Monthly Research Review November 2016

This month I have included some research into ADHD and gluten, as well as some selected ASD research studies.


The effects of risk factors on EEG and seizure in children with ADHD. Any ADHD child with a birthing history of prematurity and lack of oxygen, should have an EEG for seizure activity in the brain. “History of asphyxia and prematurity do seem to increase the risk of EEG abnormality in patients with ADHD.”

Psychiatric Comorbidities in a New Zealand Sample of Adults With ADHD.Lifetime rates of psychiatric disorders were significantly higher in the ADHD group (83%) versus the control group (52%) with higher rates of major depressive disorder (MDD; 65% vs. 36%), social phobia (31% vs. 11%), substance abuse (26% vs. 8%), and alcohol abuse (32% vs. 14%).”

Antibiotics in the first year of life and subsequent neurocognitive outcomes.This study demonstrates an association between antibiotic use in the first year of life and subsequent neurocognitive outcomes in childhood.”

Inverse associations between cord vitamin D and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: A child cohort study.An inverse association between cord 25(OH)D and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in toddlers was found, suggesting a protective effect of prenatal vitamin D.”

Cardiovascular safety of methylphenidate among children and young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): nationwide self controlled case series study.The relative risk of myocardial infarction and arrhythmias is increased in the early period after the start of methylphenidate treatment for ADHD in children and young people. Increased risk of arrhythmia was observed in all exposed time periods-that is, periods of treatment with methylphenidate…..the risk was highest in the children who had congenital heart disease.

Nutritional status and feeding problems of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.Almost half of the ADHD children had suboptimal nutrition compared to 11.1% TD children. It is imperative to screen ADHD children for nutritional status and feeding problems to prevent negative health impacts later on. About 5.6% of the ADHD children were stunted as compared to 3.7% of the TD children, while none of the TD children were severely stunted compared to 3.7% of the ADHD children.”

For more research into ADHD, just follow the link to my ADHD page, and scroll down to Current ADHD Research – Selected research articles of interest.


Gluten contamination in gluten free bakery products: a risk for coeliac disease patients.The present study aimed to assess the safety of gluten-free bakery products for consumption by coeliac patients. The results revealed a total of 21·5 % of contamination among the bakery products sampled. Sixty-four per cent of the bakeries sold at least one contaminated product in our sample. These findings represent a risk for coeliac patients since the ingestion of gluten traces may be sufficient to adversely impact on their health.”

Large Gliadin Peptides Detected in the Pancreas of NOD and Healthy Mice following Oral Administration. Full text. “The study demonstrates that, even in normal animals, large gliadin fragments can reach the pancreas. If applicable to humans, the increased gut permeability in prediabetes and type 1 diabetes patients could expose beta cells directly to gliadin fragments. Here they could initiate inflammation and induce beta cell stress and thus contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes.”

 Survey of Thai Commercial Food Products That Have Been Reported to Contain No Wheat, Rye, Barley, or Gluten According to Their Labels.In Thailand, ELISA tested for gluten content in 129 commercial food products that contained neither wheat, rye, barley, nor gluten on their labels. One hundred nineteen of these 129 products included <20 ppm gluten, and 10 products contained >20 ppm gluten. Surprisingly, four products showed gluten levels >1%.” Beware of imported foods if on a strict gluten free diet.

Mood disorders and non celiac gluten sensitivity.The association between gluten related disorders and psychiatric diseases has been firmly demonstrated. Non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a syndrome diagnosed in patients responsive to gluten free diet after ruling out celiac disease and wheat allergy.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Genetic Intersection of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Shared Medical Comorbidities – Relations that Translate from Bench to Bedside. Full text. “Syndromic Disorder genes were the largest subgroup of overlapping ASD risk genes. Since disruptions in SYN NDDs by definition affect multiple organ systems, it was not surprising that there were numerous co-occurring conditions associated with ASD genes, including GI, CANCER, IMMUNO, GU, and CARDIAC disorders. GI was composed of eight genes: CDKL5, CHD7, CNTNAP2, DHCR7, MET, NIPBL, PTEN, and TCF4. This coincides with the high prevalence of GI disturbances, over 40%, in children with ASD, and is consistent with the perspective that functional genetic variations that increase risk for ASD may also underlie ASD-associated GI dysfunctions.

Unexpected improvement in core autism spectrum disorder symptoms after long-term treatment with probiotics. Full Text. “The probiotic treatment reduced the severity of abdominal symptoms as expected but an improvement in Autistic core symptoms was unexpectedly clinically evident already after few weeks from probiotic treatment start. The appropriate use of probiotics deserves further research, which hopefully will open new avenues in the fight against ASD.”

Use of psychotropic drugs in patients with autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. The prevalence of psychopharmacotherapy ranged from 2.7% to 80% (median (overall): 45.7%; median (children): 41.9%; median (adults): 61.5%), with psychotropic polypharmacy occurring in 5.4-54% (median: 23.0%). Regarding drug classes, antipsychotics were most frequently used, followed by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication and antidepressants. Both older age and psychiatric comorbidity were associated with higher prevalences of psychopharmacotherapy and psychotropic polypharmacy.”

Gut Instincts: microbiota as a key regulator of brain development, ageing and neurodegeneration.Recently, the gut microbiota has been implicated in a variety of conditions including depression, autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. It is plausible that such neuropsychiatric disorders might be treated in the future by targeting the microbiota either by microbiota transplantation, antibiotics or psychobiotics.”

Prevention of behavioral deficits in rats exposed to folate receptor antibodies: implication in autism.Folate receptor alpha (FRα) autoantibodies have been associated with fetal abnormalities and cerebral folate deficiency-related developmental disorders. Over 70% of the children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are positive for these autoantibodies and high-dose folinic acid is beneficial in treating these children.”

Intestinal Dysbiosis and Yeast Isolation in Stool of Subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorders.High frequency of gastrointestinal yeast presence in ASD subjects was shown through a simple cultural approach (Candida spp. in 57.5 % of ASDs and no controls). Also GI symptoms, such as constipation and alternating bowel, did correlate (multivariate analyses) with the increased permeability to lactulose. The present data provide rationale basis to a possible specific therapeutic intervention in restoring gut homeostasis in ASDs.”

Lower maternal serum 25(OH) D in first trimester associated with higher autism risk in Chinese offspring.Lower first trimester maternal serum levels of 25(OH) D were associated with increased risk of developing autism in offspring.”

Maternal vitamin D deficiency and the risk of autism spectrum disorders: population-based study. Full text. “These findings imply gestational vitamin D substitution as a means of ASD prevention.”

Vitamin D Deficiency in Adult Patients with Schizophreniform and Autism Spectrum Syndromes: A One-Year Cohort Study at a German Tertiary Care Hospital. Full text. “We found very high rates of 25(OH)vitamin D deficiencies in both patient groups and have discussed whether our findings might be related to alterations in the immunological mechanisms. Irrespective of the possible pathophysiological links between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia or autism spectrum disorders, a more frequent measurement of vitamin D levels seems to be justified in these patient groups.”

Acetaminophen Use for Fever in Children Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Full text. “In summary, we have presented evidence for the association of acetaminophen use with ASD.”

Specific Medical Conditions Are Associated with Unique Behavioral Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Full text. “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous group of disorders which occurs with numerous medical conditions. In previous research, subtyping in ASD has been based mostly on cognitive ability and ASD symptom severity. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether specific medical conditions in ASD are associated with unique behavioral profiles.”

Perinatal issues for women with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.Findings suggest that women with ASD may face particular challenges during pregnancy, birthing and early mothering. These challenges evolve from perceptions of the woman about her midwives and other caregivers. If a woman perceives that her midwife is judgemental about her, then she may withdraw from the care and support she and her baby need.”

Folinic acid improves verbal communication in children with autism and language impairment: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Full text. “In this small trial of children with non-syndromic ASD and language impairment, treatment with high-dose folinic acid for 12 weeks resulted in improvement in verbal communication as compared with placebo, particularly in those participants who were positive for FRAAs [folate receptor-α autoantibodies].”

N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: Current status and future prospects.This study reviews the available data regarding the use of NAC in different psychiatric disorders including substance use disorders, autism, obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder. Promising results were found in trials testing the use of NAC, mainly as an add-on treatment, in cannabis use disorder in young people, depression in bipolar disorder, negative symptoms in schizophrenia, and excoriation (skin-picking) disorder. Despite initial optimism, recent findings regarding NAC efficacy in autism have been disappointing.”

There are many other new research articles posted on my Autism page.

Parents also take note

Screen time of infants in Sydney, Australia: a birth cohort study. Full text. “There is emerging evidence that excess screen time in children causes adverse cognitive, developmental and health outcomes. This study has shown that a large proportion of very young children residing in SWS have screen exposures for >2 hours per day. Factors contributing to excess screen time have also been identified in this study; however, a greater understanding of risk factors needs to be ascertained in order to facilitate greater public health efforts to reduce screen exposure.”

For more research into ASD that your medical professional is not reading. Just follow the link to my Autism page, and scroll down to Current Research – Selected research articles of interest.

Be informed, NOT misinformed!