The aim of this symposium was to discuss recent advances of evoked potentials in child neurological disorders. Five topics, including visual evoked potentials, brainstem auditory evoked potentials, short latency somatosensory evoked potentials to median nerve and lower extremity peripheral nerve stimulation, and motor and somatosensory evoked potentials to magnetic stimulation were discussed. Each speaker reviewed the usefulness and limitations of each type of evoked potentials as it applies to pediatric cases.
This symposium was aimed to present recent advances of child neurological researches on infantile autism in Japan. Four topics were included: neuroendocrinological studies, neurophysiological investigations, neurological model, and a new drug (RTHBP) of infantile autism. These topics were also discussed by two discussants, a pediatrican and a child psychiatrist. Each speaker presented and discussed the problems of infantile autism on the basis of the findings of their own research.
Biological studies on autism have become popular from the 1970s, and theories founded upon some forms of dysfunction of the CNS are coming to be accepted world wide. However, despite the voluminous studies undertaken to present, the biological markers of the disorder are as yet unknown, and there are many problems remaining in the present state wherein we are dependent upon diagnoses made on the behavior level. The behavior characteristics of autism and the problems in extracting its early signs, methods of evaluating behavior changes in pharmacotherapy and determination of its safety were discussed.
Since Leo Kanner reported 11 cases of “early infantile autism” in 1943, various kinds of studies and researches have been made. At present, we generally understand the “autism” is a behavioral syndrome of multiple etiologies. I would like to stress that we pediatricians, meeting the patients first, must play the roles of the specialists in diagnosis, treatment, prophylaxis, and of the advisers in guiding mothers, teachers and the others. The purpose of medicine and education is to help the handicapped to draw as much satisfaction and enjoyment from life as possible.