Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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.

“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.

“The Rise and Fall of the Blockbuster Antipsychotic Seroquel”

Martha Rosenberg highlights how the popular antipsychotic Seroquel is a perfect example of how direct-to-consumer advertising made billion dollar blockbuster drugs possible before side-effects...

Is The Microbiome our Puppeteer?

“My message today is that your state of gut will affect your state of mind. To have a healthy brain, we may need a...

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

Different types of child abuse have equivalent psychological effects, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It has previously been assumed that emotional and verbal abuse could have different or less harmful impact on a child’s psychology than physical or sexual abuse, but research now suggests that these forms of abuse can be just as damaging.

“The Vacuum of the Mind: A Self-Report on the Phenomenology of Autistic, Obsessive-Compulsive, and...

In this month’s Schizophrenia Bulletin, a person diagnosed with autism, OCD, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and major depressive disorder provides a first-hand close reading and description of their own psychiatric experiences.

‘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.

Over Ten Thousand Unfiled Claims Against Risperdal Over Breast Growth in Young Boys

Johnson & Johnson is exposed to personal injury and product liability lawsuits over the failure to warn about Risperdal gynecomastia side effects in boys.
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?

“The Myth of the ‘Autistic Shooter’”

“Although there is no established connection between autism and murder, some eagerly leapt to causality and scapegoating,” Andrew Solomon writes in the New York Times. “Tarring the autistic community in this manner — like presuming that most black people are thieves or that most Muslims are terrorists — is an insidious form of profiling. It exacerbates the tendency for people with autism to be excluded, teased and assaulted in childhood and adulthood.”

HuffPo Features 15 Part DocuSerial on Risperdal Corruption

Huffington Post and journalist Steve Brill have combined to launch a 15 part series about how Johnson & Johnson illegally violated FDA restrictions by pushing the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, for use with adolescents and the elderly. The series, entitled “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker,” launched yesterday and will include mixed media, videos, podcasts, source documents, as well as 15 written chapters. Click more for a synopsis of part 1.

“Antipsychotic Use in Youth Without Psychosis: A Double-edged Sword”

This month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry ran an editorial commenting on recent research revealing that the majority of youth prescribed antipsychotics have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

“Janssen Accused of Withholding Data on Risperdal Side Effect in Autism”

MedPageToday reports that Janssen Pharmaceuticals omitted data from a 2003 study that connected Risperdal with serious side effects. Janssen was previously sued by the FDA for marketing Risperdal for off-label uses and settled for $2.2 billion in 2013. Earlier this year, a man with autism was awarded $2.5 million after growing breasts while on Risperdal. According to MedPage, documents from this latest case reveal missing data tables from a 2003 study “designed to ferret out potential adverse effects of long-term risperidone use.” The missing tables were related to elevated prolactin levels and side effects, including gynecomastia in men.

Environmental Neurotoxins and Autism

-A discussion of some of the links that have been found between neurotoxins polluting the environment and higher risks of developing autistic symptoms.

“Making Theater Autism-Friendly”

-The Atlantic reports on the growth of "autism-friendly" movie theaters, sports arenas and now live theaters.

A Lifetime of Personal Lessons from Raising an Autistic Child

The Lancet Psychiatry has a book review of Ron Suskind's memoir of raising his autistic son, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and...

Antidepressants and Pregnancy:  Who Says They Are Safe? 

Depression during pregnancy is an important issue. Depression should not be ignored and depressed pregnant women deserve good treatment and care. Part of that good care, though, is providing them with full and correct information. I care for pregnant women taking antidepressants on a daily basis and too often they tell me that the only counseling they received about the medication was, “my doctor told me it’s safe in pregnancy.” This post will review the evidence in this area and address the counterarguments.

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...

Is Autism a “Deficit” or a Super Sensitivity?

Salon has reprinted an excerpt from a book by University of California cognitive neuroscientist Gregory Hickok, in which Hickok argues that common diagnostic tests...

Early Brain Injury and Autism

A pediatrician writing for The Daily Beast discusses a recent study in the journal Neuron that found links between autism and brain injury during...

Common Off-label Drug for Autism No Better than Placebo

The Alzheimer's drug memantine (also known as Ebixa or Namenda) is being regularly used off-label in the treatment of childhood autism, Asperger’s, and Pervasive...

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...

“Drama Helps Kids with Autism Communicate Better”

Results from a pilot study called Imagining Autism suggests that drama workshops help children with autism-spectrum disorders. Drama Helps Kids with Autism Communicate Better (New Scientist)

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...

“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....

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