Newsworthy

Significant Opinion and Research from Around the World

At least, I think so

A Phase II Randomized Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion for Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Comment: “Overall, a single infusion of CB was not associated with improved socialization skills or reduced autism symptoms. More research is warranted to determine whether CB infusion is an effective treatment for some children with ASD.”

Implementation of Advanced Methods for Reproductive Pharmacovigilance in Autism: A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure

Comment: After reviewing a bunch of studies, many that showed increased risk from antidepressant medication, the authors re-configured the data and decided it’s ok to give drugs that affect the mother’s brain, and the ‘true evidence shows’ that potent medications won’t affect the developing fetus’ CNS.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the American Psychiatric Association, from whence this journal emanates, “has come to depend on pharmaceutical money. The drug companies endowed continuing education and psychiatric “grand rounds” at hospitals. They funded a Political Action Committee (PAC) in 1982 to lobby Congress.”

Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella in children

Comment: After reviewing 138 reviews that showed efficacy and safety, the newly reviewed-review came to the same conclusion. Who can argue with science?

Gluten-Free Diet in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized, Controlled, Single-Blinded Trial

Comment: “There is no evidence either against or in favor of gluten avoidance for managing symptoms of ASD in children.” So, even if families observe a difference from utilizing such a relatively benign intervention, it’s not true.
Are you going to believe ‘the science’, or your lying eyes?

Prozac proves no better than a placebo in treating kids with autism

Comment: Fluoxetine… “is no more effective than a placebo at treating obsessive-compulsive behaviors, a small study finds.”
Unfortunately, this research probably won’t stop the child psychiatrists from ordering it.

Genetic Testing for Autism

Comment: A 3-part series that you should give to your pediatrician, particularly in case the doctor thinks the only reasons for such information are, “You’re not going to have any more children, anyway!” or “What difference will that make?”

Three spectrums, not one, may define autism

Comment: Finally, research that delves into the complexity of this modern epidemic. Interestingly, this study emphasizes an understanding of changes in behavior and communication that identify the syndrome.

Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder and Month of School Enrollment

Comment: Let kids be kids, just a little longer.

Antibiotics in Meat Could Be Damaging Our Guts

Comment: The overuse of antibiotics – that is the most significant difference in our food that could be leading to signs and symptoms that we now call ASD.
Complementing that article is this research, Persistence of Supplemented Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 in Breastfed Infants, which further explains differences the modern microbiome – and how/why breastfeeding is so important.

Can Bilingualism Mitigate Set-Shifting Difficulties in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Comment: As a physician who has cared for families from all over the world, I have disagreed with therapists who insist that families speak one language so as, “Not to confuse the child.” This research indicates that poly-linguilaism may actually assist communication.

Trump’s Legacy: Damaged Brains, this is what a common pesticide does to a child’s brain.

Comment: From the New York Times Sunday Review, bringing environmental issues to mainstream consciousness.

What the Helminth! Are “Purposeful Parasites” The Next Probiotics?

Comment: The preponderance of gastrointestinal problems in our population of children with autism makes this intervention compelling.

Chromosomal Microarray Testing for Children With Unexplained Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Comment: Use this article the next time your physician is reluctant to get chromosomal testing, or the insurance company questions the evidence.

Why can’t a flu shot during pregnancy increase the risk, as well?

If – Having a fever during pregnancy may increase autism risk
And if – a flu shot can cause a fever

Effects of bumetanide on neurobehavioral function in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

Comment: I wrote about a promising early phase study, 5 years ago. This is a diuretic that  is supposed to lower the elevated chloride levels in neurons, enabling improved GABA function. My experience was 1) Treatment did not seem to be superior to the other methylation – detox protocols that we use and 2) There were lots of side effects, and more lab tests were required.

Increased Extra-axial Cerebrospinal Fluid in High-Risk Infants who Later Develop Autism

Comment: ~70% correlation between the finding of more ‘water on the brain’ on an MRI at 6 months, and the development of autism. More studies will be required to see if this observation holds up.

Florida Doctors May Discuss Guns With Patients, Court Rules

Comment: The Republican-controlled Florida legislature, with the support of the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, passed the restrictions in 2011, aimed primarily at pediatricians. Under the law, doctors could lose their licenses or risk large fines for asking patients or their families about gun ownership and gun habits. Pediatricians routinely ask parents questions about safety in the home, including the safe storage of guns and precautions to prevent drowning in pools. Finally, some sanity.

FDA Warns on Anesthetic, Sedative Use in Pregnant Women, Kids

Comment: When the FDA warns, it must be really risky.

Diagnostic Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinician Compliance with Published Guidelines

Comment: “When evaluating children with ASD, many… fail to order tests that should be routinely performed and often order tests that are not routinely indicated yet are neither benign nor inexpensive. Recommended molecular genetic tests are often not ordered.”

Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder

Comment:  Now, MAYBE those ‘real’ doctors that are diagnosing your child with ASD will at least check Vitamin D levels.

Folinic acid improves verbal communication in children with autism and language impairment: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Comment:  Folinic acid works on the same pathway as vitamin B12. As long as this supplement doesn’t increase stimming too much, it is definitely worth trying.

Toward the Autism Motor Signature: Gesture patterns during smart tablet gameplay identify children with autism

Comment: The mean age of diagnosis in the two groups was 4 y.o., +/- 1 year. By that time, just about any ‘expert’ or parent knows. This tool would be most useful if the recorded measurements can be used to assess the results of therapy.

Stem Cell Therapies Are Still Mostly Theory, Yet Clinics Are Flourishing

Comment: Simply, there is no magic bullet for complicated conditions.

For Children with Autism, Multiple Languages May Be a Boon

Comment: From Scientific American, this confirms the advice that Dr. Udell has been delivering for many years.

What Prodigies Could Teach Us About Autism

Comment: Great NY Times Sunday Review article. Applies to many of our patients.

The Association of Maternal Obesity and Diabetes With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Comment: This is not the first time these authors pointed out this association… still not sure about cause and effect, however. Or WHY?

Still in a Crib, Yet Being Given Antipsychotics

Comment: “Many experts say that the rise in the use of all psychotropics in children of all ages derives from the scarcity of child psychiatrists.” The problem is not due to a lack of specialists, it is due to a lack of knowledge.

Medical Breakthroughs That Were Initially Ridiculed or Rejected

Comment: Some doctors practice modern medicine, others are just old-fashioned. Like, for example, in ASD.

Should We Bank Our Own Stool?

Comment: From the NY Times… poop going mainstream.

Shared functional defect in IP3 R-mediated calcium signaling in diverse monogenic autism syndromes

Comment: A possible biomarker for ASD… follow levels that relate to involvement and improvement.

Efficacy of Praxetine < Paxil > in the Treatment of Adolescent Major Depression: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Comment: Another GlaxoSmithKline wonder drug. I’ll bet this isn’t the only pharmaceutical that isn’t good for kids.

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

Comment: Is this information finally taking hold with the medical establishment? Or, is it still kooky?

Autism phenotype versus registered diagnosis in Swedish children: prevalence trends over 10 years in general population samples

Comment: I disagree. The reason that there are more and more families seeking assistance for their apraxic, non-typically developing children is not simply due to a change in criteria or awareness.

Chemicals in Your Popcorn?

Comment: Chemicals could be part of the toxic soup causing ASD? What chemicals?

Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels

Comment: If the information is verified, it does help explain many disorders, including autism.

Conflicts of Interest at the F.D.A.

Comment: “… consumer advocates are surely right that putting the industry in charge of supplement regulation is like appointing the fox to guard the henhouse.”

Early exposure to the combined measles–mumps–rubella vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines and risk of autism spectrum disorder

Comment: Published in the journal, Vaccine, a Japanese case-controlled study (~200 in each group, ASD vs. Controls) concluded, “No convincing evidence was found in this study that MMR vaccination and increasing thimerosal dose were associated with an increased risk of ASD onset.”

Study shows childhood autism often undetected by doctors

Comment: Watching a 10-minute video, ‘expert’ raters missed the diagnosis of autism 39% of the time. This is documentation why the present method of evaluation for ASD is not working.

Scrutiny for Laxatives as a Childhood Remedy

Comment: Now, they’re gonna spend $325K to see if the stuff is safe.

This May Explain the Rise in Autism Diagnoses

Comment: Here we go again… instead of uncovering the real reasons for the increase, let’s blame it on the change in diagnostic criteria. Plus, we can completely ignore working on prevention and cure.

Gene Linked to Obesity Hasn’t Always Been a Problem, Study Finds

Comment: NYT science article explaining research that genes that were not a problem in the ‘olden days’, are now responsible for obesity. It’s the environment, stupid.

Can Google find the cure for autism?

Comment: Great effort, great story.

Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits

Comment: A good friend who is both radiologist and pathologist had the best response.
“Those connections aren’t disappearing because they are being used… the rest of us aren’t including those pathways, so they get pruned.” He’s a really smart guy.

iPads Can Help Children Learn Spoken Language

Comment: Apps that encourage speech do not create lazy voiceboxes.

Autism Risk Higher Near Pesticide-Related Fields

Comment: Another environmental association

Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity

Comment: Forget about hyperactivity – too much sugar can be liver- and life-threatening

Elevated fetal steroidogenic activity in autism

Comment: 1. The article originated in Molecular Psychiatry – a very technical journal.
2. If prenatal exposure to steroids is related to later autism, why couldn’t postnatal exposure (up to 3 years) be just as risky?
3. Bloomberg news (and others) reported that it provides a possible explanation for how autism develops during pregnancy, countering fears that external factors such as vaccines play a role.” How do they know that this information has anything to do with vaccinations? How do they know if steroid use in pregnancy doesn’t increase the risk of vaccination in selected patients? The “V” word was never mentioned in the original text!

Prophylactic Use of a Probiotic in the Prevention of Colic, Regurgitation, and Functional Constipation

A Randomized Clinical Trial

Comment: Let’s see… healthy bacteria (natural) for reflux or PPIs (medicine that stops acid production and leads to vitamin deficiencies)? This ought to change pediatrician’s minds about colic, reflux, and constipation. The doctors can no longer say, “There aren’t any good studies about that.”

Deficits in Bioenergetics and Impaired Immune Response in Granulocytes From Children With Autism

Comment: An important piece of the puzzle that implicates mitochondrial function.

Prenatal SSRI Use and Offspring With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Developmental Delay

Comment: Medications that affect the mother’s brain, affects the fetus, as well. OBGYNs and psychiatrists, take note.

The broader autism phenotype in infancy: when does it emerge?

Comment: Susceptible siblings who escape autism.

10 Things to Know About New Autism Data

Comment: Here’s what the CDC has to say about it…

Clostridium difficile Infection Among Children Across Diverse US Geographic Locations

Comment: Pediatricians continue to over-prescribe antibiotics. Too much candy isn’t good for a baby.

Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial

Comment: The program to promote vaccines is backfiring; the population is exhibiting less compliance. Maybe they are going about it the wrong way?

Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders

Comment: The FDA warns that any medication taken during pregnancy may be unsafe. (Except the flu shot).

Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity

Comment: After years of being asked if I really believe that our toxic environment could really be related to autism, here is some concrete information. For the disbelievers – don’t argue with me, argue with the publishers of The Lancet.

Doctors Train to Spot Signs of A.D.H.D. in Children

Comment: If a pediatrician needs special training to diagnose ADHD, what were they doing in their residency?

Autism New Drug Not Yet a Solution for Loved Ones

Comment: Mice ain’t men. Last year, we had a few families who gave this a try, no observable results, lots of worries and labs.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Flu Deaths

Comment: I’m always asking my doctor friends, “How many people do you take care of who died of the flu?”

Comorbidity Clusters in Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Electronic Health Record Time-Series Analysis

Comment: It’s official… there is more than one type of autism, and the gastrointestinal system plays a role in some types.

What Does Risperidone Add to Parent Training and Stimulant for Severe Aggression in Child Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

Comment: Risperdone PLUS Ritalin – that ought to do the trick! A nine week trial, hormone elevations and gastrointestinal upset occurred more, and no mention of sleep or tics. But now, it’s gospel.

Is the Drug Industry Developing Cures or Hyping Up Demand?

Comment: “Some have said that role, with A.D.H.D. drugs and others, has been too great, driving up demand and use beyond what is medically sensible.”

CDC – ADHD Estimates Rise

Comment: Many are calling this an epidemic. Epidemics in humans are environmental, since it takes many eons to mutate. So, if it’s an epidemic, where do we see the possible causes?

Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action

Comment: I wonder if the Wright’s (the philanthropic parents of an autistic child), who founded Autism Speaks, have been surprised at the repercussions from this blog?

A Cure for the Allergy Epidemic?

Comment: Interesting story from the New York Times… glad to see that something is called an ‘epidemic’.

Maternal Prenatal Weight Gain and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Comment: The authors claim that they are seeking biomarkers for early identification of infants at risk. Pediatricians, neurologists and psychiatrists are STILL telling parents of young children who already exhibit multiple red flags to wait and see.

Are Autism, Gut, GFCF Diet, And Anxiety Connected?

Comment: “… Perhaps the best response to gut distress in autistic people isn’t an even further restricted diet.” Reading Ms. Willingham in Forbes is occasionally upsetting to the ASD community. Wiki describes her this way,”… skeptical blogger and scientist known for her research into the red-eared slider turtle…”

The Architecture of Autism

Comment: My reply to the New York Times article, “First, not ALL children with autism carry that diagnosis for life, and many go on to an ‘optimal outcome’, meaning that they have the same opportunities as neuro-typical children. My medical practice has been able to recover many children who present at <5years old. Second, many neuro-typical children today end up living in their parents house when they become adults. Third, while I applaud your effort to help families recognize that there is hope for some type of independence, there is a certain amount of “Rain Man” mentality in your article that is simply not true.”

Autistic Traits in Children With and Without ADHD

Comment: This is what I’ve been saying for years now… it ain’t your grandfather’s (or father’s) ADHD.

Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time

Comment: This question comes up often, here is the latest research, though the patient population is from the previous century.

Risk of Adult Anxiety Seen in Children’s Stomachaches

Comment: If it is true of neuro-typical children, it could also be the reason that so many ASD patients seem to suffer the same fate.

Video Game Use in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Typical Development

Comment: These guys are being too careful. This may need further study from an academic point of view, but the bottom line looks like – too much video is not good for challenged kids.

Mercury and Autism Not Linked, Again

Comment: “What might have been surprising had it not turned up again and again in earlier studies was that methylmercury values were beneficially associated with scores on one of the scales.” So, mercury is actually GOOD for ya! Well, at least it’s good for the 87,000 people who live in the Republic of Seychelles.

Autism and Mental Retardation Among Offspring Born After In Vitro Fertilization

Comment: This study should give some piece of mind to concerned Moms and Dads.

Autism is Not a Disease

Comment: Look at the India/worldwide statistics that this article offers… quite different from our experience in the States.

A.D.H.D. Seen in 11% of U.S. Children as Diagnoses Rise

Comment: “Those are astronomical numbers. I’m floored,” said Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He’s “floored” – what rock has he been living under?

Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism

Comment: So, it’s just a coincidence when children regress within weeks of getting some vaccinations. Lots of coincidences. 5% in my practice.

Antibiotics and the Meat We Eat

Comment: Could this be one of the causes of the epidemic that we call ASD? The doctors who care for such patients KNOW that there is something wrong with the children’s G-I system.

Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011–2012

Comment: When the incidence – the number of new cases – of a condition increases, OF COURSE the prevalence – the total number of cases in the population – will increase. DUH. This is not news, it’s math.

The Allergy Buster

Comment: Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children With Severe Food Allergies? Autoimmune diseases – the plague of the 21st century.

Mice Fall Short as Test Subjects for Humans’ Deadly Ills

Comment: So, when you read that some therapy has “been around for years,” check out who the patients were.

Gluten-Free, Whether You Need It or Not

Comment: At least it makes things easier to explain to affected individuals

Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions

Comment: New York Times article warning of ADHD meds

Lapses at Big Drug Factories Add to Shortages and Danger

Comment: This is why we’ll never know WHICH of the 85,000 foreign substances are affecting our population – When it comes to drugs, less is definitely more.

Proloquo2Go 2

Comment: For Children Who Cannot Speak, a True Voice via Technology

The Autism Wars

Comment: A debate about the epidemic discussed in the NY Times

Millions of kids’ antibiotic Rx’s unneeded: study

Comment: And, the overuse could even be harmful.

Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World

Comment: Another Great NYT story about what  a special person CAN do!

Autism Not Caused by Vaccines, IOM Report Concludes

Comment: More than 14 known adverse events, but not autism. Is that good?

Children With Autism, Connecting via Transit

Comment: Really interesting point of view!

Early Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Massachusetts Birth Cohorts, 2001–2005

Comment: Yes, Virginia, autism is increasing. Even the AAP started to report on this, so it must be true now

Transcriptomic analysis of autistic brain reveals convergent molecular pathology

Comment: Groundbreaking research shows that the differences in certain areas of the autistic brain appear related to genes turning on and off in an unusual manner, and that the autistic brain had more genes involved in the inflammatory and immune response. Hmmm… sort of what we’ve been saying for a while now. (There is a more readable version of this in Science Daily).

Coprescription of Antibiotics and Asthma Drugs in Children

Comment: Could it be that our children who have asthma and autism have been given too many antibiotics??

Probe Deepens of Alleged Inside Trades at FDA

 Comment: So, we don’t have to worry, ’cause the FDA is protecting us.

Nationwide study finds U.S. meat and poultry is widely contaminated

Comment: Well, I guess that means that they will have to add more antibiotics.

Our Body and Micro-organisms

Comment: This article from Popular Science presents a fresh and poignant understanding of OUR evolution.