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Autism rates soaring around the world

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Autism diagnoses in Israel jump almost fivefold since 2004


    N.J. autism rate soared in 4 years
    ... which puts to bed the argument that the increase is due to "widening of diagnostic criteria" and better diagnosing etc. Actually this NJ prevalence study did not even include those 'quirky' kids who were diagnosed but were only mildly affected and so not requiring special educational support.


    These figures also match massive increase noted in South Korea last year ...
     
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  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Its a worry. One wonders what is being done differently to before (better so called health care with more vaccinations??). Something must be causing the increases to happen.
    ..............

    and I can only wonder if they have changed the Aspergers Definition to try to hide the increase in cases of Austim as now many with this milder form wont be getting included in the over all statistics.
     
  3. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    The reason for autism is still unknown but we know contributing factors.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-04-20/autism-causes-researchers/53955958/1
    What's known about contributing factors:
    Genes. About 15% to 20% of autistic children have a genetic mutation that causes their disorder, Insel says. Certain genetic disorders, such as Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome, are well-known for increasing the risk of autism. Even when genes are the main contributor to autism, however, it's possible that most children have a unique mutation or set of mutations, says David Amaral, research director of the University of California-Davis MIND Institute.
    Family history. If parents have one child with autism, the risk of having a second child diagnosed with the disorder is nearly 20%, according to a landmark study from U.C.-Davis. Among those with two autistic children, the risk of having a third is 32%, study author Sally Ozonoff says.
    Environmental pollution. One California study published last year found that babies whose mothers lived near a highway while pregnant were more likely to be diagnosed as autistic.
    Older parents. Both older fathers and mothers are at higher risk of having autistic children, Newschaffer says. Research from Israel and theHarvard School of Public Health also suggests that infertility treatments, which are more often used among older patients, are linked to a higher risk of autism.
    Prematurity, low birthweight. An October study in Pediatrics found that, among babies born weighing less than about 4½ pounds, 5% had been diagnosed as autistic by age 21.
    Medications. Many studies now show that a seizure treatment called valproic acid can increase the risk of autism in children exposed before birth. A single study published last year found a higher risk among children exposed prenatally to antidepressants. Using prenatal vitamins is linked to a lower risk of autism.
    Closely spaced pregnancies. In a 2011 study, children who were born less than one year after an older sibling were three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism, compared with children born three years after their mother's last pregnancy.
     
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  4. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    That comment by Insel is about 5 years out of date, to put it mildly ... First of all the figure of known genetic mutations contributing to autism is not 15-20% as he says, it is actually much lower than even 5% ! Also the rates of those monogenetic disorders are static, so those are in no way contributing to the increase. Someone at the head of multi-million dollar inter-agency committee should know these very basic facts. But that is another long story... The guy should be fired for this and numerous other reasons but no time for a book now :)

    Insel was the one who was "very suprised" to see autism can be provoked in mice by prenatal infections, and then REVERSED later through immune modulation. The only surprising thing about that study was that someone in charge of a committee dishing multi-million dollar funds was suprised!!

    Also things like 'Family history' and are not contributing factors. Furthermore 'Prematurity' could be a consequence of pathology and not the cause. Same with infertility treatments - it could simply be that chronic infections and toxicities etc in parents make it hard for them to get pregnant, or cause miscarriages etc,

    Most of other 'contributing factors' that he lists could also be things that are messed up in parallel, not the causes.
     
  5. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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  6. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Thanks for that.

    So the take home message, all things considered, is that the prevalence rate of ASD in the Israeli population has increased but not yet to the level (1% approx) estimated for the USA as a whole and well below the 2% approx now reported for New Jersey, USA and Cambridgeshire UK?
     
  8. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    As in ? As Marco said the Israel study noted a big increase, although their rates do not (yet?) match those of US or Korea.They do discuss why that is, and note that this is most likely due to stricter criteria in Israel. The bottom line is that the rates have increased ...



    The NJ increase could not be explained away by any factor, and the authors considered many ...

    It will be interesting to read their figures for 2010 NJ cohort, currently being analyzed ...


    As per Israeli authors

     
  9. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    So what are the causes of autism, Natasa? I'm an absolute layman, but 15-20 % doesn't sound like exaggeration to me. If an infection was the cause, there should be huge epidemics, shouldn't there?

    http://www.nature.com/gim/journal/v13/n4/full/gim9201151a.html

    "Using standard medical genetic evaluation techniques, a genetic cause can be identified in 20–25% of children on the autism spectrum. This number has increased with the use of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) also called chromosomal microarrays (CMAs). A small number of cases can be traced to specific teratogenic exposures.69 For the remaining 75–80%, the causes remain unknown."
     
  10. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Y'all;

    I've been hesitant to participate in these ASD related threads for a number of reasons. One is that I've found myself to display some of the characteristics to various degrees during my life. ( Admitting this shatters my denial feature.) Another is that my ability to debate, using statistics, et al., needs improvement.

    So, I'm attempting to contribute here with a bit of anedotal evidence, along with a link to an abstract from a recent article from the " Archives of General Psychiatry". ( I agree with everyone who dismisses the psychiactric industry--as barbaric.) But I prefer to keep an eye on the potential enemy. Plus, I believe it's statistically impossible for any group to be completely wrong 100% of the time.

    I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. We are rather infamous for having very high rates of autism. I wasn't born here, but I've observed (suffered) some of the effects of living here, a very polluted city. We have chart topping amounts of air pollutants: pm 2.5, CO, etc. We have have excessive mercury, arsenic, etc. in our air and water from mining, such as coal and copper. ( I read in our local newspaper some years ago that our average temperature has increased 4 degrees F, compared to the increase of 1-2 of the rest of the planet. ( Coal burning has been implicated.)

    I've lived in many neighborhoods in this city during the past 30 or so years, but there is one neighborhood where I found more peculiar behaviors, and higher incidences of babies and children with mild to moderate health issues. The parents didn't describe them in detail, and I didn't pry very much. But it did seem to be a noticibly high amount to me.

    This peculiar neighborhood was in the shape of a triangle, with short streets, closely bordered by a very busy elevated freeway, and two very busy steets, ( one with 6 lanes. )

    The valley that SLC is located in, tends to hold and accumulate pollutants. Apparently, this was a problem even 150 years ago.

    From my layperson's point of view, I believe that pollutants may be at least one of the causes of increases in ASD. ( I realize there could be many.)

    http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1393589
     
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  11. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    What causes such an extreme change in the gene pool in such a short time? Even if 20-25% could be pinned to genetic changes, what has caused these changes? Very few can be linked to specific teratogenic exposures.

    Autism is costing society severely in a financial sense. It is costing families and those affected with it the life they should have been able to experience. That cannot be replaced.
     
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  12. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Liquid, I fully agree. These diseases are awful, they destroy lives and there needs to be much more scientific effort, in order to overcome them.

    Crux, pollution has been linked to autism, so your experience can be backed up by studies. I've been to SLC and it is a very beautiful city, with great nature around it. I want to go there again but I can remember, that when the wind was right, we could smell the fumes of kerosene from the airport. We were not far away from the airport but we were also close to or in the city.

    I'm not sure of course, but for me it seems, that for autism as well as many other diseases we are just about to get the diagnostic means and the knowledge to understand what really is going on.
     
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  13. caledonia

    caledonia

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    The list is a general list of what they think causes autism. It's not a list about what causes autism increase. To see what causes the increase, you would look at which factors remain static and which have increased.

    Genes. Static. Although you could argue due to technology there might a be a higher survival rate for those with Rett's, etc.
    Family history. Static
    Environmental pollution. Increased
    Older parents. Static, but infertility treatments are increased.
    Prematurity, low birthweight. Probably static, but due to technology, survival rates are increased.
    Medications. Increased
    Closely spaced pregnancies. Static

    So where does that leave us? - Environment impacting negatively on existing genetics, aka methylation issues.

    If you wanted to stop the epidemic, you would live a clean lifestyle, avoiding chemicals and pollutants, toxic infertility treatments, antidepressants and other suspect medications. You would eat a clean diet of real food, not processed food, so you're getting good nutrition. In addition, you would take prenatal vitamins with the active B vitamins (folate and B12). You would also detoxify on a regular basis to get rid of toxins that you can't avoid.
     
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  14. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Waverunner;
    I would recommend visiting some of the extaordinary natural surroundings here in utah...the mountains and deserts. ( hopefully, they won't be destroyed.)

    I came here because of the nature, but it is very rugged, too much for me now. Although, much of it can be seen from a vehicle.

    I believe this city would not be a good place for a person with ME/CFS to live. ( I'm planning to move, but it will be difficult.)

    There have been some very modest measures taken to improve conditions - not enough.
    Even though there was a study that began here some years ago concerning air pollution and ASD; I think the funding has been either cut or withdrawn, but I read that many of the families are still participating.
     
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  15. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    SLC is beautiful. I remember on the way from LV to SLC and that it got greener and greener up there, which felt very nice. I really hope, that the advance in technology will reduce pollution. Cars use less and less fuel, so pollution should get less, too. Moreover our understanding of diseases like autism and CFS will progress and hopefully will lead to working treatments.
     
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  16. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Well the epidemics IS huge. This is not to say that infection is the (only) cause, but even if it was there is great diversity of immune-related genes in population in general, which is nature's way of ensuring that infectious epidemics don't eradicate whole populations. So in most infectious epidemics you would actually expect great variations in vulnerability...

    CCR polymorphisms are a case in point, and lo and behold this is where the autism risk genes may well be... CCRs determine person's vulnerability to some infections (and probably resistance to others).

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info...RI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0048835.g002




    That statement is part of autism mythology, and a way of securing continuous funding for the great autism gene hunt. Because when you get to the bottom of those 'identified' "causes" the percentages don't add up, and the numbers don't make any sense. They usually identify a certain mutation in say 5% of autism, but the same mutation will be present in say 3% of healthy controls, and for some reason they will go on to add that 5% to 'identified genetic cause'. It is a real Monty Python situation, but really the language used here is a way of saying 'give us more money' to carry on forever...
     
  17. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Re toxic pollution we have to remember heavily polluted industrialised places of the past, like Victorian London where people lived in overcrowded and dirty conditions amongst heavy industries. Still no autism epidemics...
     
  18. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Going back to my previous post re polymorphisms in immune-related genes and autism risk I am wondering if it could be that there are fewer of those vulnerability factors amongst Israelis (which could account for lower rates compared to US, UK etc).
     
  19. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    It would also be good to know what percentage of the Israeli cohort came from the orthodox communities and what their vaccination rates/policies are!
     
  20. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    I do think there are some social pathologies, which might be stressors that lead to higher rates of autism in Utah.
    Having children while you are in the midst of major depression disorder I think is possibly going to lead to a higher incidence of problems for the child. That's if you believe MDD is actually an immune disorder (which I do). I have heard much of this blamed on the male-centered culture, leading to a sense of hopelessness and sadness by certain women. But many other states have macho-centric cultures, and have lower rates of autism.

    Utah in general has the highest rates of depression. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=4403731&page=1

    Utah was the most stressed state in the country: http://www.mainstreet.com/article/family/family-health/utah-most-stressed-state

    Utah has the highest rates of anti-depressant use in the country: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/03/eveningnews/main510918.shtml

    Utah has the highest rates of suicide for males 14-25 (may have changed)
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/...demic-that-many-in-Utah-prefer-to-ignore.html

    Utah men have the highest usage of on-line porn (sorry, but I'll consider that a social pathology in this context).
     
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