‘Concerning’ Uptick in Pediatric Antipsychotic Prescribing

There has been a substantial increase over the last 20 years in antipsychotic prescribing among children and adolescents in England — especially among those with autism, an analysis of primary care records from 7.2 million children and adolescents aged 3-18 years shows. “This study demonstrates a trend concerning antipsychotic prescribing in children and adolescents,” study … Read more

ADHD Exacts Higher Mental Health Toll vs Autism in Adults

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more predictive of poor mental health in adults than autism spectrum disorder (ASD), new research suggests. In a trait-based analysis of more than 500 adults, researchers found that ADHD traits trumped ASD traits in predicting internalizing problems. “Further research is now needed to delve deeper into understanding exactly why ADHD … Read more

Behavioral Treatment Tied to Lower Medical, Pharmacy Costs

Outpatient behavioral health treatment (OPBHT) for patients newly diagnosed with depression, substance use disorder, or other behavioral health condition (BHC) is cost-effective. Results of a large retrospective study showed that patients newly diagnosed with a BHC who receive OPBHT following diagnosis incur lower medical and pharmacy costs over roughly the next 1 to 2 years … Read more

Motor Impairment Indicators Shown in Children With Autism

Brain indicators of motor impairment were distinct among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), those with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and controls, in a new study. Previous research suggests that individuals with ASD overlap in motor impairment with those with DCD. But these two conditions may differ significantly in some areas, as children with ASD … Read more

Questionnaire a First Step to Find Developmental Delays

The commonly used but sometimes debated Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), has modest utility for identifying developmental delays in young children, an Australian review and meta-analysis found. On this easily administered parent-completed screening tool, scores of more than 2 standard deviations below the mean in more than one of five domains had moderate sensitivity and … Read more

Ketamine Promising for Rare Condition Linked to Autism

Ketamine may be an effective treatment for children with activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) syndrome, a rare genetic condition associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Also known as Helsmoortel–Van Der Aa syndrome, ADNP syndrome is caused by mutations in the ADNP gene. Studies in animal models suggest that low-dose ketamine increases expression of ADNP … Read more

More Than 70 Genes Strongly Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers have identified 72 genes very strongly linked to autism spectrum disorders and more than 250 other genes with a strong link to ASD, according to a study published in Nature Genetics. The findings, based on analysis of more than 150,000 people’s genetics, arose from a collaboration of five research groups whose work included comparisons … Read more

A Hit and a Miss for Novel Autism Drug

Balovaptan, a novel drug that binds to and blocks vasopressin 1A (V1a) receptors, does not improve social communication in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), new research shows. Efficacy analysis from a phase 2 trial included more than 160 participants, making it the largest of its kind to date, convicts note. Although the … Read more

Does Schizophrenia Need a Name Change?

The term schizophrenia carries an incredible load with it. It is not just a moniker for a serious mental condition but also a tool to support discrimination, shame, and condemnation, as multiple recent studies and surveys have shown. The evidence suggests that many of the insensitivities of decades and centuries past, though certainly much improved, … Read more

Bullying People With Hidden Disabilities Creates Misery, Fear

Bullying of disabled people is extensive. According to a Columbia University study, 1 in 3 disabled children have globally experienced violence. It is not only children who are the target of bullying; bias against disabled adults is also common. In my almost 30 years of treating people with disabilities, I have seen the intense emotional … Read more