Identifying autism and its prompt treatment in children could soon be a reality if a recent scientific study is implemented. In findings published in the journal Autism Research, scientists noted that some challenges that hinder early detection of autism were speech tests that were often ineffective in young children or those with communication delays. They used a small speaker or microphone earplugs used to measure hearing deficiencies to check signs that the ear has difficulty processing sounds. They then tested the hearing of children between the ages of 6 and 17, roughly half of whom have been diagnosed with autism and who recorded hearing difficultly in a specific frequency (1-2 kHz) that is important for processing speech. “This technique may provide clinicians a new window into the disorder and enable us to intervene earlier and help achieve optimal outcomes,” said Dr Anne Luebke, an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. Autism is a developmental disorder which affects social and communication skills and, to a greater or lesser degree, motor and language skills of a child. Delayed speech development, avoidance of eye contact, severe sleep disturbances are some of the features of autistic persons. According to WHO, autism is four times likely to affect males than females. The organisation is however optimistic that detecting hearing problems early would advise the development of approaches to correct auditory impairment with hearing aids or other devices that can improve the range of sounds the ear can process.
You age faster from lack of sleep
Menopause and lack of sleep make a woman age fast. Two separate studies by scientists at University of California at Los Angeles to investigate whether menopause causes aging or aging causes menopause found out through a biological clock that menopause speeds up cellular aging by an average six per cent. The scientists argued that a woman on menopause and didn’t get adequate sleep was more likely to age faster than her counterpart who didn’t have these pair of factors. “Not getting restorative sleep may do more than just affect our functioning the next day; it might also influence the rate at which our biological clock ticks,” said Judith Carroll, an assistant professor of psychiatry. “It’s like the chicken or the egg: which came first? Our study is the first to demonstrate that menopause makes you age faster,” said Dr Steve Horvath, a prof of human genetics.