Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Psychedelic Renaissance is Here. Will it Last This Time?

From Massive: Increasing evidence suggests that psychedelics may revolutionize mental health care. In order for this "psychedelic renaissance" to last, scientists and citizens will need...

‘Sesame Street’ Welcomes First Character with Autism

Last Wednesday, Sesame Street added a new character, Julia, to its roster of characters. In an online story, Julia, who has autism, meets Elmo and Abby and Elmo explains why Julia might sometimes do things a little bit differently. The story was written by Leslie Kimmerman, who has a child with autism, and the entire series will be developed in collaboration with parents, advocates, and people with autism.

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autism

Researchers, publishing in Toxicology Research, review the evidence that antidepressant exposure in the womb is linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in humans.

Children with Autism may be Over-diagnosed with ‘ADHD’

A commonly used ADHD diagnostic measure may find overlapping symptoms in autism and ADHD, resulting in over-diagnosis.

Antidepressants, Pregnancy, and Autism: Why Wouldn’t Antidepressant Chemicals Affect a Developing Baby’s Brain?

This week another study was published showing that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased rates of autism in the children.  By my count, this is now the tenth study on this topic and it follows on the heels of previous studies – all of which found links between SSRI antidepressant use in pregnancy and autism in the offspring.  Most of these studies were recently reviewed by Man, et al, who also concluded that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with autism in the children. So we now have numerous studies in different human populations all showing a link between SSRI use in pregnancy and autism in the children. Yet, much of the news and blogosphere focus on casting doubts about these findings. What is going on here?

The Empathy Machine

From Aeon: We typically think of empathy as an emotions-based state that involves feeling another's distress or joy. However, cognitive, rationalist empathy involving reasoned perspective-taking may...

Autism’s Drug Problem

From Scientific American: Many autistic children are prescribed multiple psychiatric medications, which can lead to serious adverse effects and are often ineffective. "Multiple diagnoses lead to...

“MIT’s Misleading PR Headline on Autism”

Last week a headline from MIT news proclaimed “Neuroscientists reverse autism symptoms.” The Health News Review points out why this headline is misleading. Article →...

What Is “Normal” Anyway?

From Scientific American: Although "normal" technically means average or typical, both researchers and the general public often view normality as a standard we should all...

If Autism Isn’t a Brain Structure Difference, Then What?

In Discover magazine, Neuroskeptic examines a new, large-scale study of brain anatomies of people with autism, calling it an "earthquake" in autism research and...

“Autism: Difference or Disorder?”

Pediatrician Claudia Gold assesses the controversies around the rise in autism diagnoses: "The massive rise in diagnosis of autism indicates that something is amiss....

“We Need a Better Explanation for the Surge in Autism”

The Washington Post says "The latest numbers from the Center for Disease Control showing a steep rise in the number of children with autism...

How to Escape Psychiatry as a Teen: Interview with a Survivor

When I lived in Massachusetts I taught yoga and led writing groups for alternative mental health communities. While the organizations I worked for were alternative, many of the students and participants were heavily drugged with psychiatric pharmaceuticals. There was one skinny teenager I'd never have forgotten who listed the drugs he was on for me once in the yoga room after class: a long list of stimulants, neuroleptics, moods stabilizers; far too many drugs and classes of drugs to remember. I was at the housewarming party of an old friend, and who should walk in but that boy who used to come to my yoga classes and writing groups religiously. And he was no longer a boy; he was now a young man. “I'm thinking yoga teacher,” he said. I nodded. Did he remember where? “I'm not stupid,” he said, as if reading my mind. “I'm not on drugs anymore. I'm not stupid anymore.”

Does My Algorithm Have a Mental Health Problem?

From Big Think: As our algorithms are increasingly being made in our own image, they are at heightened risk of experiencing "mental health problems." "Take the...

“Autism’s Lost Generation”

“Some autistic adults have spent much of their lives with the wrong diagnosis, consigned to psychiatric institutions or drugged for disorders they never had,” Jessica Wright writes in The Atlantic.

“Research Confirms Antidepressant-Autism Link”

David Kupelian writes "Two-and-a-half years ago, a groundbreaking peer-reviewed study out of California-based Kaiser Permanente documented a significantly increased prevalence of children born with autism...
drug pushers

Keeping Meili Off Psychiatric Drugs

We first came under pressure to give our developmentally disabled and autistic daughter a psychiatric drug when she was in her mid-teens. She was attending a local school for autistic children but was unable to adapt to their program, and we were urged to consult a psychiatrist. What enabled us to resist the pressure to put our daughter on drugs?

Top Ten Things You May Not Know About the ICD-10

In this piece for Psychology Today, Dr. Jonathan D. Raskin lists 10 facts about the current version of the International Classification of Diseases, which is...

Prenatal Exposure to SSRIs Significantly Increases Autism & Developmental Delays

Research on 966 mother-child pairs from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study finds that prenatal SSRI exposure was nearly 3...

The Non-Binary Brain

From Aeon: Although many misogynists justify their prejudice by arguing that men and women are biologically different, the evidence shows that our brains are neither...

Off-Label Antipsychotic Use Among Children Soaring

Researchers from Philadelphia and Baltimore find, in a study of Medicaid records for 50 states and the District of Columbia, that antipsychotic prescribing to...

Maternal Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism

In a major study, published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics, the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 87-percent. Previous studies reveal that more than 13-percent of women currently use SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

“Cortisol Levels in Children’s Hair May Reveal Future Mental Health Risk”

The Guardian covers research out of Australia that found that levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol in the hair of 70 nine-year-old children corresponded to the number of traumatic events experienced by the child. “Childhood is an imperative and sensitive period of development, and when things go wrong it can have lifelong consequences, not just on mental health, but also on general health.”

More Research Links Autism to Pesticides

Autism and rates of other neurogically-related problems are higher in areas where large amounts of chemical pesticides are used, according to University of California...

On World Autism Day: Why I Am Concerned About the Use of Antidepressants During...

Autism rates are on the rise, with the latest report from the US Centers for Disease Control showing 1 in 50 children to be affected.  Prozac, the first of the SSRI antidepressants, was launched in 1987 and sales have risen since then. Estimates are that up to 13% of US pregnancies are exposed (or around 500,000 US pregnancies per year). Available scientific data from animal and human studies raise serious concerns that exposure to SSRIs during pregnancy damages the developing brain and may cause neurodevelopmental abnormalities, including autism.

Follow Us

19,639FansLike
11,994FollowersFollow
3,820SubscribersSubscribe