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World Autism Awareness Day: CAMH experts available for media interviews

March 27, 2013 – Autism is the most common neurological disorder in children. It affects 1 in 88 children and is four time more prevalent in boys than in girls.

The United Nations has designated Tuesday, April 2nd   World Autism Awareness Day to raise awareness of autism in all levels of society. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has experts available for interviews to discuss the latest innovations in autism research.Autism Awareness Day

Dr. John Vincent is a Senior Scientist and head of the Molecular Neuropsychiatry and Development Laboratory in the Neuroscience Research Department at CAMH.  His research is focused on providing a better understanding of the genetic and molecular pathways involved with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. He discovered mutations in the gene PTCHD1 on the single X chromosome in males, which may disrupt crucial processes during brain development, contributing to the occurrence of autism. Dr. Vincent has also discovered five genes responsible for various forms of intellectual disability. Dr. Vincent has been studying the genetics of autism since 1992.

Dr. Peter Szatmari is the Chief of Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative at CAMH and SIckKids, and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at U of T. His research has identified susceptible genes associated with autism and other developmental disorders. Currently, he is studying Canadian preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder to identify factors that can contribute to positive outcomes.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Media Contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations; 416-595-6015; or by email at media@camh.ca

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