Questioning Answers

Visit Blog Website

466 posts · 141,808 views

Autism research and other musings

Paul Whiteley
466 posts

Sort by: Latest Post, Most Popular

View by: Condensed, Full

  • December 20, 2014
  • 04:00 AM
  • 18 views

Joint hypermobility and links to psychiatry

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The relationship between JH/HDCT [joint hypermobility / heritable disorders of connective tissue] and mental disorders merits further attention in order to improve current knowledge and clarify a possible common etiology."There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Carolina Baeza-Velasco and colleagues [1] looking at the possibility of some interesting connections, outside of just physical presentation, when it come........ Read more »

  • December 19, 2014
  • 04:44 AM
  • 60 views

Uric acid and bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Bipolar disorder appearing again on this blog this week? It's just the way that the papers fall...With a title like: 'Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness' I was hardly likely to pass up the opportunity to discuss the paper by Umberto Albert and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that there may be a lot more to see when it comes to "a purinergic dysfunction associated with BD [bipolar disorder]".I lost the defuser gun when I mispla........ Read more »

Albert U, De Cori D, Aguglia A, Barbaro F, Bogetto F, & Maina G. (2014) Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness. Journal of affective disorders, 170-175. PMID: 25462413  

  • December 18, 2014
  • 05:08 AM
  • 49 views

Autistic traits in adults with epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Increased autistic characteristics found in adults with epilepsy without an ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis suggest that epilepsy syndromes may incorporate behavioral aspects of autism in the absence of some of its core cognitive features."Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.That was the intriguing finding reported by Sally Ann Wakeford and colleagues [1] who examined test performance on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and "systemizing ........ Read more »

Wakeford S, Hinvest N, Ring H, & Brosnan M. (2014) Autistic characteristics in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy , 203-207. PMID: 25461216  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 39 views

Folate receptor autoantibodies and (some) schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I am the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom.Upon reading the paper published by Ramaekers and colleagues [1] talking about the use of folinic acid in cases of schizophrenia as a function of the presence of "Auto-antibodies against folate receptor alpha (FRα)", I raised a little smile. Not only because the authors suggested that there may be quite a lot more to see in this area on top of some already interesting discussions about the folate cycle and schizophrenia, but also because of the ........ Read more »

Ramaekers VT, Thöny B, Sequeira JM, Ansseau M, Philippe P, Boemer F, Bours V, & Quadros EV. (2014) Folinic acid treatment for schizophrenia associated with folate receptor autoantibodies. Molecular genetics and metabolism. PMID: 25456743  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 68 views

Thioredoxin... a new 'diagnosis indicator' for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

My name's Buttercup. You've met Baron von Shush."Our study demonstrated that serum TRX [thioredoxin] levels were associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and elevated levels could be considered as a novel, independent diagnosis indicator of ASD." So was the conclusion reported by Qing-biao Zhang and colleagues [1] looking at serum levels of TRX in 80 children diagnosed with an ASD compared against "100 sex and age matched typically developing children".I'll freely admi........ Read more »

Zhang QB, Gao SJ, & Zhao HX. (2014) Thioredoxin: A novel, independent diagnosis marker in children with autism. International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience. PMID: 25433158  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 64 views

Rates of medical illnesses in bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I've mentioned a few times on this blog that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is by no means protective against any other diagnosis being received, be it based on a somatic illness or condition, or something more behaviourally defined.Reading through the paper by Liz Forty and colleagues [1] (open-access) it appears that a similar scenario might also pertain to other behaviourally-defined conditions as per the example of bipolar disorder (BD) and their conclusion: "Bi........ Read more »

Forty L, Ulanova A, Jones L, Jones I, Gordon-Smith K, Fraser C, Farmer A, McGuffin P, Lewis CM, Hosang GM.... (2014) Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25359927  

  • December 14, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 69 views

Beware the inflated science related press release!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm not normally minded to post on a Sunday (day of rest and all that) but I did want to bring your attention to the results presented by Petroc Sumner and colleagues [1] (open-access) concluding that: "Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases" when it comes to the media reporting of [some] health-related science news.The idea behind this particular study - which has been summarised pretty well in some of the accompanying media and in an editorial........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 73 views

Social communication disorder (SCD) reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in partic........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:14 PM
  • 71 views

Chronic fatigue syndrome by ASIA?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. ASIA, in the context of this post, does not refer to the continent but rather the suggestion of an: ‘autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants’ and some potentially contentious findings reported by Nancy Agmon-Levin and colleagues [1].Describing a small cohort of participants diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and/or fibromyalgia (FM), the authors put forward the idea that "some cases CFS and FM can be........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 05:09 AM
  • 68 views

Low bone mineral density and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"An elevated frequency of bone mass loss in NCWS [non-celiac wheat sensitivity] patients was found; this was related to low BMI [body mass index] and was more frequent in patients with NCWS associated with other food sensitivity".There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no Queen of England.That was the conclusion reached by Antonio Carroccio and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at a small group of participants diagnosed with something which seems to fal........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 05:44 AM
  • 84 views

Maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring autism: no measurable association but...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Oh. Yes sir. How doth the little bumblebee improve each..."We found no evidence to support a measurable association between maternal prenatal smoking and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in offspring."That was the conclusion reached in the meta-analysis published by Brittany Rosen and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-review literature examining any correlation between maternal tobacco smoking during pregnancy and risk of offspring receipt of a diagnosis of autism or ASD......... Read more »

Rosen BN, Lee BK, Lee NL, Yang Y, & Burstyn I. (2014) Maternal Smoking and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-analysis. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25432101  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 06:36 AM
  • 68 views

Anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM Antibodies in Acute Psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A very brief post today to bring to your attention once again the paper by Joel Monroe and colleagues [1] which concluded that there was: "An increased seroprevalence of T. gondii [Toxoplasma gondii] IgM in patients with acute psychosis". I had touched upon this study in a previous post not-so-long-ago covering T. gondii infection and schizophrenia (see here) which also covered some of the various background research history on this topic.Looks like his optometrist has a sense of humor........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 81 views

Significantly shorter leukocyte telomere length in childhood autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provided the first evidence that shorter leukocytes telomere length is significantly associated with childhood autism." So said the results reported by Zongchang Li and colleagues [1] (open-access) based on quite a well-powered study (for an initial research foray anyway) looking at "110 autism patients (male 98 and female 12) and 129 healthy controls (male 98 and female 31)".On the behalf of scientists everywhere, I am ashamed to count you amongst us.Quite a good introductio........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2014
  • 03:31 AM
  • 103 views

Risk of cancer associated with autism: small but present

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst understanding the power that headlines can have, alongside the way that statistics can sometimes mislead and/or be misrepresented, I don't want to shy away from the findings presented by Huey-Ling Chiang and colleagues [1] reporting that: "patients with autistic disorder have an increased risk of cancer."Curiosity often leads to trouble.Based yet again on data derived from the fantastic resource that is the Taiwan National Health Insurance database (see here for some other research e........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Liu, C., Hu, Y., Chen, S., Hu, L., Shen, C., Yeh, C., Chen, T., & Gau, S. (2014) Risk of Cancer in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Autistic Disorder. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.029  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 100 views

Probiotics degrading gluten peptides?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Probiotics again on this blog?OK, consider this a micropost if you will, as I draw your attention to the paper by Duar and colleagues [1] and their study results suggested to provide: "a basis for the selection of Lactobacillus strains for probiotic applications aimed to reduce epitope-containing gluten peptides before reaching the epithelium of the small intestine of celiac patients." What the Duar findings translate into is a possible gluten peptide degrading role for certain strains of probio........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:47 AM
  • 111 views

Gut dysbiosis in treated coeliac disease: time for a probiotic or worse?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our findings indicate that dysbiosis of microbiota is associated with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in treated celiac disease patients and open new possibilities to treat this subgroup of patients."That was the summary of the paper published by Pirjo Wacklin and colleagues [1] who looked at the bacterial constitution of the duodenal microbiota [the bacteria which inhabit us] in a small group of participants diagnosed with coeliac (celiac) disease who "had been following a strict GFD........ Read more »

Wacklin, P., Laurikka, P., Lindfors, K., Collin, P., Salmi, T., Lähdeaho, M., Saavalainen, P., Mäki, M., Mättö, J., Kurppa, K.... (2014) Altered Duodenal Microbiota Composition in Celiac Disease Patients Suffering From Persistent Symptoms on a Long-Term Gluten-Free Diet. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2014.355  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 109 views

Autism ADHD equals greater risk of psychiatric comorbidity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Because the name Mu-Hong Chen (and colleagues) has appeared so, so many times on this blog with reference to the various studies originating from investigations of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, I genuinely did have to make sure that I hadn't covered one of their recent papers [1] on here previously. Actually I can't 100% confirm that I haven't already covered a further addition to their research repertoire which concluded that: "Patients with ADHD [attent........ Read more »

  • December 2, 2014
  • 04:44 AM
  • 102 views

Coenzyme Q10 and NADH supplementation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quick post today to direct your attention to the paper by Jesus Castro-Marrero and colleagues [1] reporting results which seemed to suggest that under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions "oral CoQ10 [Coenzyme Q10] (200 mg/day) plus NADH [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H)] (20 mg/day) supplementation" might have some positive effects for cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The NIH entry for the trial can be found here.I volunteer as tribute! ........ Read more »

Castro-Marrero J, Cordero MD, Segundo MJ, Saez-Francas N, Calvo N, Román-Malo L, Aliste L, Fernandez de Sevilla T, & Alegre-Martin J. (2014) Does oral Coenzyme Q10 plus NADH supplementation improve fatigue and biochemical parameters in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?. Antioxidants . PMID: 25386668  

  • December 1, 2014
  • 04:42 AM
  • 93 views

Cortisol and cytokines: a diagnostic tag-team for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote from the paper by Chang-Jiang Yang and colleagues [1] begins today's post: "The results of ROC [receiver operating characteristic] analysis indicated the cortisol VAR, IL-6 and TNF-α were potential biomarkers in diagnosis of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."With many thanks to Natasa for providing me with a copy of this paper, I'd like to discuss these 'joined up' findings a little further. A few pointers to begin with:Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dearBased ........ Read more »

  • November 29, 2014
  • 03:30 AM
  • 111 views

NICE does increasing access to vitamin D supplements

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

If you happen to live in England or indeed other parts of the UK, you'll no doubt have heard about NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - as the body charged with providing us with appropriate evidence-based guidance on all manner of treatments and technologies for all manner of different diagnoses and conditions. I've talked before on this blog about the NICE guidance in relation to the autism spectrum (see here for example).My name is Elisabeth Shaw, last survivor ........ Read more »

Lucas RM, Ponsonby AL, Dear K, Valery PC, Taylor B, van der Mei I, McMichael AJ, Pender MP, Chapman C, Coulthard A.... (2013) Vitamin D status: multifactorial contribution of environment, genes and other factors in healthy Australian adults across a latitude gradient. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 300-8. PMID: 23395985  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.