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