Daily Archive for December 30th, 2009

Excessive levels of calcium mark brains of individuals with Autism

Writing in Molecular Psychiatry, L. Palmieri of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Bari (Bari, IT) and colleagues reported the results of a small-n study of levels of metabolic transporters in the brain tissue of individuals with and without Autism. They compared the contents of samples from the brains of individuals with Autism and individual without Autism (matched on the bases of sex, age, and time after death that the samples were obtained). They found aspartate-glutamate carrier activity was increased by excessive calcium levels in brains of the Autistic individuals.
Continue reading ‘Excessive levels of calcium mark brains of individuals with Autism’

Ethnicity and Autism?

Thanks to a comment by reader DrFoo (AKA ‘Rollen’), I was alerted to an interesting study about variation in the rates of Autism in different ethnic populations. The news releases say that the incidence of Autism among Hispanics is lower than it is among non-Hispanic white peers.

These news releases refer to a study entitled “Explaining Low Rates of Autism Among Hispanic Schoolchildren in Texas” by Raymond Palmer and colleagues. Here’s the abstract:

In data from the Texas Educational Agency and the Health Resources and Services Administration, we found fewer autism diagnoses in school districts with higher percentages of Hispanic children. Our results are consistent with previous reports of autism rates 2 to 3 times as high among non-Hispanic Whites as among Hispanics. Socioeconomic factors failed to explain lower autism prevalence among Hispanic schoolchildren in Texas. These findings raise questions: Is autism underdiagnosed among Hispanics? Are there protective factors associated with Hispanic ethnicity?

I’ve not had time to examine the issue closely, but I have a few links:

The full citation is close to what follows…

Palmer, R. F., Walker, T., Mandell, D., Bayles, B., Miller, C. S. (2009). Explaining low rates of autism among Hispanic schoolchildren in Texas. American Journal of Public Health, 100, pp-to-come. 10.2105/AJPH.2008.150565