Paul Whiteley

268 posts · 74,104 views

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

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  • April 17, 2014
  • 04:31 AM
  • 23 views

Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Suzanne Goh and colleagues [1] reporting on "a possible neurobiological subtype of mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" is a worthy addition to the research roll call which has graced this blog down the years. Based on the analysis of brain lactate levels - a potential marker of mitochondrial dysfunction - via the analysis of lactate doublets on brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), authors picked up a significantly higher rate of l........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2014
  • 01:54 AM
  • 35 views

Joined by HDAC (inhibitors)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm treading quite carefully with this post which came about following my [non-expert] reading of the paper abstract from Anand Venkatraman and colleagues [1] on a potential downside to the use of HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a progressive disease affecting movement and other knock-on functions. This follows other work suggesting that certain HDAC inhibitors might offer some important new lines of investigation when it co........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 03:58 AM
  • 60 views

Neurology of inflammatory bowel diseases

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Ben-Or and colleagues [1] talking about a neurologic profile present in a small participant cohort of children and adolescents diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caught my eye recently. Their findings reporting that over two-thirds of their paediatric participant group diagnosed with IBD also "exhibited neurologic manifestations" provides some compelling preliminary evidence for further investigation in this area.Outside of reports of headache and dizziness, the pres........ Read more »

  • April 11, 2014
  • 06:25 PM
  • 74 views

Dad's obesity and risk of offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In this post I'm talking about the paper by Pål Surén and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that "paternal obesity is an independent risk factor for ASDs [autism spectrum disorders] in children". I do so not with the intent of stigmatising parents and specifically parents with weight issues, which tend to be present for many more reasons than just food and exercise (see here), but merely to highlight how parental physical health may show some relationship to offspring cog........ Read more »

Suren, P., Gunnes, N., Roth, C., Bresnahan, M., Hornig, M., Hirtz, D., Lie, K., Lipkin, W., Magnus, P., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T.... (2014) Parental Obesity and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3664  

  • April 10, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 86 views

Gluten exposure and "feelings of depression"?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Could exposure to dietary gluten affect a person's moods or emotional state?Well, if the paper by Simone Peters and colleagues [1] (open-access here) is to be believed the answer may very well be yes, at least in some cases, as they report a link between gluten consumption and feelings of depression under [short-term] experimental conditions. If replicated, such a finding may have profound consequences for how we view our relationship between food and mental health and wellbeing.Bread Ma'am?&nbs........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 03:35 AM
  • 94 views

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and various factors

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Kate Lievesley and colleagues [1] documenting various "predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in children and adolescents" caught my eye recently. Based on a review of the research literature around the topic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [in childhood], the authors set about detailing some of the important factors linked to the condition and in doing so, highlighted how physiology and psychology might combine when it........ Read more »

  • April 6, 2014
  • 02:47 AM
  • 91 views

Vitamin D deficiency and more and risk of ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Vitamin D – could it stop 'modern’ diseases?" was one of the headlines I read quite recently as more pressure is being applied on the sunshine vitamin to perform when it comes to our health and welbeing. Indeed, not so long ago I posted an entry updating where we're at when it comes to the 'sunshine' vitamin D and the autism spectrum conditions. The conclusion buried in that post was that whilst there is some interesting work potentially linking vitamin D and autism, there is still more to ........ Read more »

  • April 3, 2014
  • 04:20 AM
  • 84 views

New life for naltrexone and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

During the very earliest days of the life of this blog I posted about the opiate antagonist naltrexone (ReVia®) and some research on its history with autism in mind; in particular, the various emerging speculations on low dose naltrexone (LDN) (see here). Today I'm following up that entry based on the results of a systematic review by Ashok Roy and colleagues [1] on the value (or not) of naltrexone for "attenuating the core symptoms of autism spectrum conditions in children"."Yadwigha........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2014
  • 04:32 AM
  • 76 views

ALV003 glutenase and more

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today's post is a bit of mash-up but hopefully containing some common threads. If you're also reading the title of this post and wondering what it might have to do with autism research, stay with me...For mash get smash... @ Wikpedia The chopping up duties of ALV003To start, we have the paper by Lähdeaho and colleagues [1] who reported results based on the "ability of ALV003, a mixture of 2 recombinant gluten-specific proteases given orally, to protect patients with cel........ Read more »

Lähdeaho ML, Kaukinen K, Laurila K, Vuotikka P, Koivurova OP, Kärjä-Lahdensuu T, Marcantonio A, Adelman DC, & Mäki M. (2014) The Glutenase ALV003 Attenuates Gluten-Induced Mucosal Injury in Patients with Celiac Disease. Gastroenterology. PMID: 24583059  

Ludvigsson JF, Neovius M, & Hammarström L. (2014) Association Between IgA Deficiency . Journal of clinical immunology. PMID: 24584841  

  • March 28, 2014
  • 08:06 PM
  • 111 views

Inflaming inflammation and psychiatry

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The systematic review published by Mitchell & Goldstein [1] kinda says it all when it comes to our current view of the topic of inflammation and psychiatry, and in particular inflammation and neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): "There is preliminary evidence for elevated markers of inflammation in this population".All at sea (JMW Turner) @ Wikipedia I've talked quite a bit on this blog about how, a........ Read more »

  • March 27, 2014
  • 12:21 PM
  • 97 views

The new CDC autism prevalence rate

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst quite a lot of media space is currently being devoted to talking about the study by Rich Stoner and colleagues [1] and sweeping generalisations like the BBC headline: Autism 'begins long before birth' with seemingly only little appreciation of the small-scale nature of the study and little details linked to samples being post-mortem tissues, other important autism-related news is also out there.CDC US autism prevalence estimates @ Autism Speaks I'm ........ Read more »

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Surveillance Year 2010 Principal Investigators. (2014) Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010. Morbidity . info:/

  • March 26, 2014
  • 04:54 AM
  • 93 views

Vision impairment and ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Science often has the ability to surprise.So it was when I first read the paper by Dawn Decarlo and colleagues* (open-access here) which suggested that: "children with vision impairment may be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] than children in the general population". I should point out that this observation should not be totally unexpected given some media for other studies by the authors (see here).Lady in a green jacket @ Wikipedia &nbs........ Read more »

Decarlo DK, Bowman E, Monroe C, Kline R, McGwin G Jr, & Owsley C. (2014) Prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among children with vision impairment. Journal of AAPOS : the official publication of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus / American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 18(1), 10-4. PMID: 24568975  

  • March 24, 2014
  • 05:30 AM
  • 96 views

A specific female ASD phenotype is emerging...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this brief post is a quote taken from the abstract of the paper by Frazier and colleagues [1] who, following an analysis of participants included in the Simons Simplex Collection, concluded that autism research and practice might well consider looking at differences in the presentation of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) between the sexes.The Lady of Shalott @ Wikipedia Including nearly 2500 people with autism including over 2100 males and 304 females, examining ........ Read more »

Frazier TW, Georgiades S, Bishop SL, & Hardan AY. (2014) Behavioral and cognitive characteristics of females and males with autism in the simons simplex collection. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(3), 329-340000. PMID: 24565360  

  • March 21, 2014
  • 06:29 AM
  • 133 views

Dioxin exposure and autistic traits?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As promised in a previous post, today I'm turning my attention to the paper by Muneko Nishijo and colleagues [1] and their conclusion of "a specific impact of perinatal TCDD [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin] on autistic traits in childhood, which is different from the neurotoxicity of total dioxins (PCDDs/Fs) [polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans]".TCDD @ Wikipedia With all the recent chatter about [surrogate] environmental markers and the numbers ........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 03:39 AM
  • 112 views

Environmental exposure and autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a post not-so-long-ago I talked about the paper by Andrey Rzhetsky and colleagues [1] and their assertion that environment (various facets of environment) might correlate with the increasing numbers of cases of autism being diagnosed. As per what was said on that post, there were lots of media headlines generated about the findings; some balanced and some a little sensational.Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be @ Wikipedia One of the main caveats I had with the Rzhetsky study was the relian........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2014
  • 11:33 PM
  • 110 views

Soy infant formula and seizures in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Spring @ Wikipedia 'Association' is a word I'm sure many people with a connection to autism will have heard a lot about. Y'know gene X or compound Y is the plat du jour when it comes to autism aetiology; more often than not carrying the caveat 'requires further investigation'. As to whether such investigations are ever truly carried out would perhaps be an interesting piece of research on autism research.Today I'm talking about another association, another variable to throw into the st........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2014
  • 04:42 AM
  • 111 views

Obesity and autism (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Phillips and colleagues [1] looking at the prevalence of 'unhealthy weight' in relation to developmentally-defined conditions including autism brought me to writing this update post on the topic of obesity and autism. As you might glean from that previous sentence, obesity and over-weightness(?) has been talked about before on this blog (see here and see here for example). My recent discussion in relation to findings of elevated plasma leptin in cases of autism (see here) ........ Read more »

  • March 14, 2014
  • 06:03 PM
  • 108 views

Environmental exposure and autism incidence?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

So: "After controlling for ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic factors, the strongest predictor of ASD [autism spectrum disorders] was the rate of male congenital malformations of the reproductive system, used as an approximate measurement for exposure to teratogens, based on extensive epidemiological evidence".That was one of the conclusions reached by the study by Andrey Rzhetsky and colleagues [1] (open-access) which looked at spatial incidence patterns of autism and........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2014
  • 05:46 AM
  • 107 views

Pain predicting sleep problems in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Not so long ago I talked about the paper from Smith and colleagues [1] on autism and obstacles to medical [comorbidity] diagnosis and treatment (see here). Aside from the need for professionals to overcome the issue of "a lack of expressive speech" as an impediment to undertaking a thorough medical work-up when presented with a person with autism, an important theme of that paper was the requirement to see beyond autism as being the 'reason' for every single behaviour or issue that aff........ Read more »

Tudor ME, Walsh CE, Mulder EC, & Lerner MD. (2014) Pain as a predictor of sleep problems in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 24497628  

  • March 10, 2014
  • 05:39 AM
  • 99 views

Acute psychosis and urinary tract infection

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'm highlighting the paper by Krystle Graham and colleagues [1] which talked about a possible association between the presence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in various types of psychosis. With my interest in all things biology-behaviour, remembering such posts as impulsivity and uric acid (see here), once again we have an example of how the two areas just might fit together.The bullfighter (deceased) @Manet @Wikipedia So, take several groups of adult........ Read more »

Graham KL, Carson CM, Ezeoke A, Buckley PF, & Miller BJ. (2014) Urinary tract infections in acute psychosis. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 24499998  

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