If you are a Twitterer(!), there is a hashtag to accompany this years IMFAR meeting (#IMFAR2017) so as to follow proceedings on social media. A few choice abstracts for your attention then, in no particular order:
- Anxiety Disorders in Adults with Autism: A Population-Based Study. Minus any medical or clinical advice given or intended nor any sweeping generalisations, other abstracts also talk about strategies for managing/treating anxiety.
- Need for Valid, Reliable Gastrointestinal Symptoms Measurement Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder. I can't argue with that in the context that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are well and truly over-represented in relation to autism (in both children and adults).
- Various medical conditions and symptoms are over-represented in relation to autism. And added to that abstract: Relationship Between Medical Comorbidity and Problem Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Characterizing Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Who Respond to a Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet. Two topics close to my research heart: use of dietary intervention for 'some' autism and the focus on best- and non-responders in these days of the plural autisms.
- Effects of a School-Based Exercise Intervention Program on Stress and Executive Functioning in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Special Education Needs. Exercise is important for every child/adolescent, and that includes those on the autism spectrum.
- Food Selectivity and Nutritional Deficits in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Electronic Medical Record Review. "These results suggest that in children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and food selectivity by type are not consuming a diet adequate in vitamins and minerals." Need I say anymore when it comes to a possible role for supervised nutritional supplementation?
- Wellbeing of Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Gender Difference within an Australian Population-Based Sample. Science and clinical practice needs to do more to care for the carers.
- Characteristics of Children with ASD Who Improve with Fever: Insights from the Simons Simplex Collection. Fever and autism eh? Even the dramatisation of autism has mentioned this issue...
- Record-Based ASD Annual Prevalence for Children Ages 0-8 in Taiwan, 2004-2013. 'Big data' Taiwan brings it's research weight to bear and concludes: "ASD prevalence increases over time from 2004–2013." Other abstracts similarly talk about this trend.
- Risk of Epilepsy and Autism in Full- and Half-Siblings: A Population-Based Cohort Study. The links continue to strengthen between autism and epilepsy. This data also begs the question: is epilepsy also a potential part of the broader autism phenotype (BAP)?
- Autism 30 Years Later: A Follow up Study of Children Diagnosed with ASD from 1970-1999. We need a lot more focus on what happens to autistic people in the longer-term and how wants, wishes, needs and desires change over the lifespan.
In addition, a few papers also talk about research that has already appeared in the peer-reviewed science domain and some important 'where next?' questions/answers:
- Is There Evidence of Intergenerational Influences on Autism? The Golding ALSPAC paper on 'smoking grannies'...
- Use of Biomarkers to Assess Outcomes in a Phase 1 Open Label Trial of Autologous Cord Blood in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Dawson paper on cord blood and autism...
- Microbiota Transfer Improves Gastrointestinal and Autism Symptoms: An OPEN Label Study. On poo(p) transplants and autism...
I believe there is something for everyone in that list of papers. Of course there is lots more science being presented on too so I'd encourage everyone to peruse the conference proceedings...