This week’s ASF podcast takes a look at the prevalence rate of autism diagnoses. Two national datasets have shown no further increase in autism prevalence in the last few years of looking. Also, folic acid proves to show an effect on the probability of not just an autism diagnosis but also autism symptoms, especially important for women taking anti epileptic medications for seizures and bipolar depression. Listen to the podcast here.
The new #ASFpodcast reviews recent evidence showing that folic acid, taken during or prior to pregnancy, may reduce the probability of having a child with autism and intellectual disability. Hear the whole story here.
This week two studies which examined infants and younger children that will significantly advance understanding of causes and services for people with autism were published. After a commentary about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, the study that used a practical methodology to improve autism screening in pediatrics clinic from researchers at Duke University was presented. After that, some early results from the EARLI study, which examined pregnancies in families where an older sibling was diagnosed, was presented. In this study, Bo Park and her colleagues at Drexel University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at Davis and Kaiser Permanente show that testosterone levels in pregnancy are not related to later autism symptoms unless the older sibling affected is a girl. These findings can illustrate why girls are less likely to be diagnosed with autism compared to boys. The study is open access and can be downloaded here, thanks to the journal Molecular Autism.