Autism Summit to present latest research and treatment options

DALLAS — Nov. 1, 2006 —  UT Southwestern Medical Center will host the North Texas Autism Summit, featuring presentations by national and local experts in autism research and treatment on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The seminar is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Excellence in Education Foundation Auditorium in UT Southwestern's Simmons/Hamon Biomedical Research Buildings, 6000 Harry Hines Blvd.

The public event, also sponsored by the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas, will provide the latest information about a disease that typically manifests in childhood in about one in every 170 people, four times as many males as females. Autism is a complex developmental disability, the result of a neurological disorder affecting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.

"Autism is a devastating condition that develops in roughly 1 percent of the population," said Dr. Eric Nestler, chairman of psychiatry at UT Southwestern. "The toll it takes on individuals and their families is enormous, yet we still know relatively little about what causes autism, and treatments remain very limited. We are honored to co-host this Autism Summit with the Autism Treatment Centers."

Dr. Lisa Monteggia, an autism researcher and coordinator of the event, said, "Autism is a growing problem in America today. This summit will enable us to bring together national basic and clinical scientists to evaluate causes and therapeutic options. We also hope it will raise awareness of autism in our community and guide our efforts to further develop treatment, research and educational resources for patients and their families in the Dallas area."

The daylong program, which is free, will include speakers from UT Southwestern's Department of Psychiatry including nationally known psychiatrists Drs. Nestler and Graham Emslie, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as assistant professors Drs. Monteggia, Greg Allen, Catherine Karni and Denise McCallon.

Autism experts from Yale University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas at Dallas and Baylor College of Medicine will also present new basic and clinical research findings, treatment options and resources for patients and families.

Complimentary parking will be available for attendees, as well as box lunches for $10 each. Preliminary registration is required by Nov. 6 by calling 972-644-2076, Ext. 107, or by registering at

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UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the premier medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. Its more than 1,400 full-time faculty members — including four active Nobel Prize winners, more than any other medical school in the world — are responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and are committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 89,000 hospitalized patients and oversee 2.1 million outpatient visits a year. 


Media Contact: Donna Steph Hansard

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