medscape (4/4, Davenport) reports youngsters “who suffer severe physical, sexual, or psychological violence when taking part in youth sport are more likely to experience mental health problems as adults,” research suggests. The study “of more than 4000 adults showed that experiencing severe interpersonal violence during youth sport increased the risk for depression, anxiety, and somatic problems,” and “also affected overall mental health.” The findings were presented at the European Psychiatric Association 2017 Congress.

Related Links:

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