Autism Research: July 4, 2014 Week in Review

ResearchInjury risk higher in children with ASD

A new study published by the Academics Pediatrics has found an increased injury risk in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The study led by Dr. Anjali Jain studied data obtained from a health plan in USA between 2001 and 2009 and found 138876 children without autism and 33565 children with autism. On analysis the team found that children diagnosed with ASD had 12% higher chances of being injured than their typically developing peers. Once the coincident conditions like depression, seizures were removed, then it was seen that the risk of injury was actually lower. The study thus highlights the need for healthcare providers to understand the utility of sedation or restriction etc in children with ASD as it might be purely due to the co-occurring conditions.

Obesity more rampant amongst kids with autism, study observes

 A new study published by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy has found that children with both Asperger syndrome and autism were at a higher risk of being overweight or obese than their typically developing peers. The study involved 6672 children aged 2-20 years from the health care database. It was found that children on the autism spectrum or having Asperger syndrome had statistically significant higher percentages of overweight or obesity. The study was lead by Sarabeth Broder Fingert and was published this week in the journal Academic Pediatrics. The study brings to light the importance of focusing on nutrition and physical health in children with autism which often get overlooked while dealing with the neurodevelopmental and social disorders manifested in the condition.

Maternal birth location a potential risk for autism

The University of California, LA has published a new study that gives a whole new perspective to the problem of rising rates of autism in children. The study led by Tracy Becerra has found that going beyond mother’s age and exposure to environment, her ethnicity or race and region of birth also seem to matter in the prediction of whether her offspring has autism. The study analysed children of LA diagnosed with autism between 3-5 years age from 1998 to 2009. The team linked this to birth certificates of California between 19995 and 2006. They found that the risk of primary autism especially with co-morbidity like mental retardation was much higher in mothers who were foreign-born ( Filipino, Vietnamese, US- born Hispanic, US African American, etc) compared to moms who were whites born in USA. Autism Daily Newscast first reported this earlier this week.

Study diminishes associations between MMR vaccine and autism

As reported by Autism Daily Newscast on Friday, a new study published this week in the Journal of Pediatrics has debunked associations between the MMR vaccine and rising rates of autism. The study examined 11 common children’s vaccines and found that there is no link between childhood leukemia and vaccination, MMR vaccine and autism and hepatitis B and multiple sclerosis. Although the MMR vaccine did give extreme adverse effects in some children but it did not increase the risk for autism. Since the link between autism and MMR vaccine was published in 1998, the rates of vaccination fell tremendously, leading to rapid rise in measles and mumps in children. Authorities are still trying to convince parents to taking the vaccine by debunking the fraudulent paper.