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

Mental Health of Most Kids With Autism Declined in Pandemic

More than half of children and youth with autism experienced pandemic-related declines in mental health between May and December 2020, according to a large Canadian cohort study. The study, based on surveys with parents of 230 children and youth with autism, showed that 141 (61%) of these children had mental health deterioration, and 37 (14%) … Read more

Oxytocin and Social interaction Improves Symptoms in Autism

The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Novel reduced-dose intranasal oxytocin followed by a period of positive social interaction improved symptoms in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the study, improvement was seen in objective and subjective measures, … Read more

Abnormal Growth of the Amygdala in Infants Tied to Autism

A new study suggests that overgrowth of the amygdala in infants during the first 6 to 12 months of life is tied to a later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “The faster the amygdala grew in infancy, the more social difficulties the child showed when diagnosed with autism a year later,” first author Mark … Read more

Doctors Have Failed Them, Say Those With Transgender Regret

In a unique Zoom conference, a number of detransitioners enumerated the ways they said the medical establishment initially failed them when they transitioned to the opposite gender, and again, when they decided to go back to their natal gender. The forum was convened on what was dubbed #DetransitionAwarenessDay by Genspect, a parent-based organization that seeks to … Read more