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Child-friendly options for autism tests

An early diagnosis, the researchers explain, could help individuals identify methods of coping with autism symptoms that could affect their well-being from a young age, and this could ensure a better quality of life going forward. The current methods of diagnosing autism in children use questionnaires and psychologist evaluations. However, these methods can be stressful for those at a young age. New research now suggests an easy, more stress-free test that simply tracks the gaze. Studies were conducted on the same. The investigators argue that as a method of assessing for autism traits, a "gaze test" would be much less stressful for a young child than the current diagnostic preferences. "It is much easier for children to just look at something, like the animated face of a dog, than to fill out a questionnaire or be evaluated by a psychologist," says study co-author Prof. Anita Layton. "Also, the challenge many psychologists face is that sometimes behaviors deteriorate over time, so the child might not display signs of autism, but then a few years later, something starts showing up," Prof. Layton adds. This new diagnostic method, the researcher argues, is more reliable than traditional tests." Our technique is not just about behavior or whether a child is focusing on the mouth or eyes. It's about how a child looks at everything" says, Prof. Anita Layton.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Risk of cancer in sugary drinks

New research further explores the link between sugary drinks and cancer. The observational study, appearing in The BMJ, finds an association between high intake of sugary drinks and cancer. A new observational study finds a link between the consumption of sugary drinks, including 100% fruit juices, and the risk of cancer. Some studies in rodents have suggested that the added sugar in soft drinks can drive the spread of cancer and fuel tumor growth. Chazelas and team examined the links between the intake of sugary drinks and various forms of cancer in 101,257 French adults aged 42 years, on average. The researchers obtained the data from the NutriNet-Santé study. Over the follow-up period, 2,193 people developed cancer for the first time; they were 59 years old at the time of diagnosis, on average. Among all these cases were 693 of breast cancer, 291 of prostate cancer, and 166 colorectal cancers. The analysis revealed that for a daily increase of 100 milliliters in the intake of sugary drinks, the risk of overall cancer rose by 18%, and the risk of breast cancer increased by 22%. By contrast, diet drinks did not increase cancer risk. The scientists explain that people who consumed diet drinks did so in very small amounts, so they suggest interpreting this particular result with caution.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)