Today's Top Medical Stories - March 27, 2014

By CBS News

Published 03/27 2014 08:41AM

Updated 03/27 2014 08:49AM

Some high tech assistance for giving up alcohol. And new clues about the development of autism.

Researchers have new evidence autism begins during pregnancy. That's when a baby's brain develops different layers, with specific functions. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds autistic children show a defect in the layers, indicating development is disrupted before birth. The findings could help scientists working on early childhood treatments.

Stress is often a cause of headaches, but it turns out stress reduction can be an even bigger trigger. Research in the journal neurology finds that when a day of high stress is followed by a day of relaxation, migraine patients are more likely to get a headache. The findings highlight the importance of stress management for people prone to migraines.

And a smartphone app may help alcoholics as they go through recovery. A study in JAMA psychiatry followed hundreds of  alcoholics after treatment. About half were given an experimental app that sent phone alerts when patients were near high risk locations - including bars. Patients using the app were more likely to abstain from alcohol.

(Alexis Christoforous, CBS News)

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