Paul Whiteley

393 posts · 115,272 views

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

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  • October 1, 2014
  • 05:11 AM
  • 33 views

Maternal complement C1q and offspring psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, exposure to maternal C1q activity during pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and psychosis in offspring". That was the primary observation made by Emily Severance and colleagues [1] at Johns Hopkins, extending their scientific interest in immune system involvement being potentially linked to psychiatry [2]."Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law"I've already talked about Dr Severance's previous research forays into complement ........ Read more »

Emily G. Severance, Kristin L. Gressitt, Stephen L. Buka, Tyrone D. Cannon, & Robert H. Yolken. (2014) Maternal complement C1q and increased odds for psychosis in adult offspring. Schizophrenia Research. info:/10.1016/j.schres.2014.07.053

  • September 30, 2014
  • 05:06 AM
  • 57 views

Autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our study demonstrates a strong association between anti-TPO levels, which are considered to be of diagnostic value for autoimmune thyroiditis... with uni- or bipolar depression.""Beware the bad cat bearing a grudge"So said the study published by Detlef Degner and colleagues [1]. Anti-TPO antibodies by the way, refers to anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies which, as the name suggests, are antibodies against thyroid peroxidase, an important step in the production of thyroid hormone........ Read more »

Degner D, Haust M, Meller J, Rüther E, & Reulbach U. (2014) Association between autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder in psychiatric outpatients. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience. PMID: 25193677  

  • September 29, 2014
  • 04:35 AM
  • 68 views

Term vs. preterm birth and the presentation of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Katherine Bowers and colleagues [1] continues the interest in the concept of 'the autisms' with their observations on the presentation of autism (and its comorbidities) when looking at those "born preterm versus those born at term".We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostlyBased on an analysis of quite a healthy participant number heading up to 900 "males and females with autism spectrum disorder", authors reported on several phenotypic ........ Read more »

  • September 27, 2014
  • 03:50 AM
  • 90 views

Yes, people with autism do have headaches

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't mean to be haughty but a sentence included in the paper by Victorio [1] led to the title of today's very quick post. Based on a chart review of patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) attending a neurology clinic, the author concluded that "ASD patients, despite being known to have indifference to pain, can experience headaches".Pain is something which has cropped up quite a bit in the autism research arena and has appeared more than once on this blog (see here and see ........ Read more »

  • September 26, 2014
  • 05:32 AM
  • 80 views

Schizophrenia after child and adolescent psychiatric disorders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

More of a 'bring to your attention' post today, as I bring to your attention(!) the paper by Cecilie Frejstrup Maibing and colleagues [1] who concluded: "The risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders [SSD] after a child and adolescent psychiatric disorder was significantly increased particularly in the short term but also in the long-term period"."I coulda been a contender"The findings were based on an analysis of one of those very informative Scandinavian........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2014
  • 05:10 AM
  • 96 views

Temporal trends in US autism prevalence: mainly real increase

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s"."They call me Cha Cha because I'm the best dancer at St. Bernadette's"That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Cynthia Nevison [1] (open-access) following her analysis of temporal trends in autism diagnosis for birth years between 1970 and 2005. Based on an analysis o........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 06:58 AM
  • 151 views

Psychiatric effects of childhood inflammation?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher levels of the systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 [interleukin 6] in childhood are associated with an increased risk of developing depression and psychosis in young adulthood". So said the paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] looking at the growing link between inflammation and psychiatry.The bright light of Autumn @ Wikipedia The name Khandaker has appeared before on this blog (see here and see here), most recently with research looking at a possible link between the........ Read more »

Golam M. Khandaker, Rebecca M. Pearson, Stanley Zammit, Glyn Lewis, & Peter B. Jones. (2014) Association of Serum Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein in Childhood With Depression and Psychosis in Young Adult Life. JAMA Psychiatry. info:/doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1332

  • September 23, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 94 views

Maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Much like the discussions around the paper by Rogers and colleagues (see here) on treating autism in the first year of life, the media scrum around the findings from Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues [1] talking about maternal iron supplements and offspring autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk preceded the publication of the paper by a few days. It's getting to be a pet-hate of mine that big headlines are being generated sometimes days before your average Jane or Joe can see the data upon which they........ Read more »

Rebecca J. Schmidt, Daniel J. Tancredi, Paula Krakowiak, Robin L. Hansen, & Sally Ozonoff. (2014) Maternal Intake of Supplemental Iron and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Epidemiology. info:/doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu208

  • September 23, 2014
  • 05:00 AM
  • 80 views

Gut issues in autism impacting on drug availability and absorption

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As indicated in a recent post, I was really rather pleased to see the paper by Andrew Heitzer and colleagues [1] (open-access) asking the important question: Should clinical trial research of psychotropic medication in autism control for gastrointestinal symptoms? Some media about the study can also be found here."You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button".The answer is of course, yes and not just when it comes to psychotropic medicines either, given that gastroint........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 98 views

Omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With a title like that, this post could turn out to be quite a long winded blog entry. As it happens, I'm not going to subject you, dear reader, to such a literary onslaught but rather focus my attention on the paper by Elizabeth Hawkey & Joel Nigg [1] who undertook two meta-analyses and concluded that: "Omega-3 levels are reduced in children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]" and "Dietary supplementation appears to create modest improvements in symptoms"."Maybe the 80s wi........ Read more »

  • September 20, 2014
  • 04:51 AM
  • 102 views

Antibiotics and risk of pediatric Crohn's disease

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I couldn't let the meta-analysis from Ryan Ungaro and colleagues [1] pass without a brief mention. Concluding that: "Exposure to antibiotics appears to increase the odds of being newly diagnosed with CD [Crohn's disease] but not UC [ulcerative colitis]" and further: "This risk is most marked in children diagnosed with CD", the implications from this and other findings in this area may be far-reaching.I've talked before on this blog about antibiotic exposure and risk of inflam........ Read more »

Ungaro R, Bernstein CN, Gearry R, Hviid A, Kolho KL, Kronman MP, Shaw S, Van Kruiningen H, Colombel JF, & Atreja A. (2014) Antibiotics Associated With Increased Risk of New-Onset Crohn's Disease But Not Ulcerative Colitis: A Meta-Analysis. The American journal of gastroenterology. PMID: 25223575  

  • September 19, 2014
  • 04:08 AM
  • 100 views

Increasing parental age and autism severity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An interesting paper by David Geier and colleagues [1] (open-access here) caught my eye recently, concluding that there was a lack of support for the suggestion that: "increasing parental age was associated with increasing autism spectrum disorder phenotypic severity"."the snozzberries taste like snozzberries".Before progressing through the paper and its possible implications, the eagle-eyed out there might have already spotted the name Dr Brian Hooker on the authorship list of the Geier paper. ........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2014
  • 04:50 AM
  • 141 views

Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity linked to gut issues in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The name's Lonnegan! Doyle Lonnegan!"Consider this micropost an extension of some previous discussions on this blog about how gastrointestinal (GI) issues present in cases of autism might show some connection to the presence of anxiety and sensory issues (see here). Today I'm discussing further research by Micah Mazurek and colleagues [1] which follows a previous publication by this author [2] on this topic.In the latest paper, Dr Mazurek and colleagues describe the course of abdominal pain in ........ Read more »

  • September 17, 2014
  • 06:29 AM
  • 104 views

Autoimmune disease risk and eating disorders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We were set up. The cops were waiting for us.""We observed an association between eating disorders and several autoimmune diseases with different genetic backgrounds. Our findings support the link between immune-mediated mechanisms and development of eating disorders".So said the paper by Anu Raevuori and colleagues [1] (open-access) based on an analysis of over 2300 people "treated at the Eating Disorder Unit of Helsinki University Central Hospital between 1995 and 2010" compared with nea........ Read more »

Raevuori A, Haukka J, Vaarala O, Suvisaari JM, Gissler M, Grainger M, Linna MS, & Suokas JT. (2014) The increased risk for autoimmune diseases in patients with eating disorders. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25147950  

  • September 16, 2014
  • 02:50 AM
  • 114 views

The schizophrenias (plural)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A micropost if you will, to draw your attention to the paper by Javier Arnedo and colleagues [1] mentioning the concept of 'the schizophrenias' (plural). Some media coverage of this paper can be found here and here. The crux of the paper is that although currently unified by a diagnostic label, schizophrenia seems to be comprised of various conditions: "caused by a moderate number of separate genotypic networks associated with several distinct clinical syndromes"."... dogs and cats living t........ Read more »

Javier Arnedo, Dragan M. Svrakic, Coral del Val, Rocío Romero-Zaliz, Helena Hernández-Cuervo, Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Consortium, Ayman H. Fanous, Michele T. Pato, Carlos N. Pato, Gabriel A. de Erausquin.... (2014) Uncovering the Hidden Risk Architecture of the Schizophrenias: Confirmation in Three Independent Genome-Wide Association Studies. The American Journal of Psychiatry. info:/doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14040435

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:47 AM
  • 96 views

Zinc and copper and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Li and colleagues [1] looking at serum copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) levels in a group of participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the source material for today's post. Highlighting how "mean serum Zn levels and Zn/Cu ratio were significantly lower in children with ASD compared with normal cases... whereas serum Cu levels were significantly higher" the continued focus on the metallome in autism carries on at a pace. I should at this point out that I'm not in........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2014
  • 11:47 AM
  • 111 views

Insulin, growth hormone and risk of schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Overall, the present findings suggest that metabolic and hormonal disturbances such as effects on insulin and growth hormone may represent a vulnerability factor to develop mental disorders". That was the conclusion reported by van Beveren and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at "disruption of insulin and growth factor signaling pathways as an increased risk factor for schizophrenia"."Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars"Drawing on data derived from participants taking part in&n........ Read more »

  • September 11, 2014
  • 09:55 AM
  • 129 views

Treating autism in the first year of life

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I had been waiting y'know. Waiting a while for the paper by Sally Rogers and colleagues [1] to finally appear quite a few days after the media headlines about 'reducing', 'reversing' and even 'eliminating' the signs and symptoms of autism in early infancy had appeared. Personally, I prefer the New Scientist headline: 'Early autism intervention speeds infant development' given the text of the paper. I should perhaps also add the words 'for some' to that sentence as you will hopefully see...I........ Read more »

S. J. Rogers, L. Vismara, A. L. Wagner, C. McCormick, G. Young, & S. Ozonoff. (2014) Autism Treatment in the First Year of Life: A Pilot Study of Infant Start, a Parent-Implemented Intervention for Symptomatic Infants. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. info:/10.1007/s10803-014-2202-y

  • September 11, 2014
  • 04:42 AM
  • 126 views

Omega-3 fatty acids rescues Fragile X phenotypes in Fmr1-Ko mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results demonstrate that n-3 PUFAs dietary supplementation, although not a panacea, has a considerable therapeutic value for FXS [Fragile X syndrome] and potentially for ASD [autism spectrum disorder], suggesting a major mediating role of neuroinflammatory mechanisms".A view @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached by Susanna Pietropaolo and colleagues [1] who "evaluated the impact of n-3 PUFA dietary supplementation in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome ........ Read more »

Pietropaolo S, Goubran MG, Joffre C, Aubert A, Lemaire-Mayo V, Crusio WE, & Layé S. (2014) Dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids rescues fragile X phenotypes in Fmr1-Ko mice. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 119-129. PMID: 25080404  

  • September 10, 2014
  • 05:01 AM
  • 91 views

Donepezil and D-cycloserine rescue behaviours in VPA exposed animals

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a post not-so-long-ago I talked about an interesting piece of research by Ahn and colleagues [1] suggesting that a ketogenic diet might yet hold some promise to "modify complex social behaviors and mitochondrial respiration" affected in the "prenatal valproic acid (VPA) rodent model of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]". The idea being that exposure to valproic acid (valproate) during the nine months that made us might carry some heightened risk for adverse effects on offspring development (see ........ Read more »

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