Posts

August 30, 2014

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7:34 AM | Under-recognised co-occurring conditions in autism
A brief post to direct you to the paper by Nicolaidis and colleagues [1] talking about primary care for adults on the autism spectrum and mention of an issue quite important to this blog: "the recognition of associated conditions"."When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not".Alongside the announcement of what seems like an interesting workshop organised by the US IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) titled: "IACC Workshop on Under-Recognized Co-Occurring […]

August 29, 2014

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7:52 AM | Oxytocin and autism: the hype?
Consider some excerpts from two recent papers looking at oxytocin (OXT) - the "love hormone"(!) - and the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)...“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage”"These findings indicate that dysregulated OXT biology is not uniquely associated with ASD social phenotypes as widely theorized, but instead variation in OXT biology contributes to important individual differences in human social functioning, including the severe social impairments which […]

Parker, K., Garner, J., Libove, R., Hyde, S., Hornbeak, K., Carson, D., Liao, C., Phillips, J., Hallmayer, J. & Hardan, A. & (2014). Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402236111

Guastella AJ, Gray KM, Rinehart NJ, Alvares GA, Tonge BJ, Hickie IB, Keating CM, Cacciotti-Saija C & Einfeld SL (2014). The effects of a course of intranasal oxytocin on social behaviors in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized controlled trial., Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087908

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August 28, 2014

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8:29 AM | Minocycline for schizophrenia?
"Minocycline may improve the psychopathology of schizophrenia, especially the negative symptoms, and seems to be well tolerated".A Bachelors Drawer (apparently) @ Wikipedia That was the finding from the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Oya and colleagues [1] looking at the collected literature on the use of "minocycline augmentation therapy in patients with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotic agents". Augmentation therapy by the way, refers to the addition of minocycline […]

Oya K, Kishi T & Iwata N (2014). Efficacy and tolerability of minocycline augmentation therapy in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials., Human psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087702

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August 27, 2014

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7:56 AM | Prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits
A quote to start today's post: "Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children". That was a primary finding reported by Hanan El Marroun and colleagues [1] who looked at whether maternal depressive symptoms or a class of quite commonly used pharmaceutics - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - used to manage depressive symptoms, during pregnancy might impact on offspring development."Everything the light touches is our […]

Marroun, H., White, T., van der Knaap, N., Homberg, J., Fernandez, G., Schoemaker, N., Jaddoe, V., Hofman, A., Verhulst, F., Hudziak, J. & Stricker, B. (2014). Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and social responsiveness symptoms of autism: population-based study of young children, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 205 (2) 95-102. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.127746

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August 26, 2014

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7:55 AM | 76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria?
Autism is not normally a stand-alone diagnosis. I've mentioned that point a few times on this blog, stressing how a clinical diagnosis of autism appears to increase the risk of various other behavioural, psychiatric and somatic diagnoses also [variably] being present over a lifetime. Part of that comorbidity has been talked about in discussions about ESSENCE (see here) and the excellent document produced by Treating Autism on medical comorbidities occurring alongside autism (see here) for […]

Joshi G, Faraone SV, Wozniak J, Tarko L, Fried R, Galdo M, Furtak SL & Biederman J (2014). Symptom Profile of ADHD in Youth With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Study in Psychiatrically Referred Populations., Journal of attention disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085653

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August 25, 2014

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8:40 AM | mTOR-regulated autophagy and autism mouse models
I was intrigued to read the paper by Guomei Tang and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their assertion that: "mTOR [mammalian target of rapamycin]-regulated autophagy is required for developmental spine pruning, and activation of neuronal autophagy corrects synaptic pathology and social behavior deficits in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] models with hyperactivated mTOR"."Re-verify our range to target... one ping only".If that opening paragraph sounds like scientific […]

August 23, 2014

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5:47 PM | You heard me right... autism prevalence and meat consumption
"The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence". The paper by Wojciech & Ewa Pisula [1] (open-access) does indeed suggest that there may "a correlation between increasing meat consumption and autism prevalence"."Goonies never say die!"Readers are invited to draw their own conclusions on such a correlation. Personally, I'm not yet convinced that meat consumption is the primary driving force […]

Wojciech Pisula & Ewa Pisula (2014). Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested, Medical Hypotheses, Other:

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August 22, 2014

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7:47 AM | Serum microRNA profiles and autism
I cannot pretend to be an expert on microRNA (miRNA). Indeed, it was only after reading the paper by Mahesh Mundalil Vasu and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about serum microRNA profiles in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that I started my learning journey about these small non-coding RNAs. So please, go easy with me on this one...Hamlet @ Wikipedia Quite a good [short] introduction to microRNAs can be found here. If you want something a […]

Mundalil Vasu, M., Anitha, A., Thanseem, I., Suzuki, K., Yamada, K., Takahashi, T., Wakuda, T., Iwata, K., Tsujii, M., Sugiyama, T. & Mori, N. (2014). Serum microRNA profiles in children with autism, Molecular Autism, 5 (1) 40. DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-5-40

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August 21, 2014

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7:56 AM | Autism, ADHD and allergy: Taiwan and big data (again)
"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had an increased risk of allergic comorbidities, and those with both ADHD and ASD had the highest"."You built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean"That was the conclusion arrived at in the paper by Ting-Yang Lin and colleagues [1]. For regular readers of this blog, this was yet another example of how Taiwan leads the way when it comes to the concept of 'big data' specifically […]

Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M. & Bai, Y. (2014). Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8 (10) 1333-1338. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.009

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August 20, 2014

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8:35 AM | ADHD in DSM-5: what did you think would happen?
"Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest a 27% increase in the expected prevalence of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] among young adults, comparing DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria". So said the paper by Matte and colleagues [1] who as part of their study looked at "the prevalence of ADHD according to DSM-5 criteria".Europa @ Wikipedia The changes to the diagnosis of ADHD in DSM-5 can be seen here. The main difference between DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnosis […]

August 19, 2014

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8:23 AM | Family processes and trajectory in autism
The paper by Woodman and colleagues [1] looking at trajectory and autism in adolescents and adults is the source material for today's post (another micropost). Concluding that: "Overall, autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors were observed to improve over the study period" of about 8 years, the authors also reported that "greater improvements were associated with higher levels of maternal praise (based on maternal speech samples) and higher quality mother-child relationships". If I remember […]

Woodman AC, Smith LE, Greenberg JS & Mailick MR (2014). Change in Autism Symptoms and Maladaptive Behaviors in Adolescence and Adulthood: The Role of Positive Family Processes., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070471

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August 18, 2014

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8:10 AM | ADHD in the prison population: a micropost
"Compared with published general population prevalence, there is a fivefold increase in prevalence of ADHD in youth prison populations (30.1%) and a 10-fold increase in adult prison populations (26.2%)"."Mianly dry" apparently @ Paul WhiteleyThat was the primary conclusion reached in the meta-analysis by Young and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on "the variable prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in incarcerated populations".There […]

Young S, Moss D, Sedgwick O, Fridman M & Hodgkins P (2014). A meta-analysis of the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in incarcerated populations., Psychological medicine, 1-12. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066071

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August 16, 2014

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7:21 AM | The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders
A very short post for readers to ponder based on the paper by Amanda Baxter and colleagues [1] who talked about the global epidemiology of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)."In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or one in 132 persons".Aside from emphasising the word 'estimated' (I highlighted that), be prepared to see the Baxter paper and that quote cited quite a bit in the peer-reviewed literature in times to […]

A. J. Baxter, T. S. Brugha, H. E. Erskine, R. W. Scheurer, T. Vos & J. G. Scott (2014). The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders, Psychological Medicine, Other:

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August 15, 2014

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8:07 AM | Psychotic experience following childhood neurodevelopmental diagnosis
The paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] suggesting a higher risk of psychotic episodes (PEs) in early adolescence among those with a diagnosed childhood neurodevelopmental disorder (ND) makes for some interesting reading. Detailing several diagnoses as falling under the banner of neurodevelopmental disorder (autism spectrum, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, dyscalculia), researchers concluded that: "The risk of PEs was higher in those with, compared with those […]

Khandaker GM, Stochl J, Zammit S, Lewis G & Jones PB (2014). A population-based longitudinal study of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, IQ and subsequent risk of psychotic experiences in adolescence., Psychological medicine, 1-10. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066026

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August 14, 2014

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8:09 AM | Learning disability in autism: how prevalent is it?
"Results showed that 36.8 % of the children met the criteria for ID [intellectual disability], with 60.2 % of these in the mild range (IQ 50-69) and 39.8 % in the moderate range (IQ 35-49)".That was the finding reported by Mélina Rivard and colleagues [1] looking at the co-occurrence of intellectual disability (also called learning disability here in Blighty) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "in young children". Based on an analysis of over 200 children diagnosed with an ASD, […]

Rivard M, Terroux A, Mercier C & Parent-Boursier C (2014). Indicators of Intellectual Disabilities in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070470

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August 13, 2014

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8:11 AM | Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors and greater risk of autism?
"In term NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] survivors, ASD [autism spectrum disorder] occurs with a greater frequency than in the general population and often develops alongside comorbid conditions". That was the conclusion from the study by Alexander Winkler-Schwartz and colleagues [1] looking at term at-risk infants who survived NICU."You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off"'Surviving' their earliest days spent in NICU brings a bit of lump to my throat. As a […]

August 12, 2014

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8:04 AM | Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of ADHD
The findings from Chang-Ching Wei and colleagues [1] suggesting an over-representation of the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) following a history of neonatal jaundice provides fodder for today's brief post. Based in Taiwan, one of the most impressive countries when it comes to the use and analysis of 'big data' (see here), researchers were able to identify some 25,000 participants diagnosed with neonatal jaundice and compare them with almost 70,000 […]

August 11, 2014

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7:43 AM | Risk of neurodevelopmental disorder in cases of hypospadias
"This is the first study to identify an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders in patients with hypospadias, as well as an increased risk for ASD [autism spectrum disorders] in their brothers, suggesting a common familial (genetic and/or environmental) liability".Rainy days and Mondays... @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached in the study by Agnieszka Butwicka and colleagues [1] looking at various neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with a diagnosis of […]

August 10, 2014

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9:41 AM | Vitamin D deficiency and dementia risk: a micropost
I'm a little late in getting to the paper by Thomas Littlejohns and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting that: "vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease". The media have been all over this study as per the BBC commentary (see here) and some rather more critical discussion by the NHS Choices website (see here).I don't need to add anything further to discussions aside from saying that correlation might not necessarily be […]

August 08, 2014

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10:00 PM | Psychiatry and inflammation (again)
I'd like to bring two papers to your attention in today's very quick post."The Death Star plans are not in the main computer"First up is the article by Kahn & Sommer [1] (open-access) titled: 'The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia'. It's about as good a read as we have so far on the topic of "brain changes in the first phase of schizophrenia" and the various management options for first-episode schizophrenia. Outside of the very important fact that "It is highly […]

Kahn RS & Sommer IE (2014). The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia., Molecular psychiatry, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25048005

Friedrich MJ (2014). Research on Psychiatric Disorders Targets Inflammation., JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25054339

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August 07, 2014

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7:42 AM | Vitamin D and schizophrenia meta-analysed
It's been a few weeks since I last talked about vitamin D on this blog and some finding or other talking about a deficiency of the stuff. Indeed, the last occasion was the publication of the Eva Kočovská study (see here) talking about issues with vitamin D being present across quite a few people on the autism spectrum, continuing a research trend (see here).So as to remedy this vitamin D blogging deficiency, today I'm talking about the systematic review and meta-analysis […]

Valipour G, Saneei P & Esmaillzadeh A (2014). Serum Vitamin D Levels in Relation to Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies., The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25050991

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August 06, 2014

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8:39 AM | Gastrointestinal response to A1 vs A2 milk
I want to talk about the findings from Ho and colleagues [1] today, and in particular their observation of: "differences in gastrointestinal responses in some adult humans consuming milk containing beta-casein of either the A1 or the A2 beta-casein type". If you're wondering why such a paper finds it's way on to a blog predominantly about autism research, well stay with me on this rather long blogging entry...Start your engines... @ Wikipedia Before progressing, I am going to put a […]

Ho, S., Woodford, K., Kukuljan, S. & Pal, S. (2014). Comparative effects of A1 versus A2 beta-casein on gastrointestinal measures: a blinded randomised cross-over pilot study, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.127

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August 05, 2014

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8:05 AM | Bipolar disorder is frequent in adult Asperger syndrome
"BD [bipolar disorder] in AS [Asperger syndrome] patients is frequent, usually it onsets during adolescence and is often characterized by atypical presentation, making its correct identification particularly difficult".Maybe I'm better suited as a brunette? @ WikipediaThat was the primary finding reported by Vannucchi and colleagues [1] based on their systematic review of the relevant peer-reviewed research literature in this area. They found that the prevalence of BD ranged […]

Vannucchi G, Masi G, Toni C, Dell׳Osso L, Erfurth A & Perugi G (2014). Bipolar disorder in adults with Asperger׳s Syndrome: A systematic review., Journal of affective disorders, 168C 151-160. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25046741

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August 04, 2014

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8:10 AM | Stopping gliadin peptides in their tracks?
A micropost if you will, to bring to your attention the paper by Marco Sarno and colleagues [1] and their suggestion of "a novel effect of probiotics in the prevention of undigested gliadin peptides toxic effects".Knitting on't Moors @ Wikipedia The probiotic in question is something called Lactobacillus paracasei CBA L74, which if I'm not mistaken is connected with a certain '57 varieties' company. The authors (which included one Alessio Fasano) indicated that said probiotic […]
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