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.
Once again, this week another study came out dismissing the link between vaccines and autism. Add this one to the list, but this is one of the largest and takes into account genetic and non-genetic risk factors. It continues to discredit the vaccine-autism link. However, in other science, more evidence that prenatal folic acid supplementation, something women should be doing anyway, does reduce the probability of having a second child with autism. So take your folic acid – either by prescription or over the counter. As Martha Stewart says, it’s a good thing to do. Listen to the podcast here.
Suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts have been shown to be increased in people with ASD. Rates are similar to those with bipolar depression and schizophrenia, but are higher even without psychosis. This is shocking and an urgent health issue in the autism community. This week’s podcast summarizes recent data, publications, presentations, and concerns of thought leaders in autism about rates of suicide, what the risk factors are, and where research should be directed to prevent suicide.
If you or anyone you know is thinking about ending their life, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: +1 (800) 273-8255.
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.