This week’s podcast includes a summary of the new study, this time in an animal model, looking at microbiome transplantation. Because this was more of an experimental model, the researchers could be more rigorous in their design and look at things like behavior, brain activity, and specific biological pathways. While a mouse does not have autism, transplantation of the autism microbiome resulted in autistic-like behaviors. Second, a hopeful message of the value of participating in research on outcomes – those infants that were tracked prospectively showed improved outcomes later on, suggesting that all of the extra attention they get leads to a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in adaptive behavior. Even if you do not have a family history of autism – participate in research. It’s good for your child, and it’s good for other people’s children. Listen to the podcast here.
Everyone knows the way to study infants with autism is through thorough testing of younger siblings of those with a diagnosis, who have a 15x greater chance of have a diagnosis themselves. Through these methods, new ways of identifying and predicting autism later on have been developed. On this week’s podcast: two very influential and recent papers on the study of motor issues in 6 month olds who go on to be diagnosed with autism, and those who don’t have an autism diagnosis but have signs and symptoms of ASD. Are motor issues related to an ASD diagnosis or ASD symptoms? And what about core symptoms of autism like language? Can early motor behaviors be used to predict who goes on to receive an autism diagnosis or has language problems? What should parents do? How should this influence an early intervention plan? Listen to the podcast here.
While diagnosis before 3 years of age is ideal, circumstances may not always allow the earliest identification and diagnosis. This week’s podcast explores two of the reasons why diagnosis is not always possible before age 3. One is a study from Denmark and one is from members of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium.
A new study from the ASF-supported Baby Siblings Research Consortium explains why a few kids with autism do not receive a formal diagnosis until 5 years or later. Read more here.
ASF is proud to announce continued support for the Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC), a network of over 33 research sites around the world studying the younger siblings of people with autism. The Baby Sibs database now tracks over 5,000 younger siblings, with and without autism. The database has been used to develop more sophisticated screening and diagnostic approaches, to understand early biological features of ASD even before symptoms develop, and to inform clinicians of early treatment targets. The additional funding will allow researchers to continue submitting information to expand data points so that a deeper understanding of development across the lifespan can be made. ASF support will also allow scientists to collaborate on key issues like early biological testing and searching for biomarkers of ASD.