No Link Between Assisted Reproduction Techniques and Autism Related Genetic Events

(Editor’s note:  I’m very pleased to be able to present this guest post by one of our new child psychiatry fellows, Sean Ackerman, who recently published this important study – DR). These days autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and assisted reproduction are both medical issues that frequently wind up in the media and are becoming ever […]

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Patches of Brain Disorganization Identified in Autism

Characterizing the precise pathology in autistic spectrum disorders, let alone other psychiatric disorders, has remained challenging. Postmortem studies of actual brain tissue are rare but have the potential to provide important clues regarding specific abnormalities in neurodevelopment that are not detectable through other means such as neuroimaging. This major study published in the New England […]

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Autism Screening – What Will Happen with the New M-CHAT?

When it comes to autism screening for toddlers, the Modified Checklist for Autism (M-CHAT) is one of the most widely used and studied instruments available (and it’s free and dowloadable).   While it’s been shown to have both good sensitivity and specificity, there is always room for improvement.  Thus was born the M-CHAT Revised with […]

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Increaed Brain Connectivity Found in Childhood Autism

While there have been many findings in the literature demonstrating that the brains of those with autism differ from non-autistic individuals, the results often do not agree.  This study used neuroimaging techniques to examine the degree to which the level of brain connectivity was a distinguishing feature of autism. The study compared 20 rigorously diagnosed […]

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New Autism Criteria Unlikely to Cause Many Individuals to Lose Diagnosis

Concern has been raised that the proposed DSM5 changes to the criteria for autism may reduce the number of individuals who meet criteria for the diagnosis and are thus entitled to services.  You can see a previous blog posting from April that looks at some of those concerns.  The new criteria reduce the number of […]

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Childhood Toe-Walking: Prevalence and Links to Developmental Problems

Idiopathic Toe-walking refers to children who habitually walk on their toes rather than using a typical gait and for whom no specific cause has been found.  It has been a traditional red flag to clinicians and parents alike for developmental problems including autism.  There is little systematic study, however, of the phenomenon and its predictive […]

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Autism Under the Proposed New DSM-5 Criteria

As the DSM5 moves closer to its anticipated release next year, several areas are generating widespread debate and discussion both in the public and in more academic circles.  One diagnosis certainly getting its share of attention is Autism.  Under the proposed new guidelines, a single Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will replace the different sub-diagnoses of […]

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Rising Rates of Autism and ADHD: What are We to Make of This?

Several recent studies have reported continued increases in the rates of both ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders. For Autism, a new study from the CDC found an overall rate of 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls).  This rate is much higher than the 1 in 155 reported in […]

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Autism – Tools and Questions

by Jeremiah Dickerson, MD Autism and related disorders (autism spectrum disorders [ASDs]) are characterized by a constellation of impairments in the domains of communication skills and reciprocal social interactions that are accompanied by the presence of repetitive and inflexible behaviors.  Children who exhibit these impairments and behavioral changes also may demonstrate challenges in a variety […]

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