Diagnosis

A Powerful Identify: A Vanishing Diagnosis

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
November 3, 2009
Abstract: 

Nobody has been able to show consistent differences between what clinicians diagnose as Asperger’s syndrome and what they diagnose as mild autistic disorder. Thus, there is a proposal to remove Asperger’s syndrome from the next edition of psychiatry’s diagnostic manual. But the change, if approved by the manual’s editors and consultants, is likely to be controversial. The Asperger’s diagnosis is used by health insurers, researchers, state agencies and schools — not to mention people with the disorder, many of whom proudly call themselves Aspies.

Mercury-Vaccine Link Disproven in Autism-Study

Source: 
Reuters
Date Published: 
October 19, 2009
Abstract: 

A new study provides more proof that childhood vaccines with mercury as a preservative -- no longer on the market -- did not cause autism. It found that the number of autism cases continued to rise through that period even though the preservative thimerosal -- nearly half of which is made of ethylmercury -- was removed from most vaccines in 2001.

Experts Summarize the State of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
October 14, 2009
Abstract: 

Scientific understanding and medical treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have advanced significantly over the past several years, but much remains to be done, say experts from the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who recently published a scientific review of the field.

CDC Finds Higher Incidence of Autism

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
October 5, 2009
Abstract: 

About 1 in 100 8-year-old children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers who will be releasing details of their study later this year. The rate -- significantly higher than the government's 2007 estimate of 1 in 150.

Utah Researchers Discover Another Genetic Link to Autism

Source: 
Salt Lake Tribune
Date Published: 
October 8, 2009
Abstract: 

An international consortium of researchers, including three from the University of Utah, has discovered yet another genetic link to autism. Studying the genes of more than 1,000 families -- including 150 from Utah -- who have more than one person with the disorder, the researchers found a region on chromosome 5 that is strongly associated with autism.

California Dept of Health Publishes Study on Autism and Maternal/Paternal Age

Source: 
American Journal of Epidemiology
Date Published: 
October 5, 2009
Abstract: 

Reviewing a larger population than in any other study of its kind, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has found that as parents age their risk of giving birth to a child with autism increases modestly. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the new CDPH study shows that for each 10-year increase in a mother’s age, the risk of autism increased by about 38 percent. For each 10-year increase in a father’s age, the risk of autism increased by about 22 percent.

Op-Ed: Fight to Overcome Autism Gets Major Boost, Higher Priority

Source: 
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Date Published: 
October 5, 2009
Abstract: 

The federal government will provide nearly twice as much funding for autism research in the upcoming fiscal year as we had just three years ago. President Obama has made autism a focus from the first days of his presidency in hopes to counterbalance some of the new challenges Autism has created for for families, schools, and health care providers.

For the First Time, A Census of Autistic Adults

Source: 
Time Magazine
Date Published: 
October 3, 2009
Abstract: 

On Sept. 22, England's National Health Service (NHS) released the first study of autism in the general adult population. The findings confirm the intuitive assumption: that ASD is just as common in adults as it is in children. Researchers at the University of Leicester, working with the NHS Information Center found that roughly 1 in 100 adults are on the spectrum — the same rate found for children in England, Japan, Canada and, for that matter, New Jersey.

Researchers identify how PCBs may alter in utero, neonatal brain development

Source: 
PLoS-Biology, Pessah, et al
Date Published: 
April 2009
Year Published: 
2009

In three new studies — including one appearing in the Public Library of Science - Biology (PLoS - Biology) — UC Davis researchers provide compelling evidence of how low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alter the way brain cells develop.

The findings could explain at last — some 30 years after the toxic chemicals were banned in the United States — the associations between exposure of the developing nervous system to PCBs and behavioral deficits in children.

 

Peripheral Biomarkers in Autism: Secreted Amyloid Precursor Protein-Alpha as a Probably Key Player in Early Diagnosis

Source: 
Inter. Journal Clinical Exp. Medicine, Bailey, Giunta, et al
Date Published: 
2008
Year Published: 
2008

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by impairments in socialization and communication. There is currently no single molecular marker or laboratory tool capable of diagnosing autism at an early age. The purpose of this study is to explore the plausible use of peripheral biomarkers in the early diagnosis of autism via a sensitive ELISA. Here, we measured plasma secreted amyloid precursor protein alpha (sAPP-alpha) levels in autistic and aged-matched control blood samples and found a significantly increased level of sAPP-alpha in 60% of the known autistic children. We then tested 150 human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) samples and found significantly elevated levels of plasma sAPP-alpha in 10 of 150 samples. As an additional confirmatory measure, we performed Western blot analysis on these samples which consistently showed increased sAPP-alpha levels in autistic children and 10 of 150 HUCB samples; suggesting a group of autistic patients which could be identified in early childhood by levels of sAPP-alpha. While there is need for further studies of this concept, the measurement of sAPP-alpha levels in serum and human umbilical cord blood by ELISA is a potential tool for early diagnosis of autism