Neurodevelopmental disorders

The focus of our work involves the epidemiology of autism and other developmental disorders (Lead: Dr Dheeraj Rai).  The work involves using a range of population-based studies to inform the causes and consequences of these disorders, and a key interest is in the identification of modifiable factors that could help inform interventions and preventative strategies. Much of this work is embedded within two key resources, the Stockholm Youth Cohort and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) but we have active collaborations with a number of large cohort and population based studies.  Another area of interest is clinical epidemiology and randomised controlled trials of interventions in this population.

We work closely with local clinical services including the Bristol Autism Spectrum Service and the Local Learning Disability Services.  Our work is essentially interdisciplinary and involves a wide range of collaborative partnerships with colleagues in Bristol and beyond. Key external collaborators include Professors Cecilia Magnusson and Christina Dalman at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Dr Brian Lee at Drexel University, Professors Glyn Lewis and Angela Hassiotis at UCL, Professor Terry Brugha at the University of Leicester, Dr Ailsa Russell at the University of Bath and Professor Kathryn Abel at Manchester University.  

Selected current or recent grants

  • Russell AJ, Wiles N, Kessler D, Rai D, Ensum I, Barton S, Ingham B, Parr J, Horwood J. Guided self-help for depression in adults with autism spectrum disorder. NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. £355,155.  2015-2018
  • Rai D, AWP NIHR Research Capability Funding. Strategic support for the Bristol autism and neurodevelopmental disorder research group.  2015-2016
  • Golding J, Rai D. Grand-maternal prenatal smoking and its possible link with autism, autistic traits and other neurodevelopmental problems: an epidemiological analysis of population based data. (PI- Jean Golding).  Escher Fund for Autism.  2015-2016
  • Russell AJ, Wiles N, Kessler D, Rai D, Ensum I, Barton S, Ingham B, Parr J, Horwood J. Guided self-help for depression in adults with autism spectrum disorder. NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. £355,155.00. 2015 – 2018. 

Selected publications

  • Guyatt A, Heron J, Golding J, Knight B, Rai D. Digit Ratio and autism spectrum disorder: a population based study. BMJ Open, 2015 Aug 25;5(8):e007433
  • Gardner RM, Lee BK, Magnusson C, Rai D, Frisell T, Karlsson H, Idring S, Dalman C. (2015) Maternal body mass index during early pregnancy, gestational weight gain, and risk of autism spectrum disorders: Results from a Swedish total population and discordant sibling study. Int J Epidemiology. 2015 Jun;44(3):870-83
  • Selten JP, Lundberg M, Rai D, Magnusson C. Risks for non affective psychotic disorder and bipolar disorders in young people with autism. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 72(5):483-9
  • Rai D, Lee BK, Dalman C, Golding J, Lewis G, Magnusson C (2013) Parental depression, maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders: population based case-control study. BMJ 346:f2059
  • Idring S, Lundberg M, Sturm H, Dalman C, Gumpert C, Rai D, Lee BK, Magnusson C. Changes in Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2001-2011: Findings from the Stockholm Youth Cohort. J Autism Dev Disord. 45(6):1766-73
  • Abel KM, Dalman C, Svensson A, Susser E, Dal H, Idring S, Webb R, Rai D, Magnusson C. (2013) Deviance in fetal growth and risk of autism spectrum disorder. Am J Psychiatry; 170(4):391-8
  • Sullivan S, Rai D, Golding J, Zammit S, Steer C (2013) The association between autism spectrum disorder and psychotic experiences in the ALSPAC cohort. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 52(8):806-814
  • Rai D, Golding J, Magnusson C, Steer C, Lewis G, et al. (2012) Prenatal and Early Life Exposure to Stressful Life Events and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Population-Based Studies in Sweden and England. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38893. PMID: 22719977
  • Rai D, Lewis G, Lundberg M, Araya R, Svensson A, Dalman C, Carpenter P, Magnusson C. (2012) Parental socioeconomic status and risk of offspring Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Swedish population based study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry51(5):467-476.e6 PMID:22525953
  • Idring S, Magnusson C, Lundberg M, Ek M, Rai D, Svensson A, Dalman C, Karlsson H, Lee BK (2014). Parental age and risk of autism spectrum disorders: findings from a Swedish population-based cohort.  Int J Epidemiology; 43(1):107-15
  • Magnusson C, Rai D, Goodman A, Lundberg M, Idring S, Svensson A, Koupil I, Serlachius E, Dalman C. (2012) Migration and autism-spectrum disorder: population-based study. Br J Psychiatry 201:109-15.(with Editorial)PMID:22361019
  • Idring S, Rai D, et al. (2012) Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Stockholm Youth Cohort: Design, Prevalence and Validity. PLoS One; 7(7): e41280. PMID:22911770.
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