PBS NewsHour Investigates Autism

PBS NewsHour Investigates Autism

04.21.11 | By

I've been watching a fascinating series on the PBS NewsHour focusing on the challenges of autism. The series, entitled Autism Now, is hosted by former news anchor Robert McNeil who tells the story of his autistic grandson.

One statistic cited that was astonishing is that today we are seeing incidents of autism in one of every 100 children. The increased number of reported cases makes all the more urgent the need to find solutions to help both prevent future cases as well as manage and better treat children with the condition.

Last night's segment was particularly interesting as it looked at some of the current scientific thinking about potential causes and treatments for autism. It was a fascinating example of where medical science is taking medicine and health care technology. While progress understanding the condition and its origins has been slow, scientists were quietly optimistic that breakthroughs are possible and in the offing. What's more, the researchers explained that there seems to be a variety of genetic factors involved in triggering autism, so potential therapies are likely to be genetically-based and very personalized.

As we note frequently here, genetic and personalized medicines are, increasingly, where the science seems to be leading us and where innovative therapies seem most likely to emerge.

If you've a chance, I highly recommend taking a look at the series.

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