Simons Foundation: Notable papers of 2011

5 Jan

The Simons Foundation has an article discussing their choices of Notable papers of 2011. Below are their choices and links to the Simons Foundation blog (SFARI) articles which discuss them. Also given are links to pubmed for the original research articles.

Study finds high rate of autism in South Korea

Family sequencing study boosts two-hit model of autism

Networks of genes altered in autism brains, study says

Studies find high rate of rare new mutations in autism

Protein networks link different forms of autism, study says

Experts critique statistics, conclusion of autism twin study

Large study finds ‘baby sibs’ at high risk of autism

Autism tests struggle to balance accuracy and speed

Tuberous sclerosis, fragile X may be molecular opposites

Neurons made from stem cells reveal cellular flaws in autism

9 Responses to “Simons Foundation: Notable papers of 2011”

  1. passionlessDrone January 5, 2012 at 17:33 #

    Hello friends –

    I remember specifically that in older posts a commentor had noted that the Simons foundation in particular was heavily invested in genetic funding for autism. This listing of their ‘important’ findings would seem to bolster that argument.

    I find particular amusement that in the AS list of 2011 studies they list the California twins study, and in this list, it is noted as ‘Experts critique statistics, conclusion of autism twin study’, which isn’t even a study. No bias on display here.

    I am saddened to see that the absurd Korea study made it into both lists.

    – pD

    • Sullivan January 5, 2012 at 18:15 #

      How is the Korea study “absurd”? It is the only total population study so far. Autism Speaks considers the idea good enough that they are funding a total population study in the U.S..

  2. RAJ January 5, 2012 at 18:48 #

    Dorothy Bishop who serves as assistant editor on autism related peer reviewed research journals has dissected the Korean study brilliantly and would agree more with pD than Sullivan:

    • Sullivan January 5, 2012 at 19:49 #

      Funny, I too have worked as an editor on peer reviewed journals. As has at least one of the authors of the Korean study.

      She makes a very strange statement: “Reliance on expert clinical judgement is all very well, ”

      Clinical judgement is the gold standard for such work. And multiple clinicians agreed. In general, the problems with clinical judgement come in where individuals are placed on the spectrum, not whether they belong in the spectrum at all.

  3. passionlessDrone January 6, 2012 at 03:29 #

    Hi Sullivan –

    I don’t have the juice for the entire discussion now, but regarding the Korea findings, I wrote a blog post about them and their relative non event status on my blog, here</a..

    – pD

    • Sullivan January 7, 2012 at 00:56 #


      sorry for the rushed comment. Right after typing it I figured you must have written a more thorough discussion.

      I agree that it is an odd choice for the Simons Foundation’s list. It isn’t a study but a critique.

      As to bias…well, good thing we aren’t, eh? No one would have guessed ahead of time that you and RAJ would be unfavorable to the Korean study and I would be favorable, would they? 😉

  4. RAJ January 6, 2012 at 11:30 #

    Allen Francis is the psychiatrist who was the editor in chief responsible for the introduction of DSM-IV (1994). You can almost trace the so-called autism epidemic back to 1994.Frances has now distanced himself from what should have been the crowning achievment of his career in psychiatry.
    He has stated that the field trials for DSM-IV failed to predict the false epidemics of autism, attentional disorders and bi-polar disorder.

  5. RAJ January 7, 2012 at 13:53 #

    Here is the problem not only with the Korean study but with the confusion over the ability for any group to reach any consensus over what the definition of autism is:

  6. passionlessDrone January 7, 2012 at 18:55 #

    Sullivan –

    As to bias…well, good thing we aren’t, eh? No one would have guessed ahead of time that you and RAJ would be unfavorable to the Korean study and I would be favorable, would they? 😉

    Hehe. Fair enough.

    – pD

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