The beautiful Basque Country is currently welcoming the 2013 IMFAR conference and its delegates to its shores, as once again one of the premier autism research conferences brings together the minds (and souls) of many an autism researcher.
|San Sebastian @ Wikipedia|
As per my previous posts on the IMFAR conference series - the 2011 conference and 2012 conference - hopes are high that more advances are being made into the autisms, their aetiology and pathology, and importantly those all-important real-world applicable findings to help improve quality of life for those on the spectrum, and their loved ones.
Well, the request for press coverage certainly looks interesting... including something about Kelly the Robot(!) and already some discussion on arbaclofen (see here), a drug which has already graced this blog. Indeed I am sad not to be able to attend the event.
With my research blogging hat on, IMFAR offers a tantalising look at what peer-reviewed research publications one might expect to see appearing in the coming months and onwards what I can expect to be discussing on this blog in the not-too-distant-future.
Enough of the chatter, a few sessions and abstracts which caught my eye from the searchable abstract finder:
- Session: 'The Role of Environmental Exposures in Autism Etiology: A Retrospective of the Last Decade, New Results and Frontiers for the Future' which includes an interesting title on insecticides and risk for autism.
- Session: 'Measuring Treatment Change in Core Symptoms: Novel Methods, Meaningful Outcomes' which I hope will be asking some important questions on just how we understand 'what works' when it comes to the myriad of intervention options on offer (see this post).
- Session: 'Epidemiology' which by all accounts seems to cover a lot more than just the numbers game; instead talking about (i) comorbidity and autism, (ii) the perinatal epigenome, (iii) maternal cholesterol and the topic of (iv) immunisation.
- Session: '30-Year Follow-Up of Autism in Adulthood' which promises some interesting observations about aging and autism (see here).
- And finally... this abstract on a topic close to my research heart, the gut microbiome, which might just build on some other very interesting work (see here). That and Paul Patterson talking gastrointestinal symptoms, probiotics and mouse models (see here) as per his recent findings in this area.
No doubt there will be more to see and hear from the conference over the coming days. To close, hopefully no-one will need to use this phrase whilst in the Basque Country, but just in case... "Abokatu batekin hitz egin nahi dut". [roughly translated: "I want to talk to a lawyer".] Agur!
P.S. Jon Brock over at Cracking The Enigma is also presenting a couple of posters.