Paul Whiteley

359 posts · 101,380 views

Autism research, research blogging and health science stuff (picture is accurate)

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  • August 22, 2014
  • 03:47 AM
  • 27 views

Serum microRNA profiles and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 littl........ Read more »

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

  • August 21, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 36 views

Autism, ADHD and allergy: Taiwan and big data (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 employ........ Read more »

Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M.... (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  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 04:35 AM
  • 60 views

ADHD in DSM-5: what did you think would happen?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 s........ Read more »

Matte, B., Anselmi, L., Salum, G., Kieling, C., Gonçalves, H., Menezes, A., Grevet, E., & Rohde, L. (2014) ADHD in DSM-5: a field trial in a large, representative sample of 18- to 19-year-old adults. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001470  

  • August 19, 2014
  • 04:23 AM
  • 59 views

Family processes and trajectory in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 c........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 04:10 AM
  • 56 views

ADHD in the prison population: a micropost

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 ........ Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 03:21 AM
  • 92 views

The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 come.----------[1........ Read more »

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. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329171400172X

  • August 15, 2014
  • 04:07 AM
  • 81 views

Psychotic experience following childhood neurodevelopmental diagnosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 witho........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2014
  • 04:09 AM
  • 81 views

Learning disability in autism: how prevalent is it?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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, resear........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2014
  • 04:11 AM
  • 63 views

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors and greater risk of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 paren........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2014
  • 04:04 AM
  • 61 views

Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 non-jaundiced........ Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 03:43 AM
  • 81 views

Risk of neurodevelopmental disorder in cases of hypospadias

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 ........ Read more »

Butwicka A, Lichtenstein P, Landén M, Nordenvall AS, Nordenström A, Nordenskjöld A, & Frisén L. (2014) Hypospadias and increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 25048198  

  • August 8, 2014
  • 06:00 PM
  • 89 views

Psychiatry and inflammation (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 unlik........ Read more »

  • August 7, 2014
  • 03:42 AM
  • 91 views

Vitamin D and schizophrenia meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 by Ghazaleh ........ Read more »

  • August 6, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 135 views

Gastrointestinal response to A1 vs A2 milk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 sor........ Read more »

  • August 5, 2014
  • 04:05 AM
  • 108 views

Bipolar disorder is frequent in adult Asperger syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 ........ Read more »

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, 151-160. PMID: 25046741  

  • August 4, 2014
  • 04:10 AM
  • 112 views

Stopping gliadin peptides in their tracks?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 appe........ Read more »

Sarno M, Lania G, Cuomo M, Nigro F, Passannanti F, Budelli A, Fasano F, Troncone R, Auricchio S, Barone MV.... (2014) Lactobacillus paracasei CBA L74 interferes with gliadin peptides entrance in Caco-2 cells. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 1-7. PMID: 25030417  

  • August 1, 2014
  • 03:46 AM
  • 126 views

Restricted and repetitive behaviours disappeared? More optimal outcome and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 insistence........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2014
  • 04:18 AM
  • 107 views

Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV and autism: supporting opioid-excess?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 ab........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 95 views

Immunological effects from risperidone treatment in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 autis........ Read more »

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: 24828014  

  • July 29, 2014
  • 04:04 AM
  • 110 views

Ketogenic diet and the valproate mouse model of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 (........ Read more »

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