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Autism: A Potential Model for Causality and Therapy

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posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 11:33 PM
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The latest research I have been able to find, suggests that the root cause of autism is a combination of genetic predispositions/epigenetics and “environmental factors,” which are external to the child, to which the child is exposed either in utero, after birth or both (or the parents have been exposed to something and the genes passed on are affected).

I've spent years investigating autism from a lay-persons perspective, and as a mother of a severely autistic child. Some pieces are coming together for me and I want to share them with ATS for your input.

Possible environmental factors being considered are things like industrial toxins and pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, viruses, and pharmaceuticals that may be determined to directly engage the genetic trigger. Keep in mind that there are over 300 genes linked to autism and a whole world full of potential toxins.

In other words, autism rates are going up (1 in 68 currently, according to the CDC) and the causal factors are still, ultimately, a mystery, though some progress is being made.

So there is a great need to determine the mechanism for altering the genes expression, or the "trigger," which could lead to prevention and possibly to therapies. Add to that the different "types" of autism (i.e. different expressions of autism on the spectrum of the disorder), and researchers have quite a massive task. This is why, with all the research being done, the majority of what we see is a scattershot of "correlation studies" which are attempting to tease out significant factors related to autism, but have, in my opinion, added a great deal of confusion at this point.

POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS

One of the most promising potential causes (and I caution that this may only play into one type or form of autism) relates to key enzymes found in every human cell being impaired by either mutation or an environmental factor. The group of enzymes are called topoisomerases and problems with this group of enzymes can have a major impact on brain development, and possibly be a causal factor in ASD (autism spectrum disorders).

Initially, the researchers were studying Angelman Syndrome, and happened upon this discovery by surprise.

Source




Our study shows the magnitude of what can happen if topoisomerases are impaired,” said senior study author Mark Zylka, PhD, associate professor in the Neuroscience Center and the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at UNC. “Inhibiting these enzymes has the potential to profoundly affect neurodevelopment — perhaps even more so than having a mutation in any one of the genes that have been linked to autism.”

The study could have important implications for ASD detection and prevention.

“This could point to an environmental component to autism,” said Zylka. “A temporary exposure to a topoisomerase inhibitor in utero has the potential to have a long-lasting effect on the brain, by affecting critical periods of brain development. ”

This study could also explain why some people with mutations in topoisomerases develop autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Topiosomerases are enzymes found in all human cells. Their main function is to untangle DNA when it becomes overwound, a common occurrence that can interfere with key biological processes.

Most of the known topoisomerase-inhibiting chemicals are used as chemotherapy drugs. Zylka said his team is searching for other compounds that have similar effects in nerve cells. “If there are additional compounds like this in the environment, then it becomes important to identify them,” said Zylka. “That’s really motivating us to move quickly to identify other drugs or environmental compounds that have similar effects — so that pregnant women can avoid being exposed to these compounds.”
Zylka and his colleagues stumbled upon the discovery quite by accident while studying topotecan, a topoisomerase-inhibiting drug that is used in chemotherapy.

Investigating the drug’s effects in mouse and human-derived nerve cells, they noticed that the drug tended to interfere with the proper functioning of genes that were exceptionally long — composed of many DNA base pairs. The group then made the serendipitous connection that many autism-linked genes are extremely long.

“That’s when we had the ‘Eureka moment,’” said Zylka. “We realized that a lot of the genes that were suppressed were incredibly long autism genes.


I will let them explain it…



Other compounds in the environment may work to suppress these enzymes.
In addition to medicines, high on the suspect list are industrial toxins and pollutants in our air, water and ground.

ENZYME INHIBITORS

Enzyme Inhibitor Information here

Many medicines are enzyme inhibitors, as are pesticides; they are affective in killing pathogens. Different pesticides and medications work on different enzymes. Could a pesticide or medications other than chemotherapy drugs work to suppress the topoisomerases enzyme group?

There is a family of antibiotics known as Quinolones, which have the ability to specifically suppress topoisomerases, but there is currently no definite research connecting Quinolones with autism, but IF these antibiotics are causing at least part of the genetic expression of autism (50 out of 300 autism genes), then it is of great importance to encourage further study.

Source

HEAVY METALS

An Arizona State University study showed higher levels of heavy metals in the blood and urine of kids with autism than a control group. They were also able to link the level of heavy metals to the severity of the individual’s autism.


The autism group had significantly higher levels of lead in their red blood cells (+41 percent) and significantly higher urinary levels of lead (+74 percent), thallium (+77 percent), tin (+115 percent), and tungsten (+44 percent). Lead, thallium, tin, and tungsten are toxic metals that can impair brain development and function, and also interfere with the normal functioning of other body organs and systems.

A statistical analysis was conducted to determine if the levels of toxic metals were associated with autism severity, using three different scales of autism severity. It was found that 38-47 percent of the variation of autism severity was associated with the level of several toxic metals, with cadmium and mercury being the most strongly associated.

Source

Heavy Metals:

When ingested, they combine with the body’s biomolecules, like proteins and enzymes to form stable biotoxic compounds, thereby mutilating their structures and hindering them from the bioreactions of their functions.

Source

Is it possible that heavy metals affect epigenetics, or gene expression? A lot of research on this subject in relation to cancer has happened in the last few years, now that we are gaining greater understanding of how epigenetics works. But could autism also be affected not only by the exposure of the child to heavy metal toxins, but the parent's exposure and subsequent epigenetic effects?

(Continued...)




posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 
Continued...

ANOTHER PIECE OF THE PUZZLE: Metabolic and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in the ASD Population
Mitochondrial Dysfunction and impaired methylation, along with increased oxidative stress, is found in children with ASD (autism spectrum disorders).

Regressive autism (child developing relatively normally, then suddenly loses communication and/or other developmental skills, thus “regressing) is associated with Mitochondrial dysfunction (and secondary mitochondrial dysfunction). Symptoms such as speech regression, low muscle tone, constipation, regression after illness, vaccine or anesthesia, tires easily, and evidence of oxidative stress.

An official diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease (a separate diagnosis) is found in 5.0% of children with autism, which is much higher than the general population (~0.01% of the general population). Even though this is a small percentage, studies show that secondary mitochondrial dysfunction (not a specific mitochondrial disease type) may be spread along the spectrum, with greater levels of mitochondrial dysfunction relating to greater severity on the spectrum.

Also, “The prevalence of abnormal biomarker values of mitochondrial dysfunction was high in ASD, much higher than the prevalence of MD.” – Source (see Abstract)

Genetic mutations, according to the source meta analysis (link below) did not account for the mitochondrial dysfunction.

So what else might account for it?

Here is an interesting note relating to the “environmental triggers” for mitochondrial dysfunction. It also speaks to the issue of vaccines, and why some children may be vulnerable to toxins than typical children. (This is not a vaccine thread, though…)


In another reviewed study, exposure to ethylmercury (thimerosal) led to a larger increase in free radical generation and a greater reduction in the ratio of reduced GSH to GSSG in ASD cells compared with control cells.35 These findings suggest that mitochondria from children with ASD may be more vulnerable to damage from environmental toxicants than mitochondria from typically developing children.35 In this context, exposures to environmental toxicants could contribute to secondary mitochondrial dysfunction in some children with ASD.9, 201 For example, in vitro exposure to diesel exhaust particles has been shown to inhibit mitochondrial function,80 and elevated environmental concentrations of diesel exhaust particles have been associated with ASD.202 Other environmental toxicants that inhibit mitochondrial function and have been associated with ASD include mercury, lead, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides.

Interestingly, some investigators have suggested that mtDNA deletions reported in some children with ASD may be secondary to elevated levels of ROS (oxidative stress) caused by environmental factors.
Meta Analysis Source

(ROS: Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage.
Source)

What else does secondary mitochondrial dysfunction do besides regression and oxidative stress?


Abnormalities in synaptic transmission reported in ASD could also contribute to secondary mitochondrial dysfunction. For example, an imbalance in the excitatory (glutamatergic) and inhibitory (GABAergic) neurotransmitter systems has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ASD, with a relative increase in the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system.


Meta Analysis Source

Ok, so in putting together these disparate pieces we see that:
1) there can be more than one trigger acting on the 300 genes related to autism,
2) pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals are strong contenders for epigenetic “triggers” for autism,
3) that ASD has strong indications of being more than simply neurological (isolated in the brain) but may be metabolic in at least a sub-set of autism, if not the entire population.
4) that there is an indication, both in the above referenced meta-analysis AND in the symptoms presented in regressive autism, that this sub-group (if not the entire population, along a spectrum) is more sensitive to environmental toxicity (due to parental epigenetic factors??), leading to metabolic dysfunction / mitochondrial dysfunction, in perhaps a vicious circle.


EPIGENETIC & NUTRITONAL THERAPIES: AUTISM’S BEST HOPE?

It is clear to me that the study of epigenetic in autism is essential to unraveling the mystery and developing solid therapies for at least a sub-set of people with ASD, if not the entire spectrum.

EPIGENETICS – An Explanation of How Genes Interact with Environment, (and how this knowledge is creating new therapies for cancer)



So here is my tentative hypothesis and personal “leap into the unknown” looking for solutions/prevention. I grant that these ideas are based on my limited understanding and fueled by my deep desire to see a pattern that could lead to hope.


Here it is:

A THEORY OF CAUSALITY:
The epigenome in people with autism has been affected (an environmental trigger turning on/off the genes associated with autism), thus causing either metabolic/mitochondrial weaknesses leading to systemic and neurological issues and greater sensitivities to toxins and/or other systemic breakdowns leading to the outward symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. The environmental trigger may be somewhat unique to each individual, but exposure to environmental toxins, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides or other chemicals is at the foundation of the epigenetic changes. Repeated exposures to toxins (build-up) create a tipping point (straw that broke the camel’s back) into the systemic breakdown, which manifests as ASD. There is a vicious cycle then, of repeated toxic exposures (that typical people manage) keeping the systems (i.e. mitochondria – one possibility) unable to heal.

Well, there you have it.

POTENTIAL FOR NEW THERAPIES
Now the good news, because if this hypothesis is correct, then hope for individuals with severe autism may lie in epigenetic therapies, like those being developed for cancer treatment. (see video above on Epigenetics)

A potential three-pronged approach for autism therapy:
1) nutritional therapy (there is a lot of information out there on this already) targeted towards reducing oxidative stress and promoting proper metabolic functioning, 2) limiting/removing exposure to environmental toxins in air, water, food, the home, etc. as much as possible, 3) epigenetic therapy (through identifying the means to turn on/off the genes associated with autism) – which of course is a huge unknown as to what form it would take.

Now, I am admittedly a lay-person here. I’m throwing out these ideas/theories in the hopes that some other ATSers, who may know way more than I do, can chew on them and perhaps spark some positive discussion.

Peace,
AB

edit on 4-4-2014 by AboveBoard because: editing to fit...



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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Wow! That is a lot to take in and I must admit that most of it is over my head, however your summary ...well...summed it up good for me. Thank you for sharing your research. I have a niece that is autistic and it would be the greatest thing if they could find a cure, prevention or even something that could lessen the severity of it. It is really scary that there has been a rise in the number of autistic children. I believe this rise in autism must be caused from something new introduced into the environment in the past century or maybe even not that long back(don't have stats on that). Maybe whatever toxins, pesticides, etc., that have been causing this rise have been increasingly used in the past few decades. Whatever it is, someone will hopefully find out the connections and soon. Again, thank you for sharing this information. I will share the links you provided with my sister.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by modo302
 


Thanks, modo302. I appreciate you wading through it! I have come across pieces of this information over many years, and it has taken awhile for it to "sink in" in a meaningful way. The epigenetics piece is the new one, which I am still learning about.

I would say the primary hope of epigenetics really lies in prevention, or early intervention, however, it may also lead to helpful therapies for older children (perhaps reducing the severity where possible). I just wish the wheels of science could move faster in this direction. I could be wrong, but I think it is the logical direction to move in. At this point, it really is just hope...

Blessings to your family, and especially to your niece.

peace,
AB



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


I am sorry OP but I don't believe a word of it.

I was witness to my cousin's baby developing fever right after vaccines and being autistic after that.

There is the academic stuff that feels good, and then there is the Seeing Is Believing.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by RadiationAndCancer
 


I appreciate your response and value the personal nature of your conclusions - I do not deny your experience. There is an indication in the data I presented that, while not a threat to the majority of typical children, that the "debunking" of a vaccine connection with autism is premature, as one journalist succinctly put:


I know that many people will say the vaccine issue has been thoroughly investigated and debunked. I honestly wish that were the case, but it simply is not true. All of the "vaccine-autism" studies you hear about investigated just one childhood vaccine out of 14 (MMR), or one vaccine ingredient out of dozens (thimerosal). That is like announcing that air pollution does not cause lung cancer because you looked at carbon monoxide, alone, and hydrogen sulfide, alone, and found no link.
Source


There ARE reasons that a child could develop regressive autism directly after a vaccine, due to the child's vulnerability - this is the genetic component or predisposition.

In other words, vaccines may be the "environmental factor" in SOME children, the "trigger" - exposure happens at a critical point and tips the balance from typical development to ASD. In another child, the "trigger" may be something else, as with my own son (we did not see ASD occur directly after vaccines, whereas a friend of mine's son had a strong reaction to vaccination which was the beginning point of their child's symptoms). Most likely it is a combination of triggers, based on what I have read. In some children who have autism who have NOT been vaccinated, they had a different set of exposures. The truth is we need more and better data before it will be accepted by the scientific and medical community, regardless of the very painful experience of a growing number of families that shows SOME mysterious connection between "before vaccine, no autism, after vaccine, there's autism" in some children. There is reason to continue to hold vaccines in the "environmental trigger for a vulnerable population" category, in my opinion.

Here is the quote from the meta analysis relating to themerosal in vaccines:


In another reviewed study, exposure to ethylmercury (thimerosal) led to a larger increase in free radical generation and a greater reduction in the ratio of reduced GSH to GSSG in ASD cells compared with control cells.35 These findings suggest that mitochondria from children with ASD may be more vulnerable to damage from environmental toxicants than mitochondria from typically developing children.35 In this context, exposures to environmental toxicants could contribute to secondary mitochondrial dysfunction in some children with ASD.
MetaAnalysis - quote on page 28

The bottom line on this is that IF a child has a genetic pre-disposition towards autism, THEN a number of factors, including either compounds within vaccines or the live-virus type of vaccine itself, MAY well be at play in an individual child's development of ASD. I don't think vaccines, in this light, have been entirely ruled out.

I hope that clarifies my position on that particular piece of the puzzle.

Peace,
AB



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


I am very interested in epigenetics and have looked at autism (ASD) for that reason. "Epigenetic" means above the genes - epigenetic mechanisms turn genes off and on, and can change the proteins that are the basis of all cellular and biological forms and functions. They also kick in after the gene produces its programmed protein, and can change the protein and change what it does. One of the really cool things about epigenetic mechanisms and changes is that they can be inherited without changing DNA. Another awesome reality is that inherited or acquired epigenetic changes are reversible.

So there is much hope.

It's becoming very well known in the research community that many "new" diseases like autism and other chronic conditions result from environmental effects. [Note: In biology, "environmental" refers to both the cellular environment and the larger external environment.] Simply put, stuff in the environment affects epigenetic mechanisms - causing genes to be turned off and on, and changing gene products (proteins) after they are produced - so that our cells and bodies can respond and adapt to our immediate environments.

...So my pet peeve is when "they" say a disease is "genetic" - because it's usually not. It's epigenetic and there is nothing at all wrong with your bloodline or genes.



Ed. to add:

Also, the term "genetic predisposition" is totally misleading - epigenetics controls gene expression, and has to do with environmental exposures. Except in very rare cases involving genetic mutations, there is nothing "wrong" with the genes themselves.



F&S&











edit on 5/4/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

edit on 5/4/14 by soficrow because: sp



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 10:31 AM
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Thank you so much for your post!! (I've quoted some lines from your post below)

I agree - the biggest thing I got out of my research was HOPE. It may not come soon, and for older children there may be issues with tissue damage (due to inflammation, etc.), but there may be reversal possibilities even so. It speaks volumes of hope for prevention and therapy. The biggest hope lies in the underlying genome being just fine - if the "switch" can be activated/deactivated then there is reason for hope, indeed.

As a parent with a severely autistic child, hope has been all but missing until now.

Also - thank you for your clarification of the term "genetic predisposition" - being a layperson at this I was unintentionally using this interchangeably to mean the epigenetic changes - my mistake! I am new to learning about epigenetics, so your input is invaluable.

Peace,
AB



soficrow
reply to post by AboveBoard
 

One of the really cool things about epigenetic mechanisms and changes is that they can be inherited without changing DNA. Another awesome reality is that inherited or acquired epigenetic changes are reversible.

So there is much hope.

It's becoming very well known in the research community that many "new" diseases like autism and other chronic conditions result from environmental effects. [Note: In biology, "environmental" refers to both the cellular environment and the larger external environment.] Simply put, stuff in the environment affects epigenetic mechanisms - causing genes to be turned off and on, and changing gene products (proteins) after they are produced - so that our cells and bodies can respond and adapt to our immediate environments.

...So my pet peeve is when "they" say a disease is "genetic" - because it's usually not. It's epigenetic and there is nothing at all wrong with your bloodline or genes.

Also, the term "genetic predisposition" is totally misleading - epigenetics controls gene expression, and has to do with environmental exposures. Except in very rare cases involving genetic mutations, there is nothing "wrong" with the genes themselves.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


Thanks. Just so you know, the big research trend is now protein expression, not gene expression. Genetic analysis and gene therapy failed, but research into protein expression has huge promise.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 11:09 AM
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The fact that there are so many expressions of Autism, and so many potential causes, all of which must be checked out thoroughly, is what makes this whole thing so damned tricky.

First of all, where the vaccine related autism issue is concerned, no studies have been done to examine the effects of combinations of various vaccines over a ten year period from birth of a child upward. Nor have any experiments been run, to my knowledge, which would seek to replicate that experience in lab mice, monkeys, or any other such thing.

This makes environmental causes, as opposed to genetic ones, a legitimate target for further, very depthy research. Also, no study has looked at the combined effect of gene expression, AND environmental factors such as those described thus far. Furthermore, no statistical research is going to be able to help, because the pharma companies which deal with the sorts of drugs which have been previously linked to autism in its various guises, have been doing their damnedest to cover their butts on this issue since I was a nipper.

There are an awful lot of chips stacked up against this issue, and all I can say is that I hope the dealer has a fair hand.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


Thanks for the quality post.
A topic I'm very interested in.
I suspected a spectrum root cause for a spectrum disorder.
Holistically detoxing the prenatal environment sounds like a good move at this point in time. Since there may be no one chemical causing the problem, no liability for the chemical companies. == business as usual. Bad news for biological life.

I hope every day for a treatment for the sake of all the suffering of innocent children out there. Keep going.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


....no study has looked at the combined effect of gene expression, AND environmental factors such as those described thus far.


Actually, all the promising and successful research is looking at environmental effects on gene expression [environment-controls-epigenetic-mechanisms-which-then-control-gene-expression]. Unfortunately, even scientists are referring to epigenetic inheritance as "genetic" - presumably because they think people are too stupid to understand the difference between inheritance and genetics - or between permanent genetic inheritance via DNA and temporary epigenetic inheritance via proteins and other mechanisms.

The following link provides links to various videos about epigenetics and autism.


Environmental induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease


Summary: Biological science is undergoing a paradigm shift away from the fixed genetic determinism of the 20th century and toward an understanding that environmental factors can alter gene expression and activity. Genetics works together with the environment to contribute to disease risk. In some cases, changes to gene expression in future generations can occur when the germ cell (sperm or egg) is reprogrammed via an abnormal exposure such as an endocrine-disrupting compound, and these alterations may persist for generations. This transgenerational exposure to environmental factors represents an example of epigenetic inheritance. Various pathologies may result from certain germline exposures, including cancer, infertility, polycystic ovary disease, obesity, and behavioral abnormalities. Assays find clusters of altered gene expression dependent on the original exposure, or dependent on the generation studied.

How might epigenetics relate to the etiology of ASD?


Summary: Various epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to ASD traits and there is growing evidence for environmental susceptibility of epigenetic marks. Studies show that phenotype and epigenetic marks can be modified by factors such as maternal diet, pharmaceuticals, and smoking, and metals and behavior. The epigenome may be the intermediary between genetics and the environment, mediating disease outcome. Existing research supports a role for epigenetics in ASD etiology, for example with ASD-related disorders with known epigenetic mechanisms, parent-of-origin effects, differences of expression in ASD-related genes, and differences in methylation patterns.

Prenatal exposures: An unrecognized multigenerational epidemic

Summary: Historically, the placenta was viewed as a barrier preventing passage of harmful substances to the fetus. However, today we know that organ acts more like a sieve, with most maternally ingested substances reaching fetal tissues. Prenatal use of synthetic medications goes back a century, beginning with barbiturates and then synthetic hormones, including synthetic estrogens (including the catastrophic drug DES) progesterones, and corticosteroids. In the mid 20th century, synthetic hormone drugs were widely used in pregnancies deemed to be “at risk,” and as a result millions of offspring were exposed to augmented levels of synthetic or natural hormones. The exposures are associated with a variety of disruptions of typical development; however, drug impacts on fetal germ tissues (grandchild, or F2, generation) have not yet been assessed. A study using the Danish Prenatal Development Project, which is unusually rich with prenatal exposure data, will be the first to examine potential germline/F2 impacts of prenatal drug use.



Studies map gene expression across brain development

21 November 2013

Now that genetic studies have implicated several hundred genes in autism, researchers are turning their attention to where and when in the healthy young brain these genes are expressed. The first two studies to tackle these questions appear today in Cell.

...."Autism is an extremely complex disease where the environment is playing on an unfolding genetic program," Molnár says. "We shouldn't ignore some of the systems which might feed into this."



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 11:46 AM
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i have been recently diagnosed with aspergers..a high functioning form of autism
its a problem with the immune system and neuro imflammation
likely caused by vaccines and other toxic constituents which effect certain people in certain ways

using a tiny amount of cayenne on the tongue three or four times a day or as needed
stops the negative emotional states

using a tiny amount of cayenne on the tongue three or four times a day or as needed
stops the negative emotional states

using a tiny amount of cayenne on the tongue three or four times a day or as needed
stops the negative emotional states

using a tiny amount of cayenne on the tongue three or four times a day or as needed
stops the negative emotional states

though i think im wasting my time trying to get the word out
repetition for emphasis intended

eta
it only took me three weeks from diagnosis to solution
when are these buttheads going to quit spending money and start fixing kids?
edit on Satam4b20144America/Chicago15 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Very cool, soficrow - thank you for another great contribution to the thread.
I will be looking at these!

- AB





posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:21 PM
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TrueBrit
The fact that there are so many expressions of Autism, and so many potential causes, all of which must be checked out thoroughly, is what makes this whole thing so damned tricky.

First of all, where the vaccine related autism issue is concerned, no studies have been done to examine the effects of combinations of various vaccines over a ten year period from birth of a child upward. Nor have any experiments been run, to my knowledge, which would seek to replicate that experience in lab mice, monkeys, or any other such thing.


I hear that. It's a very complex disorder - a cascade of events biologically, and with multiple possible environmental triggers for the epigenetic inheritance (as I am learning to call it), it is easy to get overwhelmed. There is no one "smoking gun" which is, I think, providing a bit of a "smoke screen" for potential triggers. Vaccines can very well be a trigger for some kids, though it is not understood exactly how, or if the mechanism of the effect is even the same for kid A as kid B, so to speak. My hope really does lie with epigenetic therapy combined with efforts to support/heal underlying issues, so as to bring back healthy functioning.


TrueBritThis makes environmental causes, as opposed to genetic ones, a legitimate target for further, very depthy research. Also, no study has looked at the combined effect of gene expression, AND environmental factors such as those described thus far. Furthermore, no statistical research is going to be able to help, because the pharma companies which deal with the sorts of drugs which have been previously linked to autism in its various guises, have been doing their damnedest to cover their butts on this issue since I was a nipper.

There are an awful lot of chips stacked up against this issue, and all I can say is that I hope the dealer has a fair hand.


There are new studies in "epigenetics" and gene expression that hold some definite hope, I believe. The first real hope I've seen in twelve years. That is an area where significant research could actually bear fruit for the individual with ASD, in my opinion.

You are right - there are a lot of complications in "assigning blame" to environmental triggers and the implications of that. No one wants to take on the blame, and the potential costs associated with blame! However, as the numbers (and costs of care) rise, so will the energy towards finding clear solutions, I believe. Personally, I think this issue screams for a fundamental overhaul of our environmental policies across the planet, but that's just me.



I appreciate your post, TrueBrit! Thank you!!!

- AB



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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Probably graphing the same slope as the rise in ASD over time, would be graphs of Americans' exposure to certain toxins/toxicants: Quinolones, PCBs, fluoride, WiFi, relatives receiving cancer chemo, etc. Likely all or most do have an epigenetic effect--and some will eventually be shown to do so. Your theory is right on the money.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by Danbones
 


I'm glad you have been able to help yourself through a nutritional therapy using cayenne. That must be a huge relief!
I appreciate you sharing that on the thread. I wish you continued success.

I hear your frustration - time keeps ticking away and more and more kids are suffering. It is hard to watch, and feel helpless. That is why I believe people should investigate and, if appropriate, try some of the research-based nutritional therapies that relate to inflammation, reducing oxidative stress (anti-oxidants). Also, restricting certain proteins such as gluten and casein may work for some people, and give them something to DO while the slow wheels of science grind forward... The verdict on nutritional therapies and "integrative" medicine remains a bit controversial, but that science is grinding forward as well. I believe nutritional therapies will become integral to an overall therapeutic approach to autism in the future.

If it works, its hard to argue with.

peace,

- AB



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


Autism and the increase in vaccinations, when I have my first child 30 years ago, I never knew what autism was and didn't have a worry about it, my baby received only one cluster vaccination and a few more before school age.

When my second child was born 27 years ago, he also received one cluster vaccination and a few more before school age.

Autism was the last thing in any of the young mothers I knew in those days.

Now my daughter in childbearing years have to worry about having a child with autism, no because any genetic problems but because when a child is born in the US and on any developed country they are pin cushions to vaccinations no only as soon they are out of the uterus but also until two years of age, followed by more vaccinations before school age.


One hundred years ago, children received 1 vaccine (the smallpox vaccine). Forty years ago, children received 5 vaccines routinely (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and smallpox vaccines) and as many as 8 shots by 2 years of age. Today, children receive 11 vaccines routinely and as many as 20 shots by 2 years of age (Table 1). The increased number of vaccines given to children and the increased percentage of children receiving vaccines have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of vaccine-preventable diseases. Most young parents today have never seen many of the diseases that vaccines prevent. As a possible consequence of these trends, recent national surveys found that 23% of parents questioned the number of shots recommended for their children,1 and 25% were concerned that vaccines might weaken the immune system.1


pediatrics.aappublications.org...

Yes I agree that is environmental issues today that we didn't have 100 years ago, and that genetics can not be overruled but is one very interesting fact about Autism the same way that autism has increased incredibly this days, so are the number of vaccinations babies freshly out of the womb are receiving

People should do the math.

While I believe that some vaccinations are important many of them are nothing but add on for profit making, still now big pharma is considering promoting more rounds of vaccinations from childhood to adults because they say that immunization weakens after several decades, I tell them all where to shove their vaccines, because at my age I have lived long enough with what I have to need any of their newest poisons

Recently I had an immunization panel to see the antigens I had in my body, I came out short of many of the childhood vaccinations because back in my days the only two vaccines I had was one at birth smallpox, and polio before ten, later on I have done the hepatitis and follow up on tetanus, nothing else, I can not believe that my allergist that did the panel recommended that I get the missing vaccinations, I told him thanks but no thanks.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


Thanks for your post. I understand the reason to keep vaccines on the list of environmental suspects in the search for epigenetic triggers leading to autism. I don't think so many people's experiences can be easily dismissed.

(I posted in reply to someone else on this issue above: www.abovetopsecret.com...)

Thanks again,

AB



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


No problem, this days young mothers have so much to worry about than when I was a young mother myself, but when I was young I didn't have a worry either, because beside chickenpox it was nothing else hitting children at the time.

Now we have autism to worry about, if now is 1 child in 50, can you Imagine in the next decade? it could be 1 in 2, meaning that if you have two children one could be the one.

That is too much to worry about this days along with an array of other issues, like an increase in asthma and food allergies, child obesity, child hypertension and childhood diabetes,(children no born with diabetes but acquiring diabetes before teen age).

We have the peanut allergy scare also and to believe that when I was in school in the late 60s and 70s, we were given warm peanut butter milk everyday for lunch as a supplement for protein, nobody that I remember ever got any allergies to this supplement.

Now we have a whole new group of children that have allergies to peanuts, then you wonder, why?



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