1. Patients launch a $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
There are three of us here and for many years, none of us ever got hungry. When our brains would turn to mush, when our faces would go numb, and we would start the invisible vibration which is the signature dance of ME/CFS, we knew we needed to eat.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Autism rates soaring around the world

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

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes:
    2,189
    Autism has been linked to low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy (ref: here).

    Could modern life habits and practices be reducing the amount of vitamin D produced by sunlight that a pregnant mother receives, thereby leading to autism?

    It seems that humans spend an increasing amount of time behind glass windows, and glass cuts out a large percentage of the vitamin D3 producing UVB-type ultraviolet light from the sun. We work in offices behind glass windows; we drive in cars with air conditioning, so we keep the windows closed all year round; we often shop in large malls, which generally have no sunlight at all.

    Ultraviolet of the UVB type produces vitamin D3 on our skin, but UVB light is blocked by window glass. Window glass only lets through UVA light, which does not produce vitamin D3. What's more, according this this very interesting article by Dr Mercola on vitamin D, UVA light can actually destroy the vitamin D3 on your skin. So sunlight or daylight shining on you through a window can reduce you vitamin D3 levels.

    (Incidentally, the above Mercola article also mentions that it takes up to two days for your body to absorb the sunlight-generated vitamin D3 on your skin — but showering or bathing with soap removes this vitamin D3 before it can be absorbed. Thus the modern habit of showering once or twice a day may also contribute to decreasing vitamin D3 from the skin.)


    Furthermore, I believe that the vitamin D3 produced in your skin by sunlight is not the same as vitamin D3 you get from your diet (or from a supplement). The sunlight produced version is in fact vitamin D3 sulfate, which is water soluble, unlike the vitamin D3 from your diet. Could this water soluble vitamin D3 sulfate be better able to cross the placenta, thus giving the growing fetus ample supplies of vitamin D3?

    If so, then spending much of our lives indoors or in cars behind glass windows might ultimately be reducing the amount of vitamin D3 sulfate received by a fetus during pregnancy, leading to autism.

    It would be interesting to see a study which questioned mothers of autistic children about the amount of outdoor sunlight exposure they had during their child's pregnancy.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes:
    2,189
    Further to this lack of sunlight connection to autism, I just found this interesting hypothesis:
    I did not realize that cholesterol sulfate is another major nutrient produced by sunlight exposure. I thought is was only vitamin D that you got from the sun.
    anne_likes_red likes this.
  3. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes:
    201
    USA
    Yes, Utah does have many, I'll call it, societal problems.
    It's true that we have many frightening statistics; such as very high rates of rape, incest, pedophilia, and more.
    I agree that there seems to be an enormous pressure placed on men as well as women and children here.
    I realize this is a truth the world over, but one possible distinction here is that our society wants to be accepted as 'normal'. So, I see people push themselves to the extreme of normalcy. ( This may not make sense to some folks.)

    As for ASD, I think the term , autistic wasn't developed until the early 1900's. In the late 19th century, Victorian England, I've read that 1 in 3 births resulted in death, and the epidemics at that time were Cholera, TB, and other infections.

    I tend to believe that many aberrant behaviors stem from some physiological dysfunction. There are are many causes for this, of course. I would include exposure to pathogens and toxins. I also strongly believe that some people, (myself), were born with a susceptibility. I'm pretty sure, had I been born a century ago, I would have been one who would not have made it.

    I'm going to look into why Israel has an increased incidence of ASD. ( Sorry I've over focused on Ut.) I understand that the enormous amount of stress everyone there is experiencing could be immuno-suppressive. I'm not informed of the toxic chemical exposures they may have. There could be many.

    After considering all of this grimness, I would like to write that with taking strong measures to improve my own health, I'm having a relatively bright success. ( I have a stong hope for this 'peace on earth', business.)
    And Good Health to us all !
    MishMash, AFCFS and Jarod like this.
  4. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

    Messages:
    835
    Likes:
    243
    Hip, I was just reading Dr Seneff's papers on her home page. http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/
    She talks about hypomethylation (I know she was in contact with Rich a year or so ago), lack of cholesterol in the diet and lack of sunlight on the skin....Plus environmental toxins. She's was, a year ago, especially interested in a possible effect of aluminium in vaccines.
    Here are some more recent papers she's co authored:

    Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/Entropy/entropy-14-02227.pdf

    Impaired Sulfate Metabolism and Epigenetics: Is There a Link in Autism?
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/Entropy/entropy-14-01953.pdf
  5. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

    Messages:
    312
    Likes:
    243
    NC
    SLC is beautiful; had held it in the archives of my mind and it popped out again when I read this. I remember when I was younger, I would fly in there on my way to points west. The mountains and emerging from the flatland were awe-inspiring. On another trip, in a car, I had caught bug in western Nevada and recall driving all night with a combination of diarrhea and semi-projectile vomit, until I got to SLC and went to the ER to be treated for severe dehydration.

    - ah the fond memories of youth

    But as for the Autism, I find it interesting to look at what treatments are making some sense. I really just started to look at this after Anteah mentioned the connection to ‪Glutathione‬ and B12 from another post, but have found a few article that may be interesting:

    Methyl-B12: A Treatment for ASD with Methylation Issues‬, which states:
    Treat Autism & ADHD: Methyl B12 Injections
    Glutathione and MB12. Is there a connection?
    Although not sure about this line from the last article:
    MishMash, Crux and Anteah like this.
  6. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes:
    1,040
    London UK
    But very important to remember not to mix causes and consequences! Because this also works the other way around: physical (biological) pathologies can and do lead to social/mental pathologies.Think toxoplasmosis for example.Or think wide-spread psychosis and social decline of late Romans (lead poisoning).

    You cannot say that higher rates of depression in population is the cause of higher rates of autism. Because in theory higher rates of depression and mental disorders in population could simply be things that happen in parallel to increase in autism rates, as they can be caused by the same things that cause/contribute autism.

    Vulnerability to social pathologies could easily be just a reflection of biological pathology affecting that population.
    Waverunner likes this.
  7. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

    Messages:
    646
    Likes:
    280
    The only 'take home message' from any serious work published on ASD prevalence to date, is that no where in any developed country can any methodology of research definitively identify 'actual' increases in prevalence, separate from increased diagnosis of incidence. Quite simply all the apparent increases can be accounted for by better diagnosis and encouragement of acceptance of diagnosis because of carer benefits arrising from educational and social support interventions, that is - more experts recognise ASD, more teachers welcome the diagnosis and more carers get more help with challenging children, so the numbers go up.

    Zahorodny et al allow that their methodology does not exclude the possibility that real increases in ASD prevalence have occured within their study area in the four year study period 2002 - 2006, but when set in the context of the US overall, there is no statistical basis to suggest a National level increase. Zahorodny et al also allow that environmental factors specific to their study area could be contributory to the statistically possible (but not certain) real increase in prevalence which can not be excluded by their methodology. Match that to the article headline !

    The Davidoitch e al paper says nothing at all about the source of increase, which can be accounted for entiely by changes in patterns and acceptence of diagnosis. Some of the details could indicate either genetic or environmental factors as contributory to ASD but the study does not provide for anything other than speculation in that direction.

    IVI
  8. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

    Messages:
    646
    Likes:
    280
    Rates of diagnosis have increased - that is not the same thing as increases in actual prevalence.

    I always find the discussion of ASD in the context of M.E/CFS rather bizarre because so much of the ASD diagnosis is a construct straight out of the Biopsychosocial handbook, and what we so often get is folks on the one hand, energetically arguing for the significance of the increase of ASD which is wholly dependent upon the BPS model, and then arguing equally energetically that the BPS model is utterly flawed because of how the BPS model configures M.E/CFS.

    Noooooo ! Not the fall of the Roman Empire !!. This is a very old and long ago disarded historical canard. Most historians don't even really consider the Empire 'fell' in the sense of catastrophic decline. More lead in mediaeval skeletons than in Roman ones: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.../lead-poisoning-in-rome-the-skeletal-evidence

    IVI
  9. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes:
    730
    Near Cognac, France
    Re the bolding - which is why I said "all things considered" within the admitted limitations of their methodology of course. Can any study such as this be 'definitive'? But after careful consideration of all factors (again within the limitations of such-like studies) they conclude that they can not 'definitively' exclude the possibility that the apparent rise in prevalence is not an artefact. This being the case doesn't the precautionary principle then apply and require a less benign interpretation of results that can probably never be 'definitive'.

    "Match that to the article headline!"

    I don't feel the need to. I've seen a lot of 'sexed-up' headlines lately and take them all with a heavy pinch of salt.
  10. Ian

    Ian Senior Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes:
    96
  11. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

    Messages:
    646
    Likes:
    280
    I'm not sure how less benign - rather than 'neutral' could actually be applied. If there is a heritable genetic element to ASD, would that require consideration of 'not having children' by people who have ASD in their families on the basis of the precautionary principle ?

    The absence of 'definitive' doesn't invoke a concern for 'all possible' alternatives - it simply reaffirms a position of 'not knowing' that is limited in reasoned consideration by the application of assessable probabilities. This seems particularly apposite in the case of a developmental condition the diagnosis of which is heavily dependent on a value driven construct such as ASD.

    IVI
  12. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

    Messages:
    646
    Likes:
    280
  13. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes:
    1,040
    London UK
    Nice try but totally wrong. It is wishful thinking and part of autism mythology .... for one these are the kids that are UNABLE to follow curriculum without special support, ie would have fallen out of the educational system in those massive numbers in the past as simply unable to sit in the class etc etc etc, so no they were not 'invisible' in the past but simply not there. Or else we would have known about 1 in 50 children being kicked out of primary schools.

    Secondly the massive increase noted by NJ study mostly includes moderate to severe autism types, again this is the type of autism that is very dysfunctional and that you would never ever miss, not in a million years. If these kids were just 'misdiagnosed' in the past then prevalence of those misdiagnosed disorders would be falling in last few decades. But they remain static.

    Thirdly the diagnosis itself does not give one access to special services or educational support, actually the diagnosis itself is practically worthless in many areas of real life. Education support is given according to need and is not linked to diagnosis etc. In the UK for example the diagnosis does not give one automatic access to any services or benefits whatsoever.

    As for the BPS model of autism - it is totally wrong again because autism is just a surface manifestation of abnormal medical/ pathological processes - take away those abnormalities and you take away autism ...Keeping autism in DSM a means of reinforcing the myth and keeping autism in the realms of psychology. Totally wrong and totally tragic.

    There is lots more but no time.
    MishMash likes this.
  14. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes:
    1,040
    London UK
    This is authors soft way of saying that they are noticing massive prevalence - they have bent over backwards to explain it away but just COULD NOT.

    Lots of people are desperately trying to keep the autism myths alive (better awareness yap yap yap, evolution crap and so on) -- many jobs, pension plans and egos depend on those dogmas being kept. If it is ever openly admitted that increase is REAL then many things will automatically follow, like medical/pathological nature of the disorder (HERV activation only happens in disease states ;) , as one famous blogger has repeatedly stated :D ), and most of all the need to do something about treatment and prevention etc etc. Some would finally have to take on real responsibility, or admit that they know shit all and quietly leave the scene. Ouch.
    MishMash likes this.
  15. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    Messages:
    970
    Likes:
    759
    Natasa, I fully agree. There was this really stupid study on sciencedaily some days ago. It claimed, that people who worry constantly, are at higher risk for PTSD. Did it ever occur to the authors of this study, that these people might worry more than others, because they already suffer from a biochemical dysfunction, that later leads to PTSD? They even pointed out, that the same event (e.g. death of a loved one) leads to different outcomes in different people. But instead of making the point, that some people could be ill already, they say, that they worry too much.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217140742.htm
    Marco and natasa778 like this.
  16. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,309
    Likes:
    837
    UK
    Aint it about b....time they found the answer.
  17. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes:
    1,040
    London UK
    Also re: Utah and higher rates of social/mental problems alongside higher rates of autism there ... just to mention that having a child of autism results in massively increased risk of poverty and divorce - marital and financial difficulties , social alienation, emotional stress and so on on ALL family members> parents are hardest hit but so are the siblings. So not surprising if there are higher rates of social and mental health problems where there is more autism. Having said all this we actually don't know if there is more autism in Utah then the rest of US. Could be that Utah is just better at counting :rolleyes:
    Crux likes this.
  18. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes:
    201
    USA
    Hi Natasa778;
    I'm unsure that the high statistics of autism in Utah are just a result of good record keeping, (although we're known for that ), or, that it's quite true. I believe it to be both.

    Folks here tend to under-report. There is fear and shame. There are authority figures to obey. Again, this happens everywhere, but there is a climate of silence here that I've noticed.

    I have listened to some people who have had these experiences, and I admit that I have had some bad things happen to myself. ( I did not report. )
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes:
    2,189
    Hi Anne, thanks for those links. I was looking at the possibilities of an aluminum in vaccines — autism connection a while ago.

    Aluminum is used in vaccines as an adjuvant (an adjuvant is a substance added to boost the immune system so that the vaccine takes effect). Only recently was a plausible theory offered on how aluminum boosts the immune system: it is probably because aluminum raises uric acid levels, and and uric acid is released from damaged cells, and alerts the immune system to possible infections (which tend to cause damage to cells). So the raised uric acid will stimulate the immune response. Ref: 1.

    (Makes you wonder why if it might be possible to put just pure uric acid in the vaccines, instead of aluminum, which might be much safer; uric acid is a normal component of the blood.)

    With many neurological and mental health conditions now being linked to immune activation or immune dysfunction, you might expect that a vaccine adjuvant like aluminum could play some sort of role in precipitating autism.

    Interestingly, silicone is another immune boosting adjuvant sometimes used in vaccines, and silicone used for breast and other implants, as well as silicone injections, very occasionally causes an ME/CFS like illness, or autoimmune conditions.
    natasa778 likes this.
  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes:
    2,189
    On the subject of whether or not the rise in autism is due to better detection methods used nowadays, compared to the past:

    It is interesting to note that even in the present time, there is a substantial difference (> factor of 10) between the US states that have the lowest rates of autism, and the states that have the highest (see US autism map HERE). And again, presumably we do not know whether this difference is a genuine variation in incidence, or just a variation in detection methods and diagnosis thresholds.

    It is also interesting that on the above autism map, the state with the highest autism rate (Minnesota at 1.4%), is right next to the state with the lowest (Iowa at 0.1%). That should be investigated, as there may be an important clue there.

    Anyone care to speculate why autism rates in Iowa should be so low, yet Minnesota so high?

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page