Podcast: What’s new in the immune system and ASD

This holiday weekend always triggers a reincarnation, a resurrection of the vaccine – autism hypothesis.  Many of you have read about the measles epidemics that are hitting many areas of the country.  But besides vaccines, there are other aspects of the immune system that may be linked to autism in some people.  The include family history of autoimmune disorders as well as specific genetic mutations that confer protection against subtypes of ASD.  This week’s ASF podcast will explore these theories and present different ideas on how the immune response is involved in autism, and if it is at all. Listen to the podcast here.

Did you know that in addition to the DoD’s support of the military, they all have funded $65 million in autism research?  This podcast discusses some of their programs and how they support military families and benefit the autism community. Want to read more about what they fund?  There’s a list here:  https://cdmrp.army.mil/search.aspx. Listen to the podcast here.

Parents have choices of dozens of different autism interventions, available in private and public settings.  A new study explores factors which influence parents decisions on different interventions, how they are similar to each other and different.  They include cognitive ability of their kids with ASD and economic resources.  Parents in the US may have similarities in how they obtain interventions, but they are also similar in how they identify autism signs in their preschool kids, and these similarities are seen across the world.  In a new study of over 19,000 preschoolers with autism, some similarities are seen in parent reported symptoms of ASD across 24 different countries.  This is pretty remarkable given societal, geographical, and cultural issues.  But it’s not all harmony and unity – there were lots of differences between parents and teachers which can have enormous impact on how autism is diagnosed worldwide. Listen to the podcast here.