Research Articles

March 09, 2020

Exposure to Phthalates During Pregnancy Associated with Autism Traits

Despite a several decades long rise in prevalence, the cause or causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) still remain largely unknown. For years, researchers have primarily pointed a finger towards genetic reasons. However, a dramatic increase in a disorder, like the one exhibited in autism, shows that it becomes less likely that genetics are solely responsible. Researchers have begun to turn to environmental exposures as a likely culprit explaining part of the increase in rates.

February 28, 2020

Duquesne University Research Team Sets Lofty Goal of Stopping Autism Pathology as it Develops

CBS 2 in Pittsburgh reports on innovative autism research coming from Duquesne University, which has just announced a biomarker test developed to identify children in the process of developing autism, possibly stopping the progression before their brain pathology worsens. In the future, this test may even help identify newborns at risk of developing the disorder.

February 28, 2020

Autism & Sleep Troubles: A Critical Concern and Least Studied Feature of the Spectrum

Ask any parent raising a child with autism about their daily challenges, a list will be produced fairly quick. Whether it is dealing with picky eating, rigid dressing and grooming routines, self-stimulatory behaviors, echolalia or all the above; managing these autism related issues takes an enormous amount of patience and dedication to remaining calm. By the end of the day, most parents are ready for peace, quiet and most of all rest. However, the respite that these parents desperately need is unlikely to easily occur.

February 11, 2020

What Leads to the Good Life for Autistic Adults? Nobody Knows.

Lack of Systems-Level Evidence Hampers Progress in Service Delivery: People with autism live most of their lives as adults, yet almost all research – 98% – has been done on children. And what meager research on adult outcomes exists has generally focused on the individual or family – on skill development or caregiving approaches, for example. Yet studies on health challenges across many fields have shown that community- or systems-level capacities – the services offered, innovation in programs, case coordination, financing – are vital components to achieving sufficient quality of life. Surprisingly, there are few studies evaluating programs and services for autistic adults, reports a new study.

February 10, 2020

Horseback Riding Therapy for Autism Given a Boost

Hefty NIH Grant Approved for Colorado Researcher Studying Why Therapeutic Riding Benefits Autism: The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced that CU researcher Robin Gabriels has received a Federal grant to study the reasons why therapeutic horseback riding (THR) is effective for children with autism. The grant follows studies by Gabriels showing THR improves irritability, hyperactivity, and social communication skills, and that the effect lasts at least 6 months after the riding stops.

February 10, 2020

30 Years of Autism = $7 Trillion in Costs

Next Decade Will Add More Trillions to Looming Public Financial Burden: The lifetime cost of autism for U.S. cases identified in the 30 years between 1990 and 2019 is estimated to be $7 trillion. If costs for the next decade 2020-2029 are included, the lifetime cost will reach up to $15 trillion. The findings were reported in a new study in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In “The Lifetime Social Cost of Autism: 1990–2029”, authors Janet Cakir, Richard Frye, and Stephen Walker compiled findings from peer-reviewed published studies on the number of cases of autism for the decades 1990-2019 and the lifetime cost of autism per person in the U.S.

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