About Paul Whiteley Ph.D.

Researcher based in North East England. An academic background in psychology with a special interest in developmental psychology focused specifically on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Postgraduate degrees based on research examining the safety and efficacy of a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet applied to autism and the potential importance of various comorbidity to the health and wellbeing of those on the autism spectrum, with a continuing research interest in these areas. Keen blogger and amateur science writer (but no formal qualifications in these areas). Science is based on probability.

Heightened anxiety in autism

In these days of greater focus on the presentation of autism outside of just the core triad (or dyad depending on your diagnostic definition) of behaviours, one issue crops up time and time again: anxiety. For anyone with either personal or professional experience / interest in autism, the findings from Hallett and colleagues* talking about […]

Gastrointestinal observations in the valproate mouse model of autism

The recent revelation that offspring of a maternal immune activated (MIA) mouse model of autism, or at least mouse presentation of behaviours judged similar to those observed in cases of autism, might also present with gastrointestinal effects has certainly caught the imagination. Describing how the so-called leaky gut might be associated with those trillions of […]

The dynamic nature of preschool autism

Autism currently remains a diagnosis based exclusively on observed behaviours and analysis of developmental history. Although various early diagnostic markers have been put forward as potential candidates to make the diagnostic process more objective and onwards remove the subjectivity behind making a diagnosis, none have so far lived up to expectation. Part of the reason […]

Synaesthesia prevalent in autism?

The BBC headline ‘Study links synaesthesia to autism‘ recently caught my eye (and nose!) discussing the paper by Baron-Cohen and colleagues* (open-access) who suggested that: “The rate of synaesthesia in adults with autism was 18.9% (31 out of 164), almost three times greater than in controls“. Synaesthesia according to the UK Synaesthesia Association is best described […]

Iodine deficiency in mothers of children with autism and their offspring

Investigations reporting low levels of important nutrients to be present in cases of autism are no new thing. Whether this means issues with the availability of certain vitamins or minerals necessary to avoid diseases of deficiency such as scurvy or rickets or just lower levels of nutrients required for optimal biological functioning, the research literature […]

Hyperprolactinemia and risperidone use in autism

Nearly half of children and young adults with autism in receipt of the antipsychotic risperidone also displayed hyperprolactinemia – elevated levels of the hormone prolactin – according to new research by Yaowaluck Hongkaew and colleagues based in Bangkok, Thailand. Based on an analysis of blood samples taken from nearly 150 participants diagnosed with autism taking […]

Offspring autism and the inter-pregnancy interval

Both long and short temporal spacings between pregnancies may elevate the risk for offspring receiving a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to researchers* based at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in the United States. Maureen Durkin and colleagues looked at a large cohort of second-born children, […]

Maternal thyroid autoantibody and elevated risk of offspring autism

“These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that a class of known maternal autoimmune disorders is related to autism in offspring.” That was the conclusion reached in the study by Alan Brown and colleagues* drawing on a research collaboration between the United States and Finland. Based on data collected from the Finnish Prenatal Study of […]

Mothers, mortality and autism

The title of the research paper by Jenny Fairthorne and colleagues* based at the Telethon Kids Institute at the University of Western Australia does not exactly make comfortable reading: ‘Early Mortality and Primary Causes of Death in Mothers of Children with Intellectual Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective Cohort Study’. Reporting results based on […]

Thioredoxin as a new diagnostic marker for pediatric autism?

Researchers based at the Linyi People’s Hospital in Shandong Province in China recently reported initial results based on the analysis of thioredoxin, an oxidative stress biomarker in cases of autism in children. Examining serum levels of thioredoxin (TRX) in 80 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with levels in 100 age and […]