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Andrew Wakefield links autism to CFS

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by lookinglass, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. lookinglass

    lookinglass

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    http://www.bbbautism.com/volu_2_iss_5_chelation.htm

    I found this quote from him, made at a lecture he gave originally in 1998, on a Facebook Autism site. It's what many of us have suspected for a long time. Scroll down to Our Journey it is the second para about halfway down. A member of the audience asks 'Why don't adults get autism?' He replies 'They do it's called Chronic fatigue'...
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  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    This was Rich Van K's take on it too. He thought that the differences in the manifestation could be tied to the differences in the development of the brain and other systems at onset. Our lab tests seem to have a lot in common with autistic kids and many of the same treatments are helpful for both.

    Sushi
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  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Which raises a question. I have on occasion been asked if I have Aspergers (Asperger Syndrome). If, and I am not saying it is, CFS is a form of adult onset autism (and I have toyed with this idea before) then maybe that's why so many of us resemble Aspies, either superficially or completely. I wonder what people think about this? Does anyone else experience like me of being identified as having Aspergers, even though I don't technically meet the formal definition (I think)?
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I have had Aspergers my whole life (wasnt diagnosed till my late 30s but part of that diagnoses came from my past history too including my childhood) but still got ME/CFS when in my 20s so to me they are different things. Autism has nothing to do with sore throats, fever.. which are common ME symptoms.

    Yes there is a lot of similar symptoms with the two things thou but quite possibly different reasons for many of them thou maybe some of the symptoms may have the same cause?

    I do personallly believe thou there may be some genetic link between these two things.
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  5. Gijs

    Gijs Senior Member

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    Aspergers or Autism have nothing to do with CFS or ME. There is no releation between these 'diseases'. ME is pure a somatic brain disease after infection or period of high stress. People with ME or CFS were perfectly healthy mental and physical.
  6. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    I have observed that autism spectrum disorders do not seem to result in the same fatigue and immune dysfunction. There is immune dysfunction, brain inflammation, gut issues and autism does cause increased risk of cancers, but generally, people with autism do not seem as sick. I have never heard of an autistic person being bedbound. Perhaps CFS is a much more severe form of the same illness...?
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    It just looks like old and empty speculation by someone whose claim to autism fame has since been shown to be false.
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  8. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    Hi how do you know it's brain disease? What is actually happening/happened to the brain? And what can be done about it? Thanks
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  9. wdb

    wdb Admin

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    Sounds ridiculous to me, if you compare the diagnostic criteria for autism with that for me/cfs there is practically zero overlap.
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There have been attempts to link autism with CFS before, and so far as I am aware all have failed, including an attempt to do so by the WPI. What is possible though is some risk factor overlap. The idea of CFS as adult onset autism has some appeal, but still lacks good evidence. It does not alter the repeated observation that we respond to many treatments the same way, and some of our cognitive dysfunction resembles that found in autism.

    I agree with Daffodil though: I have yet to see a person with autism who is as incapacited as those who have severe ME. Where some of the confusion lies, I suspect, is overlapping pathophysiology. Until we can definitively identify cause, however, we can't really speak about whether diseases are related. What does seem likely though is that autism probably does not result in similar repeat VO2max results as ME. This could be tested however: if both have the same issue, then that would be interesting.
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  11. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I was interested enough to go take an autism test: http://www.aspergerstestsite.com/75/autism-spectrum-quotient-aq-test/#.UhoUkIXbKIa I came out at 29, borderline, 88% of people at this level will be correctly diagnosed with autism.

    This is sort of useful, as it gives me information about how I likely appear to the (few, haha) people I bother interacting with. I imagine that a lot of us seem mildly autistic - those who are sensitive to noise, who get confused in group situations, who are exhausted by social interactions. Like me! My cognitive issues also result in autistic-like behaviors......I have very little to talk about, so I imagine I might seem obsessive about, say, my garden. [Just trying not to talk about my symptoms, geez!]
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  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    That is so unfair... I only prefer libraries to parties now that I'm all ill! I don't find that I get absorbed in things to the exclusion of all else now, because getting absorbed in something normally leaves me too exhausted to continue with it.

    I hate these sorts of tests, as they always make me realise how much of my identity is shaped/distorted by ill health.
  13. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I agree. If I were healthy, I would answer many of those questions much differently. :eek:
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  14. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I come out at 34. I am not an Aspie. My partner is though. :rolleyes:
  15. lookinglass

    lookinglass

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    I think what Andrew W was referring to when he said there was a link is that both diseases are manifestly autoimmune ones and I surmise (I do not know) that what may have interested him and led him to this conclusion is that the striking similarities lie not in the behavioural aspects of autism and ME CFS, but in the gut brain inflammation, and the effect of such toxicity upon the whole nervous system. The causes of both diseases are still not clear, and AW obviously has reasons for saying what he did, but he did not elaborate. I think it is possibly too soon for that. anyway. What interests me is that he said what he said. I believe AW to be a man of integrity and absolute honesty BTW with a determination to clear his name and to restore his reputation.
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  16. Sherezade

    Sherezade Guest

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    I'm convinced that CFS and autism are linked somehow. I say it because i never had any sign of autism growing up. I was a very social kid, finding new friends all the time, good results at school. When i was 26 i even worked in sales, with a lot of success. I can't imagine an asperger working as a salesperson, he wouldn't stand it. Anyway, now, after i got sick i fit the asperger criteria. Maybe no so severe, because i'm still able to talk to strangers and make presentations in class, but now i prefer doing things on my own, rather than with other people. I still enjoy social ocassions, and friends meetings, but i have gotten more quiet, and sometimes i just want to be alone and not talk to anybody. That's very unusual in me. People around me have noticed those changes but they think that i'm depressed, which i am not.

    Anyway, i hope that investigations find the root cause for both conditions. Also, i need to know if now i have more chances of having an autistic kid, that idea is terrifying for me.
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  17. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    I bet there are many things you feel not that you did not before you had ME/CFS that are common symptoms of many disorders. It doesn't mean they are related in a causative way.

    Extreme in order to make my point:
    I have severe headaches and spinal pain and cognitive deficits. So do people who have had been hit by a car and have brain trauma.

    I could run down my vast list of symptoms and how they make me feel physically and otherwise and connect them to the same symptoms and feelings of a multitude of illnesses. Lucky us. This beast seems to have it all.
  18. Helen

    Helen Senior Member

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    Dr. Amy Yasko, among other researchers, has found that people diagnosed with CFS have SNP´s in the methylation cycle and so have people with autism spectrum disorders. That´s the connection. And as Sushi says, Rich built his theory and knowledge on that fact too. He has described this well in his first articles (2007?) and in the seminar on video. Sorry, to much brain fog for looking up the links.

    About a year ago I read that Dr. Amy had seen her gene test panel from more than 8000 diagnosed with ASD and 3000 diagnosed with CFS so I think she knows what she is talking about. Her book Autism- pathway to recovery is written for both groups. Can be read or downloaded free from her homepage.

    Sad with the genetics, but at least we often can take supplements to make the situation better.
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  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Helen , that is in part what I meant by shared pathophysiology. There are links between the two, but then I suspect that many diseases share overlaps at some level, particularly metabolic diseases. The issue though is that many with such SNPs are asymptomatic. Its a risk factor, but we do not fully understand them. We will in time.

    Its also complicated by the issue that CFS is a hodgepodge of different problems, and autism probably is too. I do not think either is one disease, but a collection of things with similar symptoms and findings. I also think that is the case with type 2 diabetes, but you wont hear a diabetic specialist (e.g. endocrinologist) saying that.

    I am still waiting for definitive evidence to show that ME is one unitary disorder. I suspect its two or more, or two disorders and many misdiagnoses, and only patients from specific cluster outbreaks will have the same disorder with any certainty.

    In the case of cancer (e.g. breast cancer) it used to be considered one unitary disorder. Now we know its many different diseases, and needs to be treated accordingly. Cancer is also a syndrome.

    To really examine the links we need to understand the detailed molecular mechanisms of both CFS and autism. We are not there yet. I am however encouraged by recent trends in research.
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  20. Bob

    Bob

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    I can't add much to this discussion, except to say that any potential link between ME and autism spectrum disorders might not be seen in the overlap/similarities of the symptoms. It has been hypothesised that they both have the same, or a similar, disease process at the cellular level, and that the reason for the different symptoms would be the timing of the onset. For example, for autism, the very early onset affects development. I'm not convinced that there is any close link, but I don't rule it out. There are anecdotal reports that ME and autism spectrum disorders can run in families.

    I've met ME patients with a wide range of personalities, and I've not noticed obvious aspergers traits in the ME patients that I've met.

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