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The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.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 seeksĀ to … Read more

Markers in Saliva Tied to Gut Disorders in Children With Autism

Dr David Q. Beversdorf Researchers have identified markers in saliva that are differentially expressed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. These findings mark the beginning of an understanding of the biological differences separating kids with ASD with, and without, GI disturbances, study investigator David Q. Beversdorf, MD, professor of … Read more

The Sound of Science: ASMR’s Potential in Healthcare

Back in the ’80s, Craig Richard, PhD, would come home from school, sling off his backpack, and plant himself in front of the television to watch painter Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting. Richard soaked in the gentle sounds of paintbrush on canvas as Ross conjured clouds and mountains and of the painter’s voice as … Read more

Autism, ADHD Linked to Increased Mortality Risk

All-cause mortality is significantly higher for individuals with autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than for the general population, based on data from more than 600,000 individuals. Studies of individuals with mental disorders have suggested an increased mortality risk, compared with the general population, but similar studies of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or … Read more