% of total autism publications
This pattern UK Fig 5. Autism Publications in 2011: UK vs. US is despite US widespread calls for more translational research – research into treatments and interventions, services and Diagnosis Biology Causes Treatments Services Societal societal issues – in the report on the state of UK autism research US. A breakdown of this category field published 10 years ago.1 revealed that, while the UK is ahead of the curve in terms of technologyHow does the pattern of UK based interventions and supports research activity compare to (representing 40% of all Treatment such activity in the US? and Interventions publications in 2011 Figure 5 shows the similarities and compared to 13% in the US), the UK differences in the pattern of autism produced no publications in other research output between the UK and key areas, including Complementary, the US in 2011. Research focused on Dietary and Alternative, Medical/ Biology, Brain and Cognition accounts Pharmacological, and Occupational, for the largest portion of publications Physical and Sensory-based treatments. in both the UK and the US.
Key findings There are, however, two notable differences. While research into Biology, Brain and Cognition is a strong area of research for both countries, it is the UK that leads the way in this research area: 53% of the UK’s output is in this area compared to 44% in the US. This pattern remains the same if we compare the UK and other parts of the world. This pattern is no doubt due to the UK’s strong tradition in studying the biological, neural and cognitive underpinnings that help explain autistic features (see Key Dates, p.14-17). The UK published proportionately fewer research articles on Treatments and Interventions than other parts of the world, with this research area making up 11% of all UK autism research output in 2011 compared to a marked 23% of all research published in the
• Autism research across the globe has seen rapid growth between 2001 and 2011. • UK autism research has increased two-fold during this 10-year period but the rate of growth of autism research in the US outpaces that of the UK. • Research on Biology, Brain and Cognition maintains the largest portion of publications and is the only area to see any proportional growth in UK output between 2001 and 2011. • Although the UK is a world leader in research output on Biology, Brain and Cognition, it falls behind the US and other parts of the world in the area of Treatments and Interventions.