Diagnosis

LA Confidential: Studies Seek Reasons for Autism's Rise

Source: 
Wall Street Journal
Date Published: 
February 1, 2010
Abstract: 

California-based studies suggest that local environmental or social factors are driving the high autism-diagnosis rates. And they conclude that childhood vaccinations—which some people fear is a factor behind rising autism—are not to blame. Otherwise, diagnoses of the disorder would be more evenly dispersed, they say.

Genes Implicated in Twins' Autism

Source: 
The Baltimore Sun
Date Published: 
January 4, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers have known for years that when one identical twin has autism, the other is also likely to be diagnosed with it - evidence that autism likely has a genetic component. Recent studies support that theory. Researchers at Kennedy Krieger Institute studied 277 pairs of twins and found that when one identical twin had the disorder, the other developed it 88 percent of the time; for fraternal twins, that figure was 31 percent.

Blood Mercury Concentrations in CHARGE Study Children With and Without Autism

Source: 
Environmental Health Perspectives, Hertz-Picciotto, Green, Delwiche, Hansen, Walker, Pessah
Date Published: 
January 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study enrolled children 2-5 years of age. After diagnostic evaluation, they analyzed three groups: AU/ASD, non-AU/ASD with developmental delay (DD), and population-based TD controls. Mothers were interviewed about household, medical, and dietary exposures. Blood Hg was measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to predict blood Hg from diagnostic status controlling for Hg sources.  Fish consumption strongly predicted total Hg concentration. AU/ASD children ate less fish. After adjustment for fish and other Hg sources, blood Hg levels in AU/ASD children were similar to those of TD children ; this was also true among non-fish eaters. The direct effect of AU/ASD diagnosis on blood Hg not through the indirect pathway of altered fish consumption was a 12% reduction. DD children had lower blood Hg concentrations in all analyses. Dental amalgams in children with gum-chewing or teeth-grinding habits predicted higher levels. After accounting for dietary and other differences in Hg exposures, total Hg in blood was neither elevated nor reduced in CHARGE Study preschoolers with AU/ASD compared with unaffected controls, and resembled those of nationally representative samples.

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.