All Articles in the Category ‘Research’

Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism

This Month’s Autism 200 Lecture: Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism

This month’s Autism 200 Series lecture “Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism” will be held tonight, October 15, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m.. David Eaton, ARNP and Jennifer Mannheim, ARNP from Seattle Children’s Autism Center will lead the lecture.

There is so much information on the internet about autism. How do you separate fact from fiction? Two of Seattle Children’s Autism Center’s providers, will talk about how to read the science so you can make up your own mind. They will cover some of the popular topics today so you can decide if it is a myth or fact. Read full post »

Autism Study Reveals New Information

Dr. Raphael Bernier

Dr. Raphael Bernier

A paper published this week in Nature Genetics found that some children with autism are more likely to have inherited gene mutations most often occurring from mothers to sons. Dr. Raphael Bernier, clinical director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and an investigator in the study, discusses this further on Seattle Children’s Hospital blog, On the Pulse.

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MMR Vaccine Not Linked to Autism

A new study titled “Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among U.S. Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism” was published this week in the Journal of American Medical Association. The study found that receiving the MMR vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of autism, even when older siblings have autism. Dr. Bryan King, director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, discusses this further on Seattle Children’s Hospital blog, On the Pulse.

Autism and Race

Based on Kanner’s observations of the children he worked with, autism was once thought to be a disorder that disproportionately affected families of higher socioeconomic status (Kanner, 1943). He noted that the parents of the children he described in his seminal work were highly educated, upper middle class, and of European-American descent. Subsequent studies failed to corroborate Kanner’s belief. The likely reason for Kanner’s finding was a result of bias caused by a greater access to diagnostic and treatment options for families with financial means.

In the 70 years since Kanner’s report we now know that autism clearly affects children from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds yet disparity continues to exist in services. Nowhere is this more Read full post »

Biomarkers and Autism

Baby Brain 2When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I study “baby brains”. People are usually startled and a bit tickled by this phrasing, and I often have to clarify that I mean the in vivo brains of healthy and wiggly infants. This phrase is mostly accurate – I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist who uses cool machines to measure brain and behavioral responses of newborns and older infants. But for me, “baby brains” are a jumping off point for my personal and scientific curiosity about how people learn about the world. Our bodies and brains are constantly changing and evolving as we grow from infancy into toddlerhood, childhood, those rough adolescent years, and (hopefully gracefully) into adulthood. Some individuals do not grow at the same pace as their peers, and we often identify these children and adults with developmental disorders, such as autism. Read full post »