On this West Virginia Morning, General Steak and Seafood in Charleston is a local staple. Along with scallops, sea bass and salmon, the shop is known for its Yugoslavian Fish Stew, particularly during the season of Lent. Folkways Reporter Zack Harold has the story.
The Center for Disease Control reports that one in 68 children in the U.S. will have autism. That number jumps to 1 in 42 if we’re just talking about boys. And the risk increases if you already a have a child with autism. In West Virginia, new research is underway to try to get at how the autistic mind ticks.
Paula Webster is a neuroscience graduate who works in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Center for Neuroscience at West Virginia University.
While a psychology major at Wheeling Jesuit University, Webster discovered her three-year-old son was on the Autism Spectrum. She became a therapist who practiced applied behavioral analysis (ABA). But Webster wants to know more than how to intervene after diagnosis.
This is the first biomedical research into autism at the university. The study hopes to incorporate subjects in a wide range of ages—children through adults.
Webster works with Assistant Professor at WVU James Lewis, a neuroscientist. They taking and studying images of the brains of people with and without autism performing certain tasks.
The research isn’t just focused on what parts of the brain kids and adults with autism use, but also how they process information. It’s clear, said Webster, that there are many with autism who compensate to accomplish tasks. She hopes that by imaging high-functioning individuals with autism she may be able to start to characterize some of the methods of compensation they’re using.
Webster speculates it may be those mechanisms that allow them to be high-functioning.
“I think we can get at trying to characterize some of those compensatory mechanisms a little bit better,” Webster said, “and correlate those with sub-scores of autism scores to try to get some sub-types of autism.”
Webster hopes the research will go towards influencing the various therapies that exist as well as possibly providing a way to diagnose autism earlier, which in and of itself would be a powerful tool to help abate the condition.
Edible Mountain follows botanists, conservationists, and enthusiastic hobbyists in the field as they provide insight on sustainable forest foraging. The episodes are designed to increase appreciation and accessibility to the abundance found in Appalachia, celebrating the traditional knowledge and customs of Appalachian folk concerning plants and their medical, religious, and social uses.
On this West Virginia Morning, there have been a number of health issues discussed by the state legislature this session, from reducing the cost of insulin to women’s health. Appalachia Health News Reporter Emily Rice spoke with The Legislature Today host Bob Brunner about some of the bills she’s been following.
The West Virginia Legislature recognized March as American Red Cross Month and the local region used Red Cross Day at the Capitol Wednesday as a chance to showcase the organization's mission of saving lives through blood donations and the efforts of generous volunteers.