Autism Disorders after NICU Stays

Dr. Michael Shevell Chair of the Pediatrics Department at the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the McGill University Health CentreMedicalResearch.com Interview
Dr. Michael Shevell
Chair of the Pediatrics Department at the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the McGill University Health Centre

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Shevell: At risk term infants who have spent some time in a Level III NICU after birth are at substantially increased later risk for an autistic spectrum disorder. Frequently this disorder occurs in conjunction with substantial co-morbidity.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Shevell: The degree of increased risk and the occurrence of co-morbidity was unexpected.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Shevell: Term infants discharged from a Level III NICU should be screened for an ASD systematically as part of programmatic follow-up.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Shevell: A multi-centre prospective study with an ASD screening protocol would be an ideal methodology to further address this issue.

Citation:

Shevell MI, et al “Autism spectrum disorder in a term birth NICU population” CNS 2013; Abstract 56.