Posts

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 […]

August 01, 2014

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7:46 AM | Restricted and repetitive behaviours disappeared? More optimal outcome and autism
Today I'm bringing to your attention the paper by Eva Troyb and colleagues [1] and the quite dramatic assertion: "Reports of current behavior indicated that RRB's [restricted and repetitive behaviors] had almost totally disappeared in the OO [optimal outcomes] group". RRBs just in case you might not know include quite an array of behaviours, some of which might not be considered 'disabling' such as the presence of certain circumscribed interests. Others, such as an […]

July 31, 2014

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8:18 AM | Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV and autism: supporting opioid-excess?
Serum levels of dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV were found to be lower in children with autism compared to asymptomatic controls according to the study by Shahid Bashira & Laila AL-Ayadhi [1]. Based on analysis by ELISA, researchers concluded that "alterations in the plasma level of DPP IV play a role in the pathophysiology of autism".A sailor went to sea, sea, sea... @ Wikipedia Anyone who has followed the autism research scene for any length of time might have already heard […]

Bashir, S. & AL-Ayadhi, L. (2014). Alterations in plasma dipeptidyl peptidase IV in autism: A pilot study, Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, 20 (2) 41-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.npbr.2014.03.001

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July 30, 2014

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8:52 AM | Immunological effects from risperidone treatment in autism
The findings from Jai Eun Choi and colleagues [1] suggesting that use of the antipsychotic risperidone may impact on levels of certain cytokines - messenger cells of the immune system - in some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grabbed my attention recently. I've always been pretty interested in the complexity of the immune system when it comes to something like autism (see here) as well as the various examples of how many of the medications used to 'manage' aspects of […]

Choi JE, Widjaja F, Careaga M, Bent S, Ashwood P & Hendren RL (2014). Change in Plasma Cytokine Levels During Risperidone Treatment in Children with Autism., Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24828014

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July 29, 2014

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8:04 AM | Ketogenic diet and the valproate mouse model of autism
A brief entry today and yet another blog post that starts with a quote (sorry)... "The offspring exposed to VPA [valproic acid] prenatally demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of play initiations/attacks and this was reversed with the KD [ketogenic diet]".Gloucester Old Spot @ Wikipedia That finding reported in the paper by Ahn and colleagues [1] continues my interest in all-things related to prenatal VPA exposure and the reported effects on some offspring […]

July 28, 2014

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8:24 AM | Prenatal and neonatal blood mercury levels and autism
Acknowledging that some topics have the ability to furrow brows when it comes to autism research, mercury and autism is becoming something of a frequent talking point on this blog as a function of a whole slew of articles appearing in the peer-reviewed domain. If I were to [very tentatively] summarise the collected literature so far, it would be to say something like:Mosaic of mercury @ Wikipedia (i) there is quite a bit more research to be done on some sources of mercury being […]

Yau VM, Green PG, Alaimo CP, Yoshida CK, Lutsky M, Windham GC, Delorenze G, Kharrazi M, Grether JK & Croen LA & (2014). Prenatal and neonatal peripheral blood mercury levels and autism spectrum disorders., Environmental research, 133C 294-303. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24981828

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July 25, 2014

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7:29 AM | p-cresol and autism: in need of further research
"These results confirm the elevation of urinary p-cresol in a sizable set of small autistic children and spur interest into biomarker roles for p-cresol and p-cresylsulfate in autism".The peasant dance @ Wikipedia That was the primary conclusion from the paper by Gabriele and colleagues [1] looking at "three components of urinary p-cresol, namely p-cresylsulfate, p-cresylglucuronate and free p-cresol" in samples from 33 participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder […]

Gabriele S, Sacco R, Cerullo S, Neri C, Urbani A, Tripi G, Malvy J, Barthelemy C, Bonnet-Brihault F & Persico AM & (2014). Urinary p-cresol is elevated in young French children with autism spectrum disorder: a replication study., Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals, 1-8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25010144

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July 24, 2014

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8:14 AM | Prenatal valproate exposure and brains
The paper by Amanda Wood and colleagues [1] (open-access) makes a potentially very important contribution to the growing literature looking at how prenatal exposure to sodium valproate (VPA) may affect some children. Authors reported on: "regional structural cortical brain changes in humans exposed to VPA in utero" and specifically, increased cortical thickness in the left inferior frontal gyrus.Lightning and lava @ Oliver Spalt @ Wikipedia In case you need any background on the […]

Wood, A., Chen, J., Barton, S., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Catroppa, C., Reutens, D., O'Brien, T. & Vajda, F. (2014). Altered cortical thickness following prenatal sodium valproate exposure, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, DOI: 10.1002/acn3.74

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July 23, 2014

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7:46 AM | Trauma and PTSD raise risk of autoimmune disorders?
I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues [1] reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to […]

O’Donovan, A., Cohen, B., Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Margaretten, M., Nishimi, K. & Neylan, T. (2014). Elevated Risk For Autoimmune Disorders In Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.015

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