I'd like to think that the review article by Annik Simons and colleagues  (open-access) highlights some pretty strong evidence to suggest there being at least some connection between some autism and some of the collected inborn errors of metabolism. Indeed, when people generally talk about 'not knowing what causes autism' if we perhaps consider a more plural view of 'the autisms', there is a case to be made to say we might know what causes 'some' autism and some of it might lie in this area.......... Read more »
Simons A, Eyskens F, Glazemakers I, & van West D. (2016) Can psychiatric childhood disorders be due to inborn errors of metabolism?. European child . PMID: 27695954
Most dogs show signs of impaired welfare at the vet, according to their owners.A survey of 906 dog guardians in Italy found most people report their dog as being stressed at all stages of the visit to a vet clinic, from being in the waiting room to being examined by the vet. 6.4% of dogs had actually bitten their guardian at the vet and 11.2% had growled or snapped at the vet.The report by Chiara Mariti (University of Pisa) et al draws important conclusions about what owners and vets need to do ........ Read more »
Mariti C, Pierantoni L, Sighieri C, & Gazzano A. (2016) Guardians' Perceptions of Dogs' Welfare and Behaviors Related to Visiting the Veterinary Clinic. Journal of applied animal welfare science : JAAWS, 1-10. PMID: 27712096
The title of this post is partially taken from the BBC take on the findings reported by Andrew Pickles and colleagues  detailing a long-term follow up (and slight adjustment to the calculation of behavioural scores) of the Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT). PACT by the way, is a strategy based on the important tenet of shared attention where: "The approach aims to help parents adapt their communication style to their child’s impairments and respond to their child with enhance........ Read more »
Pickles, A., Le Couteur, A., Leadbitter, K., Salomone, E., Cole-Fletcher, R., Tobin, H., Gammer, I., Lowry, J., Vamvakas, G., Byford, S.... (2016) Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT): long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31229-6
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
While it may be 2016, there are still some judges who view women and men differently even when they commit the same offense. When it comes to killing your spouse—apparently, the difference lies in the gender of the defendant. Australian researchers looked at the sentencing remarks from nine different judges from trials involving men killing […]
Does race make a difference in how jurors perceive battered spouse syndrome cases?
Female serial killers: Who they are and how........ Read more »
Hall, G., Whittle, M., & Field, C. (2015) Themes in Judges' Sentencing Remarks for Male and Female Domestic Murderers. . Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 23(3), 395-412. DOI: 10.1080/13218719.2015.1080142
"We aimed to investigate the risk of substance use-related problems in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Findings: "The risk of substance use-related problems was the highest among individuals with ASD and ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]."So said the findings reported by Agnieszka Butwicka and colleagues  (open-access) looking again at an important but slightly uncomfortable topic: substance use-related problems or substance use disorder (SUD) with autism in ........ Read more »
Butwicka, A., Långström, N., Larsson, H., Lundström, S., Serlachius, E., Almqvist, C., Frisén, L., & Lichtenstein, P. (2016) Increased Risk for Substance Use-Related Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Population-Based Cohort Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2914-2
"Alternative medicine treatment put four-year-old boy in A&E [accident & emergency / emergency room]" went the recent BBC headline talking about the case report published by Drs Catriona Boyd and Abdul Moodambail .Describing the experiences of a 4-year old boy who attended A&E (the emergency room) following an extended period of "vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, polyuria, polydipsia and loss of 3kg in weight" in previous weeks, the authors report how after an unremar........ Read more »
Boyd, C., & Moodambail, A. (2016) Severe hypercalcaemia in a child secondary to use of alternative therapies. BMJ Case Reports. DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2016-215849
New research reveals that certain alterations in the brain may be present in pedophiles, with differences between hands-on offenders and those who have not sexually offended against children.
... Read more »
Kärgel, C., Massau, C., Weiß, S., Walter, M., Borchardt, V., Krueger, T., Tenbergen, G., Kneer, J., Wittfoth, M., Pohl, A.... (2016) Evidence for superior neurobiological and behavioral inhibitory control abilities in non-offending as compared to offending pedophiles. Human Brain Mapping. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23443
It is yet another installment of things you want to know for voir dire, your personal appearance and choices, and how our country rates on caring for others. Sit back, educate yourself, and return to the fray with tidbits that will heighten your reputation among your co-workers for useful and inspirational pieces of information. “Need […]
Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions
Men: Exude confidence, masculinity, authority, and power!
........ Read more »
Chopik, W., OBrien, E., & Konrath, S. (2016) Differences in Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking Across 63 Countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. DOI: 10.1177/0022022116673910
McElroy T, Dickinson DL, Stroh N, & Dickinson CA. (2016) The physical sacrifice of thinking: Investigating the relationship between thinking and physical activity in everyday life. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(8), 1750-7. PMID: 25609406
In a previous post on this blog I talked about an important paper by Vannucchi and colleagues  summarising the state of the peer-reviewed research (up to 2014) on bipolar disorder and Asperger syndrome (AS). Today, I'm adding to the conversation on this important topic by introducing two papers to the discussions: the first by Xenia Borue and colleagues  and the second by Ahmad Abu-Akel and colleagues  covering the longitudinal course of bipolar disorder (BD) in rela........ Read more »
Borue, X., Mazefsky, C., Rooks, B., Strober, M., Keller, M., Hower, H., Yen, S., Gill, M., Diler, R., Axelson, D.... (2016) Longitudinal Course of Bipolar Disorder in Youth With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child . DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.08.011
Abu-Akel, A., Clark, J., Perry, A., Wood, S., Forty, L., Craddock, N., Jones, I., Gordon-Smith, K., & Jones, L. (2016) Autistic and Schizotypal Traits and Global Functioning in Bipolar I Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.059
A fairly quick post for your reading delight today as I bring the paper by Miller and colleagues  to your attention suggesting that: "Early intervention targeting language and motor skills may improve later achievement in this population."'This population' referred to a small cohort (N=26) of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who were examined "at the approximate ages of two, four, and ten" years with regards to their academic achievement and the variables that might b........ Read more »
Miller LE, Burke JD, Troyb E, Knoch K, Herlihy LE, & Fein DA. (2016) Preschool predictors of school-age academic achievement in autism spectrum disorder. The Clinical neuropsychologist, 1-22. PMID: 27705180
I'm actually getting a little bored of talking about the various peer-reviewed research looking at a possible connection between asthma and autism on this blog. It's not that it isn't an interesting topic but rather that the data is coming in thick and fast suggesting that behaviour and physiology are not completely separate anymore.I did however want to direct you to the paper by Alessandro Tonacci and colleagues  who, following a systematic review "according to the PRISMA guidelines" s........ Read more »
Tonacci A, Billeci L, Ruta L, Tartarisco G, Pioggia G, & Gangemi S. (2016) A systematic review of the association between allergic asthma and autism. Minerva pediatrica. PMID: 27706122
A quote to begin: "... in this small trial of children with non-syndromic ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and language impairment, treatment with high-dose folinic acid for 12 weeks resulted in improvement in verbal communication as compared with placebo, particularly in those participants who were positive for FRAAs [folate receptor-α autoantibody]."Those were the findings reported by Richard Frye and colleagues  (open-access) continuing a research theme from this group l........ Read more »
Frye, R., Slattery, J., Delhey, L., Furgerson, B., Strickland, T., Tippett, M., Sailey, A., Wynne, R., Rose, S., Melnyk, S.... (2016) Folinic acid improves verbal communication in children with autism and language impairment: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2016.168
The best time to start disaster preparation for your pet is now.Recently, like many people in this part of the world, we heard there was a big storm on the way. The third of three windstorms was said to be the most powerful. Since we live in an area with many beautiful trees and the power lines are above ground, it does not take much to knock out the power.In the end, we were lucky. The storm was not as strong as predicted, and it changed track and went further north. But it’s a reminder that ........ Read more »
Heath SE, & Linnabary RD. (2015) Challenges of Managing Animals in Disasters in the U.S. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 5(2), 173-92. PMID: 26479228
Yamazaki, S. (2015) A Survey of Companion-Animal Owners Affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, Japan. Anthrozoös, 28(2), 291-304. DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2015.11435403
Our scientists are not divided but we the people are very divided on the issue of climate change. You would think that when 97% of scientists agree the global weather patterns (aka “climate change”) are changing (aka “warming”) that Americans would give up and just say “okay, yeah, it’s happening”. But if you think that, […]
Divided [North] America: What divides America? Survey says: Values and Politics
What do (13,000) Americans really think about climat........ Read more »
Dunlap, R., McCright, A., & Yarosh, J. (2016) The Political Divide on Climate Change: Partisan Polarization Widens in the U.S. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 58(5), 4-23. DOI: 10.1080/00139157.2016.1208995
"In this study, we again show that acetaminophen use is associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."That was one of the results reported by Stephen Schultz & Georgianna Gould  (open-access available here) as part of their survey of the US "National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)" looking at "whether ASD is associated with acetaminophen use." Acetaminophen by the way, is another name for paracetamol, the over-the-counter ........ Read more »
Schultz ST, & Gould GG. (2016) Acetaminophen Use for Fever in Children Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism-open access, 6(2). PMID: 27695658
'The times they are a changin'' said a Nobel prize winner and that's also a sentiment that seems true when it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyeltis (CFS/ME) too (see here for example).Anyone who has followed the tos-and-fros of the PACE trial - the one that suggested that CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and GET (graded exercise therapy) might provide some significant relief of symptoms associated with CFS/ME - will probably have heard the ........ Read more »
Geraghty KJ, & Esmail A. (2016) Chronic fatigue syndrome: is the biopsychosocial model responsible for patient dissatisfaction and harm?. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 66(649), 437-8. PMID: 27481982
Meta-analyses eh? You spend ages waiting for one and two come along in quick succession. Well today I'm posting about yet another meta-analysis of the peer-reviewed scientific literature suggesting that "excessive maternal BMI [body mass index] is associated with an increased ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk in offspring." The review by Ying Wang et al follows hot on the heels of the meta-analysis by Li and colleagues  (see here for my take) but further looked a........ Read more »
Wang, Y., Tang, S., Xu, S., Weng, S., & Liu, Z. (2016) Maternal Body Mass Index and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring: A Meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 34248. DOI: 10.1038/srep34248
Social interactions are highly sought-after and rewarding in many animals... Even when social interactions involve only one of our senses, they are still rewarding. For example, we like looking at photos of our friends on Facebook, or hearing the voice of a faraway relative via telephone. It’s the same with other animals; not only is socialization rewarding and can be used as an incentive for learning, but just the sights, sounds, and even smells of others are also rewarding. Hernandez et ........ Read more »
Hernandez AM, Perez EC, Mulard H, Mathevon N, & Vignal C. (2016) Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983), 130(1), 36-43. PMID: 26881942
Although it has already been known for some time that the brain does not remain rigid in its structure even in adulthood, scientists have recently made a surprising discovery. The brain is not only able to adapt to changing conditions in long-term processes, but it can do this every month.
... Read more »
Barth, C., Steele, C., Mueller, K., Rekkas, V., Arélin, K., Pampel, A., Burmann, I., Kratzsch, J., Villringer, A., & Sacher, J. (2016) In-vivo Dynamics of the Human Hippocampus across the Menstrual Cycle. Scientific Reports, 32833. DOI: 10.1038/srep32833
In the previous two posts I’ve gone through the depressing exercise of exploring the misconstrued world-view that led the UK to leave the EU. The picture that emerges is not limited to the UK, but is a paradigm example of…Read more ›... Read more »
Nickerson, R. (1998) Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology, 2(2), 175-220. DOI: 10.1037//1089-26188.8.131.52
Lord, C., Ross, L., & Lepper, M. (1979) Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(11), 2098-2109. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35184.108.40.2068
Corner, A., Whitmarsh, L., & Xenias, D. (2012) Uncertainty, scepticism and attitudes towards climate change: biased assimilation and attitude polarisation. Climatic Change, 114(3-4), 463-478. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0424-6
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