Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Data on Autism Research

An earlier post mentioned questions about the distribution of autism research funds.  Disability Scoop reports on another IACC/OARC study:
As autism prevalence rates skyrocketed over the last three decades, so too did the volume of research into the developmental disorder, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis.
There was a 12-fold increase in the number of scientific journal articles focused on autism in the last 30 years, according to a report released late last week by the global information firm Thomson Reuters.
The analysis is based on a review of journal articles indexed in the Thomson Reuters ScienceWire Publication Catalog between 1980 and 2010. It was produced in collaboration with the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory panel charged with identifying autism research priorities.
Most autism research conducted over the three decades focused on the biology of autism, risk factors for the disorder as well as treatments and interventions, the analysis found. There was a lesser emphasis on infrastructure and surveillance, studying lifespan issues and services research, though all areas saw an uptick in interest from scientists.
Two figures from the report: Figure 7. Growth in ASD-related Publications, 1980 to 2010. The number of autism publications increased dramatically between 1980 and 2010, with a rapid rise in autism research publication rates beginning around 2000 (blue line). The line indicating the expected growth of autism publications in this time frame (orange) is based on a comparison group of publications in the same Journal Subject Categories which comprise over 75% of ASD publications (1980 to 2010). Gray squares highlight the time frames of 1999 to 2001 and 2005 to 2007. Listed below the graph are some of the key events that took place during these time frames. A more complete description of these events is provided in the corresponding text.
 Figure 6. Distribution of 2010 Primary Research Publications within the Seven Critical Question Areas of the IACC Strategic Plan. The number of primary research publications categorized into each Critical Question area is shown in parentheses and the proportion of total publications is shown as a percentage. The total number of 2010 autism primary research publications with available abstract text for categorization was 1,692. Percentages add up to more than 100% due to rounding.