Paul Whiteley

658 posts · 216,276 views

Autism research, research blogging and health science stuff (picture is accurate)

Sort by Latest Post, Most Popular

View by Condensed, Full

  • July 29, 2015
  • 03:42 AM

Gluten psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The present case-report confirms that psychosis may be a manifestation of NCGS [non-coeliac gluten sensitivity], and may also involve children; the diagnosis is difficult with many cases remaining undiagnosed."Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] (open-access) provide an interesting read in today's post on how diet and psychiatry might once again be linked. Presenting a case report of a 14-year old girl coming to the attention of clinical services "for psychotic symptoms that were apparently ........ Read more »

Lionetti, E., Leonardi, S., Franzonello, C., Mancardi, M., Ruggieri, M., & Catassi, C. (2015) Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients, 7(7), 5532-5539. DOI: 10.3390/nu7075235  

  • July 28, 2015
  • 03:35 AM

Adult outcomes following childhood psychiatric problems

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A long quote to begin:"If the goal of public health efforts is to increase opportunity and optimal outcomes, and to reduce distress, then there may be no better target than the reduction of childhood psychiatric distress—at the clinical and subthreshold levels."That was the bottom line reported by William Copeland and colleagues [1] (open-access) who set out to test whether psychiatric problems presenting in childhood can "adversely affect adult functioning even if the problems themselves do n........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 03:08 AM

Incontinence and paediatric autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Urinary incontinence - "the unintentional passing of urine" - is a fairly common issue affecting millions of people of all ages worldwide. Achieving full bladder and bowel control is seen as a typical part of growing up but for some children, particularly those diagnosed with a behavioural or developmental condition, issues with incontinence can persist much later into life [1].The findings reported by Alexander von Gontard and colleagues [2] bring the issue of incontinence into the autism resea........ Read more »

von Gontard A, Pirrung M, Niemczyk J, & Equit M. (2015) Incontinence in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of pediatric urology. PMID: 26052001  

  • July 25, 2015
  • 03:51 AM

Medical comorbidity and adult autism (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Regular readers are probably tired of reading blog titles like the one for today on this site. It's not as if the idea that a diagnosis of autism might predispose someone to quite a few more comorbid conditions (see here and see here) hasn't been discussed on quite a few occasions.But just in case the message hasn't got through, I draw your attention to the paper by Kyle Jones and colleagues [1] concluding that: "Adults in this cohort of autism spectrum disorder first ascertained in the 198........ Read more »

  • July 24, 2015
  • 03:05 AM

Autism, asthma and IL-17

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"IL-17 was increased in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children with co-morbid asthma compared to controls with the same condition."That was the conclusion reached by Marjannie Eloi Akintunde and colleagues [1] including some notable names on the authorship list from the University of California, Davis. IL-17 (Interleukin 17) by the way, refers to a group of cytokines - chemical messengers of the immune system - linked to various processes centred on inflammation. Jin & Dong [........ Read more »

Akintunde, M., Rose, M., Krakowiak, P., Heuer, L., Ashwood, P., Hansen, R., Hertz-Picciotto, I., & Van de Water, J. (2015) Increased production of IL-17 in children with autism spectrum disorders and co-morbid asthma. Journal of Neuroimmunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2015.07.003  

  • July 23, 2015
  • 02:58 AM

Sickle cell disease, asthma and behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with sickle cell disease may have increased risk for certain neurodevelopmental diagnoses based on their disease characteristics and associated comorbidities."That was the conclusion reached by Eboni Lance and colleagues [1] following their retrospective chart review including "59 children with sickle cell disease with a documented neurodevelopmental diagnosis, specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], attention issues, behavioral issues, executive dy........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 03:03 AM

Health-related quality of life in CFS/ME

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Hvidberg et al (2015) PLoS One. e0132421Two papers are served up for your reading today. Both provide stark peer-reviewed evidence that when it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) / myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), measures of quality of life (QoL) rank this/these condition(s) as potentially causing great suffering compared with population norms and various other states.The first paper is by Michael Falk Hvidberg and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) and details respo........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2015
  • 03:16 AM

Early pregnancy maternal hypothyroxinemia and offspring ADHD symptoms

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children exposed to maternal hypothyroxinemia in early pregnancy had more ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] symptoms, independent of confounders. This finding suggests that intrauterine exposure to insufficient thyroid hormone levels influences neurodevelopment in offspring."That was the bottom line reported by Thiago Modesto and colleagues [1] looking at how "mild thyroid hormone insufficiency" in early pregnancy might link into offspring behavioural outcomes a few........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 03:31 AM

Homocysteine and autism: yet more...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been a while since I've discussed the issue of homocysteine - that's homocysteine not homocystine - with autism in mind, so consider this short blog entry a bit of an update to previous discussions (see here and see here).In case you need to know it, homocysteine is an important component of the trans-sulfuration pathway intersecting with both the methione cycle and the folate cycle. Collectively, these biological processes have important functions for various aspects of biology includ........ Read more »

  • July 18, 2015
  • 05:08 AM

Person with autism or autistic person?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although it might seem like a bit of a distraction, I read with interest the paper by Lorcan Kenny and colleagues [1] (open-access) discussing the ways and means that we talk about autism here in Blighty. Some related media on the paper can be found here and here.I mentioned the word 'distraction' because I'm sure that some people (many people?) might be wondering why we are discussing the various ways and means that autism is described when there is so much more for research to do in tryin........ Read more »

Kenny L, Hattersley C, Molins B, Buckley C, Povey C, & Pellicano E. (2015) Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 26134030  

  • July 17, 2015
  • 04:41 AM

Diagnosing autism: not to be sniffed at

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

All rights to Rozenkrantz et al (2015)'Sniffing could provide autism test' went the BBC headline as the work of Liron Rozenkrantz and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) provided some media fodder and with it ideas "implying a mechanistic link between the underpinnings of olfaction and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and directly linking an impaired IAM [internal action model] with impaired social abilities."Looking at the sniff response in 36 children - 18 with a........ Read more »

Rozenkrantz, L., Zachor, D., Heller, I., Plotkin, A., Weissbrod, A., Snitz, K., Secundo, L., & Sobel, N. (2015) A Mechanistic Link between Olfaction and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.048  

  • July 16, 2015
  • 04:51 AM

Oxytocin moving on: ADHD and inattentiveness

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Dare I mention the term 'cuddle hormone' when it comes to oxytocin?Well, according to a recent news piece in Nature (see here), the 'cuddle hormone' days of oxytocin might well be numbered as science is starting to come to grips with just how complicated a role this hormone might have when it comes to biology and behaviour. Of course we've seen hints of this for quite a while now as autism research in particular comes to grips with the idea that oxytocin may not be the magic 'sociability' b........ Read more »

Sasaki, T., Hashimoto, K., Oda, Y., Ishima, T., Kurata, T., Takahashi, J., Kamata, Y., Kimura, H., Niitsu, T., Komatsu, H.... (2015) Decreased levels of serum oxytocin in pediatric Patients with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.029  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 05:14 AM

Cochrane does chelation for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Cochrane, in the title of this post, refers to the Cochrane Collaboration and the sterling work done throughout health care synthesising peer-reviewed evidence pertinent to the goal of evidence-based medicine.The collaboration has recently turned its eye towards the topic of chelation with autism in mind, a topic that has been discussed previously on this blog (see here). Their conclusions based on the findings reported by Stephen James and colleagues [1] (open-access here), looking at the ........ Read more »

James S, Stevenson SW, Silove N, & Williams K. (2015) Chelation for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. PMID: 26106752  

  • July 14, 2015
  • 04:55 AM

Vitamin D, schizophrenia and CRP

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "The evidence suggested that high levels of vitamin D may be linked to reduced risk of schizophrenia with elevated CRP [C-reactive protein]."That was the bottom line reported by Dao-min Zhu and colleagues [1] who measured plasma concentrations of CRP and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in 93 people with schizophrenia and "93 family-matched controls." Finding that: "Mean levels of CRP and 25(OH)D were 43.3% higher and 26.7% lower for patients compared to contro........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2015
  • 05:26 AM

Prenatal air pollution and autistic traits NOT linked (in Europe)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Prenatal exposure to NO2 [nitrogen oxide] and PM [particulate matter] was not associated with autistic traits in children from four to ten years of age in four European population-based birth/child cohort studies."That was the conclusion reached in the study published by Mònica Guxens and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) crossing various European population-based cohorts as part of the "European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE)" and lookin........ Read more »

  • July 11, 2015
  • 03:24 AM

No really, it's a placebo...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An entry on ScienceDaily titled: 'Turning fake pills into real treatments' caught my eye recently and with it a link to one of the most famous placebo experiments by Ted Kaptchuk and colleagues [1] (open-access here).In the 2010 paper, Kaptchuk et al reported that even when told a placebo - a substance that has no therapeutic effect - is a placebo, when compared to a no-treatment option, participants diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome as a group reported greater improvem........ Read more »

Kaptchuk TJ, Friedlander E, Kelley JM, Sanchez MN, Kokkotou E, Singer JP, Kowalczykowski M, Miller FG, Kirsch I, & Lembo AJ. (2010) Placebos without deception: a randomized controlled trial in irritable bowel syndrome. PloS one, 5(12). PMID: 21203519  

  • July 10, 2015
  • 05:33 AM

Vitamin D and cognitive function

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'Correlation is not the same as causation' is an important theme in science, demonstrating how one always needs to be a little guarded about making too much of research linking one variable with another from a purely observational point of view.I similarly apply such a principle to the findings reported by Rolf Jorde and colleagues [1] and the suggestion of "an association between serum 25(OH)D and cognition". Serum 25(OH)D levels by the way, refers to the measurement of calcifediol&nb........ Read more »

Jorde R, Mathiesen EB, Rogne S, Wilsgaard T, Kjærgaard M, Grimnes G, & Schirmer H. (2015) Vitamin D and cognitive function: The Tromsø Study. Journal of the neurological sciences. PMID: 26092373  

  • July 9, 2015
  • 04:51 AM

High risk for autism = shortened telomeres?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to spend too long discussing the paper by Charles Nelson and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "Families of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] who have an infant show shortened telomeres relative to families with no history of ASD" but it is worth blogging about.As per a previous entry on telomeres and autism (see here), telomeres - the biological equivalent of plastic aglets on shoelace tips to prevent fraying - are starting to enter the autism [peer-reviewed........ Read more »

Nelson CA, Varcin KJ, Coman NK, DeVivo I, & Tager-Flusberg H. (2015) Shortened Telomeres in Families With a Propensity to Autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(7), 588-94. PMID: 26088664  

  • July 8, 2015
  • 04:46 AM

Massaging autism (continued)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin:"Tactile-based interventions such as massage therapy were the most promising intervention in reducing behavioral problems."Derived from the systematic review results published by Farahiyah Wan Yunus and colleagues [1] looking at the current collected literature on sensory-based interventions for "children with behavioral problems", researchers zoomed in on massage therapy as perhaps being something requiring further investigation. Said therapy also potentially overlayi........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 05:25 AM

Sick leave and income levels for parents of children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Parents of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] living in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006 were more likely to be on sick leave, not in the labor force, or earning low income when compared to parents who did not have a child with ASD and these results remained after adjusting for familial socioeconomic factors and parental psychiatric care."That was the rather grim conclusion reached by Miranda McEvilly and colleagues [1] (open-access) following their analysis of families taking........ Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit