Low muscle tone and autistic traits

“This large study showed a prospective association of infant muscle tone with autistic traits in childhood.” So said the findings reported by Fadila Serdarevic and colleagues who, looking at nearly 3000 children, were able to assess early motor development and muscle tone “between ages 2 and 5 months” and later parental ratings of autistic traits […]

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Say my name

“At 9 months of age, infants developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were more likely to fail to orient to their names, persisting through 24 months.” So said the findings reported by Meghan Miller and colleagues investigating an often over-looked but typically informative question relevant to childhood autism screening and assessment: the response to name. Anyone who knows a […]

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“Autoimmune epilepsy is an underrecognized condition…”

“Among adult patients with epilepsy of unknown etiology, a significant minority had detectable serum Abs [autoantibodies] suggesting an autoimmune etiology.” So said the findings reported by Divyanshu Dubey and colleagues continuing a research theme on how epilepsy / seizure-type disorder(s) for some might have more to do with immune function than many people might think. OK, a brief […]

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Neuropsychiatric disorder onset “temporally related to prior vaccinations”?

“Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.” The quote opening this post comes from the paper published by Douglas Leslie and […]

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Catatonic symptoms and autism

“Catatonic symptoms are more prevalent in young people with autism than previously thought” said an article recently published by Breen and Hare. Continuing a research theme of at least one of the authors, the idea that catatonic symptoms – primarily manifesting as stupor, unresponsiveness to light, noise or touch, mutism, etc – might be over-represented […]

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Social interaction and autism: it takes two to tango

Noah Sasson and colleagues have published their findings suggesting advocating “for a broader perspective of social difficulties in ASD (autism spectrum disorder) that considers both the individual’s impairments and the biases of potential social partners.” In other words, it takes two to (socially, interactively) tango. I might add that a doctoral thesis by one of the […]

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“early medical events are associated with clinical ASD phenotypes”

The paper by Charlotte Willfors and colleagues provides some food for thought today and the observation that various individual and cumulative medical events – “early medical events likely to be caused by environmental factors” – may be important to at least some autism. Researchers “scrutinized the early medical histories of a rare and informative sample […]

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“Androgens were not associated with autistic traits at 12 months of age”

EARLI – the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation study – aims to “examine possible environmental risk factors for autism and study whether there is any interplay between environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.” In this post I’m bringing the paper by Bo Park and colleagues to your attention and the observation(s) that umbilical cord blood levels of testosterone and […]

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Pregnancy exposure to SSRIs and offspring autism risk: debate continues

“It remains unclear whether the association between first trimester SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor] exposure and child autism that was present in the case-control studies even after adjustment for MMI [maternal mental illness] is a true association or a product of residual confounding.” So said the results of the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Hilary Brown […]

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