Scientific Symposium

October 28 – 29, 2017 | Vancouver, British Columbia

In October 2017, Autism Canada partnered with The Autism Research Institute and the Pacific Autism Family Network to co-host an international Think Tank on Aging and Autism. An international delegation of 27 individuals provided the perspectives of adults on the spectrum, researchers, clinicians, service providers, and opinion leaders in the autism field.

The two-days were organized around a series of presentations to discuss the current landscape in aging research with respect to autism, and set the stage for further discussions about building a collaborative agenda across international boundaries.

Participants identified three broad themes, and several sub-themes, in need of research or action regarding aging and autism. The three main themes were:

  1. Understanding Aging on the Autism Spectrum
  2. Research Methodologies and Outcome Measures
  3. Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum in Mid- and Later-Life

The resulting Summary Report – Aging and Autism: A Think Tank Round Table is the first comprehensive report of its kind in North America and is expected to generate momentum and opportunity to expand its scope and reach.

An excerpt from the report:

“Just like everyone, autistic adults want to be “amongst the living” rather than segregated. As many autistic seniors live with sensory dysphoria and are easily over- or under- whelmed, increased understanding and accommodations among the non-autistic population would promote greater inclusivity for individuals on the spectrum.” – Wenn Lawson, Think Tank Participant, October 2017.

June 23 – 24, 2014 | Toronto, Ontario

Autism Canada, the Autism Research Institute and NeuroDevNet co-hosted the Scientific Symposium 2014, Examining a Multi-Systems Approach to Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research. This two day workshop brought several leading autism researchers and clinicians together to gain a greater understanding of the scope of disciplines that relate to the study of autism, to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations for current and future autism research and to identify the research pathways with the greatest potential for significant discoveries.

We are pleased to bring you presentations from the Scientific Symposium 2014 Examining a Multi-Systems Approach to Autism and the Environment.

Stephen Scherer, PhD
Autism Spectrum Disorders: So many genes involved

Judy Van de Water, PhD
Immune dysfunction in ASD: Thinking outside the brain

Richard Frye, MD, PhD
Adaptive Changes in Mitochondrial Function Associated with Autism

Staci D. Bilbo, PhD
The immune system and neural development: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders

Alessio Fasano, MD
ASD and Gut Permeability: A serendipitous association or a planned design?

Bruce Lanphear, MD
Excavating Environmental Risk Factors for Autism: Suspects and Strategies

Emma Allen-Vercoe, PhD
The gut microbiota and why it is important in ASD

Manuel Casanova, MD
Heterochronic germinal cell divisions and abnormalities of migration of in autism

August 7, 2012 | Toronto, Ontario

Autism Canada and the Autism Research Institute co-hosted the Scientific Symposium 2012, Exploring the Gut Brain Connection in Autism, in Toronto to explore the potential role of infectious agents in autism phenotypes. Experts from several diverse disciplines met to discuss the growing evidence for microbiological etiology in certain forms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. If infectious agents can be shown to play an important role in the etiology of autism, this offers an exciting and tangible opportunity for development of novel diagnostics, therapies, and preventive measures.

We are pleased to bring you the presentations from the Scientific Symposium 2012 Exploring the Gut Brain Connection in Autism.

Sydney M. Finegold, M.D.
Microbiology of Regressive Autism

Emma Allen-Vercoe, Ph.D.
A New Paradigm in Medicine: Microbial Ecosystems Therapeutics

Derrick MacFabe, M.D.
The Propionic Acid Rodent Model of Autism – Are Short Chain Fatty Acid Fermentation Products of Enteric Infections Possible Environmental Factors?

Richard E. Frye, M.D., Ph.D.
Fatty Acid Abnormalities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Parallel Abnormalities Found in the Propionic Acid Rodent Model of ASD

We are encouraged by the recent studies in this field and continue to promote further research into the gut brain connection in autism. Our belief is autism is a whole body disorder not just a brain disorder. Recognition of this notion addresses many factors ignored and dismissed through other philosophies and provides not only better outcomes, but hope though better understanding and support.

We recommend you download and read the following papers:

Finegold et al, 2012 – Microbiology of Autism
MacFabe 2012 Review – Enteric Short Chain Fatty Acids in Autism
Rossignol and Frye, 2011- Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism
MacFabe, Frye & Melnyk, 2013- Acylcarnitine abnormalities in Autism
Petrof , Claud, Gloor & Allen-Vercoe, 2013- Microbial Systems Therapeutics