Research Articles

April 20, 2020

Study Finds High Rate of Psychiatric Disorders in Autism

Wide Gaps Seen in Identification & Care – A new comprehensive review of scientific studies from the past 15 years has confirmed the extensive burden of psychiatric conditions that accompany a diagnosis of autism. The review found high rates of anxiety, depression, bipolar and mood disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, suicide behavior, eating disorders, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders in autism populations.

April 20, 2020

COVID-19 Shuts Down Portions of Important Autism Research

Scientists Adapt to Changes in the Workplace: In mid-March, Spectrum Autism Research News alerted the autism community to a troubling new problem with potentially long-term consequences. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists across the nation began to scramble figuring out ways to either continue or alter their research projects as colleges and universities were shutting down, sending their students home in order to transition to remote learning. These actions, intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, established situations where autism research was either halted or hindered, setting back promising projects including clinical trials.

April 10, 2020

Is Disclosing an Autism Diagnosis a Good Idea? There’s No Clear Answer

Results are mixed when it comes to disclosing a child’s autism diagnosis to other people. Generally, being transparent about the disorder is considered a good idea. However as a researcher at the University of Alberta (U of A) has found, it doesn’t always point to better inclusion or reduced bullying. Unfortunately, in some instances, the admission can lead to reduced expectations at school and an obstacle to participating in team sports.

April 09, 2020

Maryland Legislation Requires Phase Out of Toxic Pesticide Tied to Autism

A bill requiring a ban on the insecticide chlorpyrifos passed both legislative houses1 in Maryland. Maryland joins other states 2 including California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Oregon with plans to forbid the substance. The state bans are welcome news for future children since chlorpyrifos has been linked to lower IQ and neurodevelopmental issues, including autism.

April 09, 2020

Positive Results from a Microbiome Treatment Trial for Autism

Results of a novel microbial-inspired drug study look promising at reducing the core symptoms of autism. Adolescents with the condition had lowered scores on irritability, anxiety and social withdrawal while on the medication. The drug, called AB-2004, works on the gut-brain axis. Communication between the bacteria in the gut and the brain impacts the way the brain develops and functions as well as behavior.

April 08, 2020

Tools From UNC & ARI to Support Individuals with Autism During COVID-19

With more than 90% of all Americans currently under stay at home orders due to COVID-19, families are rapidly adapting to a highly unusual way of living. Almost everyone’s schedule has been disrupted. Students are now attending classes over the internet. Parents are working from home. Gym classes and social engagements take place over Zoom. Even medical appointments are occurring remotely through telehealth and telemedicine technology.

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