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Better diagnosis, screening behind rise in autism

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posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 09:08 PM
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Raising a child with autism here. Now 13, he's a genetic, birth onset case. Since he was diagnosed in 2001, we've traced autistic traits up both sides of the family. Now we have a nephew and a 2nd cousin on hubby's side diagnosed with aspergers.

For the other, regressive cases, I don't have a clue.

2009 study of the increase in autism cases in California concluded that the widening of the autism spectrum, better tests, more educated doctors and more aware parents still couldn't account for all the increase they were seeing.



California's sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors' diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported


www.scientificamerican.com...




posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by zroth
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


he didn't have yellow fever vaccines?


There's no yellow fever in New Zealand AFAIK, and he was born 10 years before it was invented.



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by Mountainmeg
Raising a child with autism here. Now 13, he's a genetic, birth onset case. Since he was diagnosed in 2001, we've traced autistic traits up both sides of the family. Now we have a nephew and a 2nd cousin on hubby's side diagnosed with aspergers.

For the other, regressive cases, I don't have a clue.

2009 study of the increase in autism cases in California concluded that the widening of the autism spectrum, better tests, more educated doctors and more aware parents still couldn't account for all the increase they were seeing.


I definitely think there is something genetic to it.

As far as California - - - maybe its about the type of people that migrate to California.

That would be my guess. Born and Bread CA native.



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


Look for cites with a large amount of Engineers. Engineers are more likely to have children with autism (and have it themselves) according to several studies.



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by antonia
reply to post by Annee
 


Look for cites with a large amount of Engineers. Engineers are more likely to have children with autism (and have it themselves) according to several studies.


Interesting.

Major aerospace in CA.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by Awen24
 



...I don't doubt that awareness and diagnosis have contributed to a perceived increase in autism... but there's a legitimate (not merely perceived) increase behind it all... and if we're going to point fingers, you can probably point in any direction you like... because the reasons are all around us.


EXACTLY!


But as far as vaccines go, there is no doubt that a) vaccines short-circuit the immune response and impact the immune system; and b) some of these impacts are epigenetic - meaning they're reversible but inheritable: the negative impacts from vaccinations may be inherited from the parents, even when the autistic patient wasn't vaccinated. ...which epigenetic effects apply to all the directions and exposures too.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Annee
 

reply to post by Mountainmeg
 



he's a genetic, birth onset case. Since he was diagnosed in 2001, we've traced autistic traits up both sides of the family. Now we have a nephew and a 2nd cousin on hubby's side diagnosed with aspergers.


Just because a trait is inherited does NOT mean it's genetic - epigenetic changes caused by environmental influences can be inherited but are reversible. "Epigenetic" cause is much more likely than "genetic" in things like autism, diabetes, obesity, cancer and etc where we've seen unbelievably huge spikes over the past several decades.

Not genetic - epigenetic.





edit on 30/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by antonia
reply to post by Annee
 


Look for cites with a large amount of Engineers. Engineers are more likely to have children with autism (and have it themselves) according to several studies.


Hubby is an electrical engineer, I was a financial analyst (pre-kids). Paternal grandpa electrical engineer, paternal uncle biologist/programmer, maternal grandpa computer programmer, maternal grandma circuit board design. Yep, we're as one neurologist put it "highly intelligent, but a bit odd".



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Actually.. It's no longer Autism. It's now Autism SPECTRUM Disorder. There have been changes in what is considered autism, which is no longer limited to what most think of as classic autism that makes it nearly impossible for a child to function in the normal world.

They increased the disorder probably so that they can create programs that help teach people with more high functioning autism disorders to live normally.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Just because a trait is inherited does NOT mean it's genetic - epigenetic changes caused by environmental influences can be inherited but are reversible. "Epigenetic" cause is much more likely than "genetic" in things like autism, diabetes, obesity, cancer and etc where we've seen unbelievably huge spikes over the past several decades.

Not genetic - epigenetic.

edit on 30/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)


Interesting. I'll admit I had to go look up the meaning and effect of "epigenetic". For those like me, here's a good solid explanation:

www.ageofautism.com...

I've often wondered why both families have long histories of "autistic-like" behaviors (including my asperger traits), but my son is the first full blown case of autism.

But his case is still entirely unlike the regression cases of autism. I watched a live panel on autism a few years back and one woman who worked with autistic children said she had seen a complete flip in the cases. When she started (well over 25 yrs ago now) out of 5 cases she would see 4 birth-onset and 1 regressive. That had flipped over 20 years to 4 regressive to 1 birth onset.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by Mountainmeg
 


Thanks Mountainmeg - I am SO glad you looked it up. ...I have a standard few definitions I usually link to, but totally forgot about that article. It's perfect.


Here's a bit from your source that I thought summed epigenetics up nicely.



Think of that! Your grandfather’s eating habits might determine whether you live to be 84 or 52 years old. This is not what Darwin would have predicted. But science always changes in response to new information.

The article went on to cite other examples of how an environmental exposure may have long-lasting health effects. One epigenetic study suggested that the rise in peanut allergies may be explained by the new use of peanut oils in baby lotion formulas. Another study showed “fruit flies exposed to a drug called geldamamycin showed unusual outgrowths on their eyes that can last through at least 13 generation of offspring even though no change in DNA has occurred (and generations 2 through 13 were not directly exposed to the drug.)” Another recent publication in this field cataloged “some 100 forms of epigenetic inheritance.”

Then there was this paragraph which went to the heart of the issue: “More recently, however, researchers began to realize that epigenetics could also help explain certain scientific mysteries that traditional genetics never could; for instance, why one member of a pair of identical twins can develop bipolar disorder or asthma even though the other is fine. Or why autism strikes boys four times as often as girls . . . In these cases, the genes may be the same, but their patterns of expression have clearly been tweaked.”


Thanks.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Just because a trait is inherited does NOT mean it's genetic - epigenetic changes caused by environmental influences can be inherited but are reversible. "Epigenetic" cause is much more likely than "genetic" in things like autism, diabetes, obesity, cancer and etc where we've seen unbelievably huge spikes over the past several decades.


Makes me wonder if there's an evolutionary reason.

Yeah - my families kind of Coo Coo goin way back. Very high IQs - - but always a bit off beat from "normal" society.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by Annee
 


Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by soficrow
Just because a trait is inherited does NOT mean it's genetic - epigenetic changes caused by environmental influences can be inherited but are reversible. "Epigenetic" cause is much more likely than "genetic" in things like autism, diabetes, obesity, cancer and etc where we've seen unbelievably huge spikes over the past several decades.


Makes me wonder if there's an evolutionary reason.
...


Research into epigenetic change in simple organisms shows that yes, there IS an evolutionary reason - epigenetic changes allow organisms to "test out" alterations. Successful changes are eventually integrated into the DNA. ...And remember, Nature does her own "risk-benefit analysis." Many "genetic diseases" have benefits that outweigh the risks - the most well-known being the "sickle cell trait" that protects against malaria, but sometimes causes sickle cell anemia.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 07:54 AM
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More on the CDC report behind the current coverage.



The CDC report, published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), states that more than 1 percent, or 1 in every 88 children, is diagnosed with autism today, including 1 in 54 boys.

This is a 78 percent increase in 6 years (2002-2008) and a 10-fold (1000%) increase in reported prevalence over the last 40 years. The report uses the same methodology that produced the CDC’s 2009 prevalence findings of 1 in 110 children with autism.

Autism is a developmental problem and is a disorder found within the broader category of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that appear in early childhood — usually before age 3. Though symptoms and severity vary, all autism disorders affect a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.


...Seems the quoted stats refer only to autism proper, and do NOT include all the numbers for all cases of "autism spectrum disorder." Either way it's horrific - but can anyone confirm?


Also, re:



...it is not clear whether this is due to better detection and reporting of autism, a real increase in the number of cases, or both.


Duh. More than half the population does not have medical insurance coverage - moreover, there are non-diagnosis policies for untreatable conditions. Pees me off when people claim "better detection and reporting" for all these pandemic diseases. Like our mothers and grandmothers didn't "notice" their kids' health problems. Bull.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Duh. More than half the population does not have medical insurance coverage - moreover, there are non-diagnosis policies for untreatable conditions. Pees me off when people claim "better detection and reporting" for all these pandemic diseases. Like our mothers and grandmothers didn't "notice" their kids' health problems. Bull.


Testing for my grandson's "borderline" Autism was by the state.

He does not qualify at this time for special assistance - - - but qualifies for re-testing once he enters public school.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because I went through this with an ADD daughter (fortunately before the drug epidemic) - - - I learned Self Esteem - - and being Happy - - - is #1.

I do not care if he doesn't sit still in school. I do not care if he day dreams in school. I do not care if he doesn't fit the round hole of society.

I care how he feels about himself.
edit on 31-3-2012 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by Awen24
 



...I don't doubt that awareness and diagnosis have contributed to a perceived increase in autism... but there's a legitimate (not merely perceived) increase behind it all... and if we're going to point fingers, you can probably point in any direction you like... because the reasons are all around us.


EXACTLY!


But as far as vaccines go, there is no doubt that a) vaccines short-circuit the immune response and impact the immune system; and b) some of these impacts are epigenetic - meaning they're reversible but inheritable: the negative impacts from vaccinations may be inherited from the parents, even when the autistic patient wasn't vaccinated. ...which epigenetic effects apply to all the directions and exposures too.


...this is exactly the point. In the context you've mentioned, a vaccine can thus become a potential TRIGGER, but not the actual cause... merely a catalyst for kick-starting what is already there. I think there is some evidence to suggest that this is the case - and the causes aren't always vaccinations (though again, there is some evidence that vaccinations have triggered autism in some cases).

Epigenetic causes can't be ignored here either. Numerous studies have been done suggesting that children with autism spectrum disorders have inherited certain traits from either one parent or both, or even from ancestors further up the chain - though again, the symptoms associated with the disorders don't always present at birth. I've had children as old as 4 with sudden onset autism characterised by an alarmingly "unprovoked" and rapid regression - they make eye contact one day, none the next; forget words that they once knew, begin to exhibit signs and symptoms like echolalia (repeating someone else's words back to them as "answers"), "flapping", repetitive gross motor actions and so on.

I think it's the complexity of autism that makes a cure so challenging. I've seen children who have had massive amounts of money poured into therapies who have made significant strides, close to being "cured" - but the success of treatments varies from case to case, and not every parent has the money to sink into such things (as much as they might wish to!).

The therapies themselves vary wildly - I mentioned things like allergies to specific dyes, gastrointestinal conditions etc. in my previous post - many of these things are characteristically linked to autism (though usually less so to the Aspergers end of the scale, the food dye allergies often remain, interestingly), while many therapies seem to seek to treat symptoms rather than causes... but I think the reason for that too is relatively clear: the fundamental underlying cause of autism either remains unknown, or is such a widely dispersed set of disorders, triggers and symptoms that people barely know where to start looking.

Whatever the case, there has always seemed to me to be a fairly simple, but challenging answer to the problem of autism: the solution must, absolutely MUST be holistic. Comprehensive programs must be implemented in schools, in child care centres, in doctors' surgeries, even in homes, to address the issue. Diet, nutrition, speech therapy, gross motor therapy, tactile therapy, neurological therapy, amino acid therapies... the list goes on and on and on. Autism is a disorder that comes at us from many different directions - and so must be counter-attacked in many different directions.

However, even with all of that said... until our world takes a dramatic turn away from the toxins, chemicals and even stimuli that pervade our everyday life, we'll continue to see a meteoric rise in the number of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses.



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