Paul Whiteley

497 posts · 154,743 views

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

Sort by Latest Post, Most Popular

View by Condensed, Full

  • January 28, 2015
  • 05:03 AM
  • 14 views

Urinary histidine as a marker of 'dioxin-induced' neurodevelopmental issues?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Muneko Nishijo and colleagues [1] (open-access) caught my eye recently and their continuing investigations into the potential effects of perinatal dioxin exposure on offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. For a bit of background on this initiative based in Vietnam, I would refer readers to a previous post on this blog (see here).Your weakness is copper? Y-you're kidding right?In case you can't be bothered to follow that previous link, the idea was that exposure to TCDD [2,........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2015
  • 04:33 AM
  • 29 views

Siblings, genetics and the autisms (plural)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Ryan Yuen and colleagues [1] suggesting that most siblings with autism do not share the same genetic variations thought to contribute to the condition has garnered quite a few media headlines of late (see here and see here).Applying the concept of whole-genome sequencing whereby the complete genetic blueprint of a person is mapped to provide "the most comprehensive collection of an individual's genetic variation" [2], 340 genomes from 85 families with two children with a d........ Read more »

Yuen, R., Thiruvahindrapuram, B., Merico, D., Walker, S., Tammimies, K., Hoang, N., Chrysler, C., Nalpathamkalam, T., Pellecchia, G., Liu, Y.... (2015) Whole-genome sequencing of quartet families with autism spectrum disorder. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3792  

  • January 26, 2015
  • 04:44 AM
  • 51 views

What factors are linked to behavioural crises in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The question posed in the title of this post was asked and [partly] answered by the paper by Vincent Guinchat and colleagues [1] based on the analysis of 58 adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and "hospitalized for severe challenging behaviors." Challenging behaviours, by the way, refers to a whole spectrum of presentations which doesn't just include aggressive or violent behaviours (see here). Indeed, I recently talked about irritability and autism (see here), whic........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2015
  • 05:34 AM
  • 59 views

Hartnup disease in coeliac disease: lessons for 'some' autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Thomas Ciecierega and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about 'refractory' coeliac disease (CD) - a lack of, or diminished response to a gluten-free diet (the primary management option for CD) - and the subsequent diagnosis of Hartnup disease in a young girl is fodder for today's brief post.I already had a big bowl of curly-toed weirdo for breakfast.Describing how authors first diagnosed her with CD but witnessed "only mild clinical and laboratory improvement"........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2015
  • 06:30 AM
  • 70 views

NAC risperidone = decreased irritability in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been a while since I talked about NAC - N-acetylcysteine - on this blog with either autism or schizophrenia in mind (see here and see here respectively). Today I'm going to remedy that situation by bringing the paper by Nikoo and colleagues [1] to your attention, and their observation: "N-acetylcysteine can be considered as an adjuvant therapy for ADs [autistic disorders] with beneficial therapeutic outcomes." Adjuvant therapy by the way, refers to a sort of add-on therapy.We have........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 06:22 AM
  • 80 views

At-risk kids avoiding an autism diagnosis?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Jonathan Green and colleagues [1] (open-access) discussing results based on a "two-site, two-arm assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial of families with an infant at familial high risk of autism aged 7–10 months, testing the adapted Video Interaction to Promote Positive Parenting (iBASIS-VIPP) versus no intervention" caught quite a few eyes recently. With accompanying media headlines such as 'Parents May Be Able to Lower Kids’ Autism Risk' you can imagine the interest cr........ Read more »

Jonathan Green, Tony Charman, Andrew Pickles, Ming W Wan, Mayada Elsabbagh, Vicky Slonims, Carol Taylor, Janet McNally, Rhonda Booth, Teodora Gliga.... (2015) Parent-mediated intervention versus no intervention for infants at high risk of autism: a parallel, single-blind, randomised trial. The Lancet Psychiatry. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00091-1

  • January 22, 2015
  • 04:45 AM
  • 72 views

Experts and autism screening triage

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst hopefully using the word 'triage' in the right way in the title of this post, I want to briefly talk today about the paper by Terisa Gabrielsen and colleagues [1] (full-text version here) and their observation that when it came to "brief but highly focused observations", a group of psychologists (well, two of them) "with toddler and autism expertise" missed over a third of cases of children who required additional examination/screening for autism or autistic traits.I am Meredith........ Read more »

Terisa P. Gabrielsen, Megan Farley, Leslie Speer, Michele Villalobos, Courtney N. Baker, & Judith Miller. (2015) Identifying Autism in a Brief Observation. Pediatrics. info:/10.1542/peds.2014-1428

  • January 21, 2015
  • 05:34 AM
  • 69 views

Features of autism in childhood epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, features of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were common in children with epilepsy regardless of cognitive ability."Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sorry, Blondie. I don't do backstorySo said Colin Reily and colleagues [1] in their paper examining facets of autism in cases of childhood epilepsy. Suggesting also that the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) might be "a useful screening instrument in this population, and combining parent and teacher forms was opt........ Read more »

Reilly C, Atkinson P, Das KB, Chin RF, Aylett SE, Burch V, Gillberg C, Scott RC, & Neville BG. (2014) Features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in childhood epilepsy: A population-based study. Epilepsy , 86-92. PMID: 25529303  

  • January 20, 2015
  • 04:56 AM
  • 75 views

Autism and low vitamin D at birth

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Discussions about vitamin D (the 'sunshine' vitamin/hormone) and autism are not unfamiliar to this blog. Just last year (2014) I covered research talking about the possibility of a connection between vitamin D and [some] autism at least three times (see here and see here and see here), possibly more...but in my game, I'm the bad guy, and I live in the garbage.I wouldn't say that I'm an advocate for everything implied by the correlations being made between vitamin D levels and autism given that v........ Read more »

Elisabeth Fernell, Susanne Bejerot, Joakim Westerlund, Carmela Miniscalco, Henry Simila, Darryl Eyles, Christopher Gillberg, & Mats B Humble. (2015) Autism spectrum disorder and low vitamin D at birth: a sibling control study. Molecular Autism. info:/10.1186/2040-2392-6-3

  • January 19, 2015
  • 04:28 AM
  • 77 views

Taking care of mum following receipt of an offspring autism diagnosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The commentary by Elizabeth Karp & Alice Kuo [1] recently published in JAMA brought my attention back to the 2014 findings from Emily Feinberg and colleagues [2] (open-access) reporting on: "positive effects of PSE [problem-solving education] in reducing parenting stress and depressive symptoms during the critical postdiagnosis period" - that is, moves to taking care of maternal mental health after a child receives a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).This i........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2015
  • 05:25 AM
  • 87 views

What can physical activity do for ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In answer to the question posed in the title of this post, I might refer you to the paper by Susanne Ziereis & Petra Jansen [1] who concluded that results of their research study looking at the impact of two 12-week training programs "support the hypothesis that long-term PA [physical activity] has a positive effect on executive functions of children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]."That's the funny thing about birthdays, they're kind of an annual thi........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2015
  • 04:52 AM
  • 98 views

The gut and 15q Duplication Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The results indicate that GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms are common in Dup15q syndrome and may have an atypical presentation."Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's monster. And I'm looking for my creator.That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Elias Shaaya and colleagues [1] following a review of medical records for a small-ish group of participants diagnosed with chromosome 15q duplication syndrome (dup15q syndrome), a genetic condition "involving copy number gains of the ma........ Read more »

Shaaya, E., Pollack, S., Boronat, S., Davis-Cooper, S., Zella, G., & Thibert, R. (2015) Gastrointestinal Problems in 15q Duplication Syndrome. European Journal of Medical Genetics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.12.012  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 05:10 AM
  • 101 views

Maternal thyroid autoantibody and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have, on this blog, previously mentioned the paper by Alan Brown and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "The prevalence of maternal TPO-Ab+ [thyroid peroxidase antibody] was significantly increased in pregnancies giving rise to autism cases (6.15%) compared to controls (3.54%)." It was during some discussion on the suggested diagnosis of Down syndrome disintegrative disorder (see here) and the idea that some signs and symptoms of regressive autism (?) might overlap with TPO antibodies i........ Read more »

Brown, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Cheslack-Postava, K., Bao, Y., & Sourander, A. (2015) Maternal thyroid autoantibody and elevated risk of autism in a national birth cohort. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 86-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.10.010  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 05:11 AM
  • 100 views

Autism research in Jamaica

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

For the past couple of years I've been tracking some rather interesting publications coming out of data from Jamaica on the topic of autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically looking at the possible overlap between genes and various environmental factors. I thought now would be a good time to bring this collection of papers to the blogging table and summarise their findings based on the analysis of data collected from The Jamaican Autism study. The fact that their latest res........ Read more »

Rahbar MH, Samms-Vaughan M, Loveland KA, Pearson DA, Bressler J, Chen Z, Ardjomand-Hessabi M, Shakespeare-Pellington S, Grove ML, Beecher C.... (2012) Maternal and paternal age are jointly associated with childhood autism in Jamaica. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 42(9), 1928-38. PMID: 22230961  

  • January 13, 2015
  • 04:58 AM
  • 92 views

Autism diagnosis as a predictor of slow colonic transit

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues [1] suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by mea........ Read more »

Ridha Z, Quinn R, & Croaker GD. (2014) Predictors of slow colonic transit in children. Pediatric surgery international. PMID: 25549892  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 116 views

Ritual circumcision and risk of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "We confirmed our hypothesis that boys who undergo ritual circumcision may run a greater risk of developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder].""Objetos dispersos" de Xulio Formoso 2008That was the rather surprising finding reported by Morten Frisch & Jacob Simonsen [1] (open-access) following their register-based cohort study based in Denmark. Some of the media following this paper can be seen here.I'll be honest with you and say that my brow furrowed somewhat upon f........ Read more »

  • January 9, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 115 views

Early mortality in mums of children with autism or intellectual disability

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I know the paper by Jenny Fairthorne and colleagues [1] (open-access) is probably not the happiest thing to read with their conclusion that: "During the study period, mothers of children with intellectual disability or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had more than twice the risk of death" but their message is nonetheless an important one.Based on data derived from "state-wide databases" covering women living in Western Australia who gave birth between 1983 and 2005, researcher........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 123 views

Abdominal discomfort syndrome in a subset of ME/CFS

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The findings show that ADS [abdominal discomfort syndrome] is a characteristic of a subset of patients with ME/CFS [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and that increased bacterial translocation (leaky gut) is associated with ADS symptoms."Right there. God does not build in straight lines.So said the study by Michael Maes and colleagues [1] looking at both gastrointestinal (GI) symptom presentation in diagnosed cases of ME/CFS and "the IgA and IgM responses dire........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 128 views

Inflaming inflammation and autism: linking microglial activation and neuronal activity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It has been quite a few weeks since the publication of the paper by Simone Gupta and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about "observations [that] provide pathways and candidate genes that highlight the interplay between innate immunity and neuronal activity in the aetiology of autism."I'm a wrecker. I wreck things, professionally. I mean.At the time of publication in early December (2014), there was quite a bit of media interest in the findings as per reports such as this one and th........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 04:40 AM
  • 112 views

Olanzapine, gut bacteria and weight gain in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results collectively provide strong evidence for a mechanism underlying olanzapine-induced weight gain in mouse and a hypothesis for clinical translation in human patients."That was the summary statement derived from data published by Andrew Morgan and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at how some of those trillions of wee beasties which colonise humans and animals (the microbiome) may very well influence response to medicines... at least in mice. The authors' specific focus on on........ Read more »

Morgan AP, Crowley JJ, Nonneman RJ, Quackenbush CR, Miller CN, Ryan AK, Bogue MA, Paredes SH, Yourstone S, Carroll IM.... (2014) The Antipsychotic Olanzapine Interacts with the Gut Microbiome to Cause Weight Gain in Mouse. PloS one, 9(12). PMID: 25506936  

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.