Paul Whiteley

632 posts · 206,042 views

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

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  • June 29, 2015
  • 04:57 AM
  • 31 views

Fermented foods and social anxiety?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Stumbling across a headline that reads: 'Study Finds Decreased Social Anxiety Among Young Adults Who Eat Fermented Foods' was bound to pique my blogging interest. When I eventually tracked down the source paper behind the headline I became more and more intrigued as today I bring to your attention the study findings reported by Matthew Hilimire and colleagues [1].Implementing "a cross-sectional approach to determine whether consumption of fermented foods likely to contain probiotics interac........ Read more »

Hilimire MR, DeVylder JE, & Forestell CA. (2015) Fermented foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model. Psychiatry research, 228(2), 203-8. PMID: 25998000  

  • June 27, 2015
  • 08:18 AM
  • 47 views

Probiotics, schizophrenia and inflammation

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have to say that I was initially pretty interested to read the paper by Jakub Tomasik and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) discussing results examining the "possible immunomodulatory effects of probiotic supplementation in chronic schizophrenia patients."Interested because not only was this a partnership paper including Robert Yolken and Faith Dickerson on the authorship list (names who have appeared a few times on this blog) but also because of the subject matter extending som........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2015
  • 04:31 AM
  • 51 views

Early sex differences are not autism-specific

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post mirrors the title of the paper published by Daniel Messinger and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) that reported on "younger sibling sex differences and proband sex differences on the odds of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in a large sample of prospectively followed high-risk siblings."Researchers found that alongside "a three-to-one male:female odds ratio in ASD recurrence... the emergence of ASD symptoms in high-risk siblings—both with and without eventual AS........ Read more »

Messinger DS, Young GS, Webb SJ, Ozonoff S, Bryson SE, Carter A, Carver L, Charman T, Chawarska K, Curtin S.... (2015) Early sex differences are not autism-specific: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) study. Molecular autism, 32. PMID: 26045943  

  • June 25, 2015
  • 04:47 AM
  • 46 views

Stalking and 'unexpected subthreshold autism spectrum'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I deliberated for quite a while as to whether or not I should write this post on the back of the findings reported by Liliana Dell’Osso and colleagues [1] detailing the experiences of a "25-year-old man with a diagnosis of delusional disorder, erotomanic type" who was hospitalised when presenting with psychotic symptoms "in the framework of a repeated stalking behavior towards his ex girlfriend." Said man was assessed for "adult autism spectrum symptoms" via the Ritvo Autism and Aspe........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 04:51 AM
  • 52 views

Infant sleep duration a risk factor for autism spectrum behaviours in girls?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

To quote from the study results published by Janet Saenz and colleagues [1] (open-access available here): "less sleep duration in infant girls across a period of 5 days was predictive of higher ASD [autism spectrum disorder] scores on the BITSEA [Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment] in toddlerhood."Based on a sample of 47 children - 29 males and 18 females - researchers initially studied sleep patterns for participants at 3-4 months of age using actigrap........ Read more »

  • June 23, 2015
  • 05:01 AM
  • 62 views

Toxoplasma seropositivity and pediatric cognitive functions

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A brief post for you today as I keep a promise made in a previous entry to cover the paper by Angelico Mendy and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "Toxoplasma seropositivity may be associated with reading and memory impairments in school-aged children."Based on the analysis of over 1700 children/young adults aged 12-16 years old "who participated to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey" researchers examined the possibility of a relationship between various psychometri........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 02:54 AM
  • 76 views

Office workers of the world stand up!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "for those occupations which are predominantly desk based, workers should aim to initially progress towards accumulating 2 h/day of standing and light activity (light walking) during working hours, eventually progressing to a total accumulation of 4 h/day (prorated to part-time hours)."That was the recommendation made in the consensus statement published by John Buckley and colleagues [1] aiming to: "provide guidance for employers and staff working in office environments to........ Read more »

John P Buckley, Alan Hedge, Thomas Yates, Robert J Copeland, Michael Loosemore, Mark Hamer, Gavin Bradley, & David W Dunstan. (2015) The sedentary office: a growing case for change towards better health and productivity. Expert statement commissioned by Public Health England and the Active Working Community Interest Company. British Journal of Sports Medicine. info:/10.1136/bjsports-2015-094618

  • June 19, 2015
  • 04:27 AM
  • 112 views

Autoimmune disease or anti-nuclear antibodies and non-coeliac wheat sensitivity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher proportions of patients with NCWS [wheat sensitivity among people without celiac disease] or celiac disease develop autoimmune disorders, are ANA [anti-nuclear antibodies] positive, and showed DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes compared to patients with IBS [irritable bowel syndrome]."Those were the conclusions reached in the paper by Antonio Carroccio and colleagues [1] who sought to evaluate: "the prevalence of autoimmune diseases among patients with NCWS, and investigate........ Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 04:43 AM
  • 138 views

Atypical enterovirus encephalitis and 'autism-like' (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The autism spectrum disorder or autism-like clinical symptoms are extremely rare, but they may be a clear manifestations of enterovirus encephalitis."That was the finding reported in a poster by Akcakaya and colleagues [1] submitted as part of the 11th European Paediatric Neurology Society Congress 2015. In it, they detail a case report of an adolescent young woman "who developed behavioural changes and autistic features such as impairment of communication, mutism and lack of eye contact" ........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2015
  • 05:02 AM
  • 119 views

Antipsychotic drugs as epigenetic modifiers?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Blaga Rukova and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) published last year (2014) caught my eye recently and their observations of: "major differences in methylation profiles between male schizophrenia patients in complete remission before and after treatment and healthy controls" as potential evidence that: "antipsychotic drugs may play a role in epigenetic modifications."The process of methylation, as in DNA methylation where methyl groups are added to specific segments........ Read more »

Rukova B, Staneva R, Hadjidekova S, Stamenov G, Milanova V, & Toncheva D. (2014) Whole genome methylation analyses of schizophrenia patients before and after treatment. Biotechnology, biotechnological equipment, 28(3), 518-524. PMID: 26019538  

  • June 16, 2015
  • 04:46 AM
  • 119 views

Gut bacteria and toddler temperament

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The 'terrible twos'. Y'know, that special time in a child's development when the words 'mine' and 'no' are much more than a daily occurrence and visions of supermarket / restaurant meltdowns complete with scathing looks from strangers still linger in the rose-tinted memories of parenting.There's still quite a bit of debate about the hows and whys of the terrible twos but new research by Lisa Christian and colleagues [1] implicates a hitherto unappreciated system potentially at work: our gut........ Read more »

Christian LM, Galley JD, Hade EM, Schoppe-Sullivan S, Kamp Dush C, & Bailey MT. (2015) Gut microbiome composition is associated with temperament during early childhood. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 118-27. PMID: 25449582  

  • June 16, 2015
  • 04:46 AM
  • 96 views

Gut bacteria and toddler temperament

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The 'terrible twos'. Y'know, that special time in a child's development when the words 'mine' and 'no' are much more than a daily occurrence and visions of supermarket / restaurant meltdowns complete with scathing looks from strangers still linger in the rose-tinted memories of parenting.There's still quite a bit of debate about the hows and whys of the terrible twos but new research by Lisa Christian and colleagues [1] implicates a hitherto unappreciated system potentially at work: our gut........ Read more »

Christian LM, Galley JD, Hade EM, Schoppe-Sullivan S, Kamp Dush C, & Bailey MT. (2015) Gut microbiome composition is associated with temperament during early childhood. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 118-27. PMID: 25449582  

  • June 15, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 113 views

Seeking out autism medical comorbidity clusters

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was rather interested in the findings reported by Kimberly Aldinger and colleagues [1] (open-access here) recently and an intriguing attempt to find out whether "there are predictive patterns of medical conditions that co-occur with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], which could inform medical evaluation and treatment in ASD, as well as potentially identify etiologically meaningful subgroups."Comorbidity (if I can still call it that) is of great interest to this blog and the idea that a........ Read more »

  • June 13, 2015
  • 02:59 AM
  • 119 views

Autism, higher education and employment: what happens long-term?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Note: I wish I knew who to attribute this fantastic picture to.I want to draw your attention to the paper by Julie Lounds Taylor and colleagues [1] in today's post and some slightly worrying findings based on their longitudinal investigation of postsecondary (higher) education and employment experiences for a group of 73 adults diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.To quote: "Although two-thirds of adults with autism spectrum disorder participated in competitive employment/postseco........ Read more »

  • June 12, 2015
  • 04:39 AM
  • 122 views

Infections and cognitive ability

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'm serving up the study findings reported by Michael Benrós and colleagues [1] (open-access) describing how: "Independent of a wide range of possible confounders, significant associations between infections and cognitive ability were observed" in their study of over 160,000 male conscripts during the years 2006–2012 who were tested for cognitive ability. Some further write-up of the study can also be found here.Using the Danish Conscription Registry (existing a........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2015
  • 05:11 AM
  • 138 views

Higher vitamin D = reduced risk of depression?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results support the hypothesis that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations protect against depression even after adjustment for a large number of sociodemographic, lifestyle and metabolic factors."That was the conclusion reached by Tuija Jääskeläinen and colleagues [1] who analysed data from several thousands of people (men and women aged between 30 -79 years old) included as part of the Finnish Health 2000 survey. Alongside assaying for serum levels of 25(OH)D - 25-hydroxy vitamin D........ Read more »

Jääskeläinen T, Knekt P, Suvisaari J, Männistö S, Partonen T, Sääksjärvi K, Kaartinen NE, Kanerva N, & Lindfors O. (2015) Higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are related to a reduced risk of depression. The British journal of nutrition, 113(9), 1418-26. PMID: 25989997  

  • June 10, 2015
  • 04:40 AM
  • 133 views

Physical exercise for ADHD meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In today's short blog post I'd like to bring to your attention the findings reported by Cerrillo-Urbina and colleagues [1] who, upon gathering the available peer-reviewed evidence, suggested that: "short-term aerobic exercise, based on several aerobic intervention formats, seems to be effective for mitigating symptoms such as attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, executive function and social disorders in children with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]."Reviewing and........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 116 views

Familial autoimmune disease and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"An overall increased risk of autism in children with family history of ADs [autoimmune diseases] was identified."That was the bottom line of the "systematic review and meta-analysis" carried out by Shunquan Wu and colleagues [1] summarising the "current evidence on the relationship between family history of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and risk of autism in children." Autoimmune disorders by the way, are the various conditions that come about when the body fails to recognise self as........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 113 views

Transdermal nicotine for aggression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Gerrit Van Schalkwyk and colleagues [1] caught my eye recently and a potentially interesting case report on the use of "transdermal nicotine as an adjunctive medication to treat aggression in a hospitalized adolescent with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Transdermal, by the way, refers to passage through the various and complicated layers of the skin, and reflects an important way of getting medicines into the body other than via the more traditional oral route. I'm more than........ Read more »

  • June 7, 2015
  • 09:05 AM
  • 144 views

Therapeutic horseback riding for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This is the first large-scale randomized, controlled trial demonstrating efficacy of THR [therapeutic horseback riding] for the ASD [autism spectrum disorder] population, and findings are consistent with previous equine-assisted intervention studies."So said the results of the study by Robin Gabriels and colleagues [1] who, under randomised controlled trial conditions, set about "evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic horseback riding (THR) on self-regulation, soci........ Read more »

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