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  • January 4, 2017
  • 05:43 AM
  • 474 views

A distinctive microbial signature in kids with autism and GI issues?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] 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  

  • January 3, 2017
  • 06:28 AM
  • 447 views

Suicidality in children and young adults with 'high-functioning' autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] (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 »

  • January 2, 2017
  • 04:06 AM
  • 452 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (DEC 2016)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

2016 is coming to an end, and in the last post of the year, I highlight three of the most important articles on Blastocystis published in 2016.... Read more »

Scanlan PD, Knight R, Song SJ, Ackermann G, & Cotter PD. (2016) Prevalence and genetic diversity of Blastocystis in family units living in the United States. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 95-97. PMID: 27545648  

Kurt Ö, Doğruman Al F, & Tanyüksel M. (2016) Eradication of Blastocystis in humans: Really necessary for all?. Parasitology international, 65(6 Pt B), 797-801. PMID: 26780545  

  • December 30, 2016
  • 06:30 PM
  • 428 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (DEC 2016)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

2016 is coming to an end, and in the last post of the year, I highlight three of the most important articles on Blastocystis published in 2016.... Read more »

Scanlan PD, Knight R, Song SJ, Ackermann G, & Cotter PD. (2016) Prevalence and genetic diversity of Blastocystis in family units living in the United States. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 95-97. PMID: 27545648  

Kurt Ö, Doğruman Al F, & Tanyüksel M. (2016) Eradication of Blastocystis in humans: Really necessary for all?. Parasitology international, 65(6 Pt B), 797-801. PMID: 26780545  

  • December 30, 2016
  • 02:51 PM
  • 393 views

What is Turmeric and How to Use it to Prevent of Heart Diseases

by Maggie Martin in United Academics

If you are thinking of using turmeric for heart disease, first understand how it works and then know how it is supposed to be consumed. Turmeric works in numerous ways to boost heart health. It is considered a powerful antioxidant with an active ingredient known as curcumin, responsible for the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of turmeric.... Read more »

Govindarajan, V., & Stahl, W. (2009) Turmeric — chemistry, technology, and quality. C R C Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 12(3), 199-301. DOI: 10.1080/10408398009527278  

  • December 29, 2016
  • 08:20 PM
  • 452 views

Believe in miracles... and yourself

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

End of the year is a very special time as Holiday lights melt away our inner Grinch and we start to believe in miracles and new beginnings. ​Belief is not a religious phenomenon. It is our way of coping with the future and finding existential meaning. Scientific studies show that belief in miracles contributes to greater life satisfaction. Belief in science and technological progress can make people satisfied with their lives even more. The stronger the sense of personal control, the higher s........ Read more »

  • December 27, 2016
  • 06:10 AM
  • 472 views

2016 autism research review on Questioning Answers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 »

Waterhouse, L., London, E., & Gillberg, C. (2016) ASD Validity. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 3(4), 302-329. DOI: 10.1007/s40489-016-0085-x  

  • December 23, 2016
  • 05:03 AM
  • 487 views

ADHD symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 [1] 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 »

  • December 22, 2016
  • 03:31 AM
  • 487 views

Psychosis (sometimes) as an immune disorder?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Some psychosis cases an 'immune disorder'" went the BBC headline with reference to the paper by Belinda Lennox and colleagues [1] 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 »

  • December 21, 2016
  • 06:02 AM
  • 528 views

"New form of autism found"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"New form of autism found" went one of the headlines reporting on the paper by Dora C. Tărlungeanu and colleagues [1] 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  

  • December 20, 2016
  • 04:33 AM
  • 508 views

Generation R does gestational vitamin D levels and autistic traits

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] (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  

  • December 19, 2016
  • 03:19 AM
  • 519 views

Gut barrier integrity meets blood-brain barrier integrity with autism in mind

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] (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  

  • December 17, 2016
  • 05:51 AM
  • 433 views

Pregnancy influenza infection not linked to offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] 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 »

  • December 16, 2016
  • 05:25 AM
  • 453 views

Patient participation in clinical trials

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Clinical trials are crucial to help doctors and scientists understand how to safely treat a particular condition, to evaluate new treatments and to test drug safety and efficacy. They have an important role in every step of managing a condition with different clinical trials helping with prevention, diagnosis, treatments and follow-up support.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2016
  • 03:16 AM
  • 442 views

Non-febrile seizures in children with autism vs unaffected siblings

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"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 [1] (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 »

  • December 15, 2016
  • 02:59 AM
  • 500 views

ADHD, not autism, might count when it comes to 'comorbid psychiatric symptomatology'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 »

  • December 14, 2016
  • 03:07 AM
  • 477 views

Urinary metabolomics in autism turns up tryptophan (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The tryptophan metabolic pathway collectively displays the largest perturbations in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the findings reported by Federica Gevi and colleagues [1] (open-access) who provide yet more 'metabolomic' data when it comes to autism to add to the already quite voluminous peer-reviewed matter on this topic (see here for example).Just in case you aren't analytical chemistry-saavy, metabolomics is basically the study of the various chemical fingerprints that th........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2016
  • 04:25 AM
  • 453 views

'My child is not talking'. Online concerns and internet-based screening for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Online communities are used as platforms by parents to verify developmental and health concerns related to their child."That was the starting point for the study results reported by Ben-Sasson & Yom-Tov [1] (open-access available here) who approached an increasingly important issue related to how the Internet and social media in particular, is fast becoming one of the 'go-to' options when it comes to parental concerns about their child's development and the question: could it be autism........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2016
  • 04:37 AM
  • 423 views

Maternal immune activation (MIA) and Old World monkeys

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Old World monkeys detailed in the title of this post, specifically refers to a type of animal called a rhesus macaque who were the 'participants' of choice as detailed in a recent study by Destanie Rose and colleagues [1] looking at a concept called maternal immune activation (MIA).Those who followed this blog down the years will no doubt have seen me discuss MIA before in the context of autism and/or schizophrenia (see here for example). The basic theory is that whilst in-utero a........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2016
  • 04:28 AM
  • 505 views

"Are we expecting too much from the extreme male brain theory of autism?"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post reflects the commentary published by Andrew Whitehouse [1] (open-access) discussing the meaning of the findings reported by Kung and colleagues [2] who quite categorically stated that there was: "No relationship between prenatal androgen exposure and autistic traits" in their study.OK, androgen exposure and psychology basically refers to the extreme male brain theory and autism which suggests that the so-called over-representation of autism in males is potentiall........ Read more »

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