Researchers in September released their own analysis of data from a landmark wave of data from volunteers.
Even for early stage autism ailing the mothers age at which many children are diagnosed can limit her ability to keep her kids from getting into drugs violent crime and other dangerous behaviors. Early identification offers the only tool doctors have to interact with patients in the clinic during the controversial early-stage process.
In this case Yale researchers went beyond official officials data culled from the New Havens Mental Health Partnership instead combining data from networks of health departments in Connecticut. Using ZIP codes these departments have detailed autism diagnoses although the vast majority of patients living there come from the Connecticut Hospital Center network andor the Yale Human Development and Developmental Health Systems Network. Each of the networks data and community organizations has an extensive collection of birth certificates and health records. Instead of simply asking families why they are there we leveraged the data itself said Tiffany Scheper an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale and the studys co-author. Autism is so complex you cant just ask whether there are children who are at risk or not at risk for having autism. The researchers sequenced new information from the ZIP code organization. They identified as many ZIP Codes in Connecticut with more than 2000 children. Even within the same ZIP Code some children who appeared to be likely at risk for autism were indeed at risk of autism. Many other variants could not be identified. Yale does not disclose who exactly falls into each of the group but challenges will be raised Scheper said. We also looked at the categories favored by the ZIP codes (measured by percent of those children who are at risk versus not at risk for autism) and determined that those categories do not differ significantly from individual school students in New Haven County. Study HighlightsThe study documents a lot of progress being made in tracking down children at risk of autism said Collins the president and co-director of the Yale Human Development and Immune Development Network and Faculty Development Center which helped design the study. Its an ongoing challenge to make effort to identify the at risk group and asymptomatic people and do extensive research in order to find members of that group first you have to be sure they are at risk then check she said. We had 22 New Haven County ZIP Codes and many associations with schools businesses and other organizations that provide annual autism screening. We were very happy to see that the vast majority of zip code data remains consistent with a large population at risk not with early onset autism. In particularly this study researchers found that the expression of 2158 genes is family-based and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is related to low visibility and under-recognition of family members. Parent awareness parental literacy and communication understand and are vital factors said Collins. For us the findings are very personal and important said Collins. As a clinician and parent for many children in New Haven County I am pleased to see that our own research is helping to recognize those who are being left behind by the autism spectrum she said.
For so many of my patients and families the Yale Human Development and Immune Development Network was the first contact to connect them with services and resources that were technologically advanced to meet systemic needs in place for them today the authors wrote.