Special Issue "Pediatric Impact of Comorbidities in Autism Spectrum Disorders"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Child Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Gregory Neal Barnes

University of Louisville, Department of Pediatrics, Louisville, United States
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorders; epilepsy; big data; cannabinoids; GABAergic neurons; MRI; EEG; Systems Biology; Axon Guidance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

At least 9 to 168 children per 10,000 worldwide have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the cost of children in the US who need specialized ASD services is $60 billion dollars per year. In the USA alone, more than 1.25 million children with ASD under the age of 18 years need care. There is no cure for ASD. Early intervention can cut lifelong costs by two-thirds. Sadly, barriers to early intervention in many states are numerous. Further, interdisciplinary ASD care is about matching treatment to patient goals, alleviating symptoms which exacerbate behaviors, and relieving important symptoms from pediatric comorbidities, thereby reducing costs. The most common ASD comorbidities in pediatrics are epilepsy, gastrointestinal disease, sleep problems, and psychiatric disease. The primary goal of treatment is to improve the quality of life, both for the child and for his/her family.

Sadly, advances in the understanding of the biology and control of symptoms in ASD children with comorbidities have often not kept pace with increased capacity for diagnosis. Data reveal that the majority of distressing symptoms in children (such as pain from gastrointestinal disease, nausea/vomiting, recurrent seizures, insomnia, etc.) are not detected and/or not treated, and, when treated, therapy is commonly ineffective. Further therapy itself can have side-effects (such as anti-seizure medications). Emerging evidence shows that effective care results in improved quality of life without side-effects, and, in some cases, prolongation of life (such as seizure freedom).

High-quality ASD care for children with comorbidities is now an expected standard of medicine. However, there still remain significant barriers to achieving optimal care, related to lack of understanding of the biology, formal education, and most importantly, the lack of interdisciplinary teams to address the care of comorbidities in children with ASD.

Fortunately, advances have been made in recent years, providing high quality care in the area of ASD comorbidities. Nevertheless, much work remains in this area across the life span of ASD patients. This Special Issue, “Pediatric Impact of Comorbidities in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, is dedicated to describing existing gaps, impact on developmental trajectories, impact on brain function/behavior, as well as the achievements made in basic science knowledge and clinical care in this area of ASD research. Mainly original research will be considered for publication. Both clinical research and basic science papers centered around the impact on brain function and behaviors are particularly encouraged, but other original research papers will be considered. Reviews will also be considered if a critical look and critique of the literature is warranted.

Our group of editors are looking forward to your contributions.

Kind regards,

Dr. Gregory Neal Barnes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Gastrointestinal
  • sleep
  • endocrine
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • neurological disease
  • psychiatric disease
  • learning disorders

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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