"Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance."So said the findings reported by Felicity Larson and colleagues  (open-access available here) who bring an important topic into view that has recently been raised in the media too (see here). I appreciate that to talk about yet more comorbidity pot........ Read more »
Larson, F., Wagner, A., Jones, P., Tantam, D., Lai, M., Baron-Cohen, S., & Holland, A. (2016) Psychosis in autism: comparison of the features of both conditions in a dually affected cohort. The British Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.116.187682
Nature Reviews Neuroscience is one of the foremost journals in neuroscience. What do its articles look like? How have they developed? This blog post provides answers which might guide you in writing your own reviews. Read more than you used to Reviews in Nature Reviews Neuroscience cover more and more ground. Ten years ago, 93 […]... Read more »
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We’ve seen the reports of hate crimes skyrocketing—both in general, and specifically for Muslims. Now a new report says the self-reports of discrimination from Latinos have doubled in the past decade. The study used data from the National Latino Health Care Survey (a telephone survey of 800 Latino adults completed in 2013). The lead author […]... Read more »
Almeida, J., Biello, K., Pedraza, F., Wintner, S., & Viruell-Fuentes, E. (2016) The association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination among Latinos in the US: A multilevel analysis. SSM - Population Health, 897-903. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2016.11.003
"Our findings identify distinctive mucosal microbial signatures in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children with FGID [functional gastrointestinal disorders] that correlate with cytokine and tryptophan homeostasis."So said the study results published by Ruth Ann Luna and colleagues  who "compared mucosa-associated microbial communities in children with ASD to previous reports characterizing stool in this population" among other things. If you are eating breakfast/lunch/dinner at........ Read more »
Luna, R., Oezguen, N., Balderas, M., Venkatachalam, A., Runge, J., Versalovic, J., Veenstra-VanderWeele, J., Anderson, G., Savidge, T., & Williams, K. (2016) Distinct microbiome-neuroimmune signatures correlate with functional abdominal pain in children with autism spectrum disorder. CMGH Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2016.11.008
"Consistent with the previous findings, [the] rate of suicidality is higher in individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."That was one of the conclusions reported in the paper by Sevcan Karakoç Demirkaya and colleagues  (open-access) yet again touching on a most important topic when it comes to autism, particularly the part of the autism spectrum labelled as 'high-functioning'. Personally, I'm not a great fan of the 'functioning' description typically added to autism to ........ Read more »
Karakoç Demirkaya, S., Tutkunkardaş, M., & Mukaddes, N. (2016) Assessment of suicidality in children and adolescents with diagnosis of high functioning autism spectrum disorder in a Turkish clinical sample. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2921-2926. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S118304
A recent paper attempts to test predictions of Differential-K Theory about race differences using data on population differences in androgens.Close examination of this data shows that the predictions fail.... Read more »
Dutton, E., van der Linden, D., & Lynn, R. (2016) Population differences in androgen levels: A test of the Differential K theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 289-295. info:/
Time flies! Once again, I'm posting my annual 'state of the science' autism research review, this time covering the particularly unusual year of 2016.With around 300 blog entries to choose from, I'm changing the format this year to list a 'top 5' of areas where I think some scientific progress has been made. The caveat as ever being that there are still mountains to climb in terms of delineating aetiology, nature and importantly, how one can actually improve quality of life for those on the........ Read more »
Nevill, R., Lecavalier, L., & Stratis, E. (2016) Meta-analysis of parent-mediated interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. DOI: 10.1177/1362361316677838
With the pinnacle of the season of 'jolly' almost upon us, I'd like to make some brief discussion on the findings reported by Denise Rogers and colleagues  and specifically the observation that: "ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] symptoms were significantly greater in the CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] group than in HC [healthy controls]."With the aim of examining both the prevalence of fatigue in cases of ADHD and the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in adults wi........ Read more »
Rogers, D., Dittner, A., Rimes, K., & Chalder, T. (2016) Fatigue in an adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder population: A trans-diagnostic approach. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjc.12119
"Some psychosis cases an 'immune disorder'" went the BBC headline with reference to the paper by Belinda Lennox and colleagues  talking about the detection of antibodies against the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) in cases of first-episode psychosis (FEP).Although by no means a universal phenomenon, researchers reported that 3% of their 228 participants diagnosed with FEP who provided a blood sample showed the presence of NMDAR antibodies compared with none of the healthy controls ........ Read more »
Lennox, B., Palmer-Cooper, E., Pollak, T., Hainsworth, J., Marks, J., Jacobson, L., Lang, B., Fox, H., Ferry, B., Scoriels, L.... (2016) Prevalence and clinical characteristics of serum neuronal cell surface antibodies in first-episode psychosis: a case-control study. The Lancet Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30375-3
"New form of autism found" went one of the headlines reporting on the paper by Dora C. Tărlungeanu and colleagues  and findings that "elucidate a neurological syndrome defined by SLC7A5 mutations and support an essential role for the BCAA [branched-chain amino acids] in human brain function." This work continues a rather important research story talking about how one 'type' of autism might have some important roots in relation to the branched-chain amino acids and their m........ Read more »
Tărlungeanu, D., Deliu, E., Dotter, C., Kara, M., Janiesch, P., Scalise, M., Galluccio, M., Tesulov, M., Morelli, E., Sonmez, F.... (2016) Impaired Amino Acid Transport at the Blood Brain Barrier Is a Cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cell, 167(6), 1481-2147483647. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.11.013
Want to know if someone is interested? Watch their pupils
The pupils are among those parts of body languages that are not in our conscious control. White and Maltzman (1977) found that the pupil starts dilating when a person shows interest in some other person he or she talking to.
Want to know the person is into you? Watch the feet
Most people know how to keep a check on their expressions, but they are unaware about their feet. So, if a person is interested in........ Read more »
Dodd, M., Hibbing, J., & Smith, K. (2010) The politics of attention: gaze-cuing effects are moderated by political temperament. Attention, Perception, , 73(1), 24-29. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-010-0001-x
"Gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with autism-related traits in a large population-based sample. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, cheap and accessible supplements, this candidate risk factor warrants closer scrutiny."So said the findings reported by Vinkhuyzen and colleagues  (open-access) reporting on data derived from "the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort from fetal life onward, based in Rotterdam, The Netherl........ Read more »
Vinkhuyzen AA, Eyles DW, Burne TH, Blanken LM, Kruithof CJ, Verhulst F, Jaddoe VW, Tiemeier H, & McGrath JJ. (2016) Gestational vitamin D deficiency and autism-related traits: the Generation R Study. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 27895322
While you may think you have heard this line recently, this is really (based on new research) what most of us think about ourselves. It is called the “better than average effect” and it is very persistent. We might smirk at politicians who actually say things like this aloud, but that’s only because we tend […]... Read more »
Howell JL, & Ratliff KA. (2016) Not your average bigot: The better-than-average effect and defensive responding to Implicit Association Test feedback. The British Journal of Social Psychology. PMID: 27709628
A new post at Quartz discusses
The disturbingly accurate brain science that identifies potential criminals while they’re still toddlers... scientists are able to use brain tests on three-year-olds to determine which children are more likely to grow up to become criminals.
Hmmm. Not really.
The research in question is from from North Carolina researchers Avshalom Caspi et al.: Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden. It's based on a long-term... Read more »
Caspi, A., Houts, R., Belsky, D., Harrington, H., Hogan, S., Ramrakha, S., Poulton, R., & Moffitt, T. (2016) Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden. Nature Human Behaviour, 5. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0005
"In the ASD [autism spectrum disorder] brain, there is an altered expression of genes associated with BBB [blood-brain barrier] integrity coupled with increased neuroinflammation and possibly impaired gut barrier integrity."Although pretty enthused to see research linking names like Anna Sapone, Tim Buie and Alessio Fasano in the recent paper published by Maria Fiorentino and colleagues  (open-access), I was slightly less impressed with the use of the term 'the ASD brain' ........ Read more »
Fiorentino, M., Sapone, A., Senger, S., Camhi, S., Kadzielski, S., Buie, T., Kelly, D., Cascella, N., & Fasano, A. (2016) Blood–brain barrier and intestinal epithelial barrier alterations in autism spectrum disorders. Molecular Autism, 7(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0110-z
So, here is a vocabulary of some of the loveliest and beautiful emotions having no direct English translations:
Að jenna (Icelandic): Willingness or ability to continue the hard or boring tasks
Ah-un ((阿吽, Japanese): Unspoken communication between close friends
Cafune (Portuguese): Tenderly moving fingers through the hairs of a lover one
Fargin (Yiddish): To show or express pride and happiness at the success of others
Gökotta (Swedish): Waking up early to hea........ Read more »
Lomas, T. (2016) Towards a positive cross-cultural lexicography: Enriching our emotional landscape through 216 ‘untranslatable’ words pertaining to well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(5), 546-558. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1127993
"There was no association between maternal influenza [flu] infection anytime during pregnancy and increased ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk."So said the findings reported by Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues  continuing a research theme from this author (see here for example) looking at how various infections 'encountered' during critical periods of pregnancy may / may not impact on offspring autism risk. This time around the focus was on viral infections and in partic........ Read more »
Zerbo O, Qian Y, Yoshida C, Fireman BH, Klein NP, & Croen LA. (2016) Association Between Influenza Infection and Vaccination During Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. JAMA pediatrics. PMID: 27893896
Last week the Shark Tank television show was apparently shown during a time my DVR was trying to record another show for me. As I watched it, I was amused to see a couple of entrepreneurs whispering to each other to do “power poses” before they pitched to the shark-investors. I was amused, because I’d […]... Read more »
Bartlett, T. (2016) Power Poser: When big ideas go bad. Chronicle of Higher Education. info:/
"Children with idiopathic ASD [autism spectrum disorder] are significantly more likely to have non-febrile seizures than their unaffected siblings, suggesting that non-febrile seizures may be ASD-specific."So said the findings from Lena McCue and colleagues  (open-access) continuing a research theme looking at one of the important 'comorbidities' that seems to be over-represented when it comes to a diagnosis of autism (see here). Idiopathic autism or ASD refers to autism as the........ Read more »
McCue, L., Flick, L., Twyman, K., Xian, H., & Conturo, T. (2016) Prevalence of non-febrile seizures in children with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder and their unaffected siblings: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Neurology, 16(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12883-016-0764-3
A quote to begin this fairly brief post: "Our study concluded that higher levels of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] severity-not ASD [autism spectrum disorder] severity-were associated with a higher prevalence of comorbid psychiatric symptomatology in school-age children with ASD. These findings may encourage clinicians to thoroughly assess ADHD symptomatology in ASD children to better inform treatment planning."That was the research bottom line reported by Ro........ Read more »
Mansour R, Dovi AT, Lane DM, Loveland KA, & Pearson DA. (2016) ADHD severity as it relates to comorbid psychiatric symptomatology in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Research in developmental disabilities, 52-64. PMID: 27889487
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