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Massive increase in autism rates, 1:35 boys affected

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    brand new paper on autism prevalence in NJ in 2002 8-year olds versus 2006 8-year olds

    some highlights:

    " For 2006, a total of 533 children with autism spectrum disorder were identified, consistent with prevalence of 17.4 per 1000 (95% confidence interval = 15.9–18.9), indicating a significant increase in the autism spectrum disorder prevalence (p < 0.001), between 2002 (10.6 per 1000) and 2006. The rise in autism spectrum disorder was broad, affecting major demographic groups and subtypes. Boys with autism spectrum disorder outnumbered girls by nearly 5:1."

    "... contrary to expectation, comparing 2002 and 2006 estimates, we found significant increase in the proportion of children satisfying the criteria for AD but not in children identified with ASD-NOS. Interestingly, 70%–75% of 8-year-old ASD children, across all surveillance cycles, satisfied the strict diagnostic criteria for AD ..."

    Meaning the more severe autism is on the rise, the type of autism that they could never ever have missed in the past.

    They also checked if this rise could be down to better detection in certain ethnic groups, that were less aware of autism in the past and so fewer kids from those groups were diagnosed in the past. But NOPE. The rate of increase is equal across all ethnic groups.

    They also checked if the increase could be due to migration (of certain groups with higher prevalence of autism), but NOPE again

    They tried to explain away the massive increase they observed with younger age of diagnosing etc, but nothing could account for the difference.

    The only limitation of this study, as stated by the authors, is that it might have MISSED a number of milder cases, those that do not require special educational services: “Only children identified for special education or for clinical (developmental) services came under the purview of our surveillance. Some children with Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning ASD are educated in general education settings and did not come to the attention of their school district or our study, thereby leading to underestimate ASD prevalence …”

    So again those cases that would have been missed in the old days are not included here anyway, so the ‘better diagnosing’ mantra doesn't hold water.

    They also observed the male : female ratio to be 5:1 in 2006 cohort: “nearly five times as many boys than girls were affected, representing an absolute level of male ASD prevalence (1 in 35) that is startling” [authors' choice of words]

    The baseline: “this study suggests that ASD prevalence may be closer to 2%” and they go on to say that this more closely matches new data from UK and South Korea. With two thirds of that number affected by moderate/severe autism.

    http://aut.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/27/1362361312463977.abstract?rss=1
    beaker, Waverunner and Merry like this.
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    umm interesting. And I agree.. there would of been many with Aspergers being missed as many Aspergers cases are high functioning when it comes to knowledge and hence may get on well at school with their studies (but not so well with so many other areas in thier lives eg socially, may have a lot of trouble with their organisational skills etc etc).

    Maybe some high up dont want there to be too much Autism spectrum people around? as they have taken Aspergers (and I would assume from that its diagnoses too) out of the key psych manual used around the world and only now going to have "Autism Spectrum".. this change of removing Aspergers out.. means that less will be diagnosed. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/20...diagnosis-removed-from-leading-medical-manual This change may make it harder to see the true degree of those being affected by this disorder.
  3. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

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    Doing disability care, I'm quite interested in the fact that mothers refuse to brand their children with a diagnosis of even autism, it is an intellectual disability. I understand where they are coming from - doping up kids on antidepressants and adhd meds can cause more difficulty. Guess its like disowning having cfs as psychologists and gps look at you and say you should go on antidepressants.
  4. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I didn't realize until recently that I have Asperger's (albeit a mild case). I'm not sure how my life would be different or if it would be better or worse if I had been diagnosed at an early age. I don't have a very high opinion of psychiatrists and therapists based on my personal experiences (though I'm sure there's many out there that do great work) so I'm not sure if they would have been much help it that regard. Since I'm not on the far end of the spectrum I sort of adapted or "figured things out" over time, but I guess it's good to know why I'm different.
  5. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    I'm not happy about anyone who gets ill but how long are they gonna dismiss autism, CFS etc.? They don't have any treatment and except for a few good doctors there don't seem to be any effective efforts to actually find a treatment. When will this change?
  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I definitely have numerous autistic traits too, but have never been diagnosed. I too thought I had found 'a place' where I was 'normal' and started participating in an autism forum, but some people weren't happy with my self-diagnosis so I felt somewhat rejected again and left the forum.

    There is a test you can do here to see where you are on the spectrum:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

    A problem is the confounding factors produced by ME, so you may want to do it twice - once as you were before ME and once as you are now. I scored 30 as I am now, thus borderline, as I was with another test.
  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    38 for me FWIW:)
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Is that you with ME? What about before ME? I have just done it again for before ME, and got 26. Some of the problems with social situations may be a consequence of ME, e.g. brain fog, inability to filter things out, etc.
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    BTW I have also found the survey here:

    http://aq.server8.org/

    where it says that 0-10 is low, 11-22 is average, 23-31 is above average, 32-50 is very high and 50 is maximum. It says that most Aspies and high-functioning autistic people score about 35.
  10. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    I'd have to say both. Certain traits have become more pronounced but they were always there - which to me suggests a predisposition to ME with the potential for a shared pathophysiology.
  11. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Here is a possible reason for correlations between autism and ME, bearing in mind the fact that the leaky gut diet has been found to help ME sufferers:

    http://tiny.cc/zih6uw
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    About a week ago I took that test as well as another Asperger's test that had 150 questions. The test you mentioned I scored 34. On the site that I took the test (different site, but same test) they said 26-31 was borderline. Some of my traits such as sensitivites are worse since CFS/ME, but other traits from childhood I sort grew out of. Actually, that's not quite right. Maybe adapted would be a better word. I'm not really sure what my true personality is. Especially since I've had CFS for nearly half my life.

    I started a blog about Asperger's where I posted my results as well as a link to that second test with 150 questions. I also posted some multimedia resources for people to learn more about Asperger's. I think people without Asperger's might also enjoy some of those multimedia resources.
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ist-introvert-add-adhd-ocd-neurotypical.1381/
    I think those tests are possibly more accurate than diagnosis by a professional. There's a lot of nuances that can be overlooked especially since Asperger's manifests differently in different people. I can understand why the people on the forums acted the way they did. I'm not saying that their behavior was justified or appropriate, but rather that that's just human nature. When a person has a certain identity they can feel threatened when someone else comes along and claims they have the same identity even though they seem different. It shakes up their reality. I've seen this happen with CFS too. Some says that they're "cured" of CFS and then others think or say things like "well, that person didn't really have CFS".
    Marco likes this.
  13. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    Good to see some better studies on this horrible situation. It's becoming increasingly difficult to blame the scope of this epidemic on inadequate reporting.
  14. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I was curious about Asperger's SNPs and I found they did a study comparing SNPs of people with Asperger's to people with other forms of autism.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715101427.htm
    Asperger Syndrome, Autism, And Empathy: Study Links 27 Genes

    The research found that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 27 out of the 68 genes were nominally associated with either AS and/or with autistic traits/empathy. 10 of these genes (such as CYP11B1) were involved with sex steroid function, providing support for the role of this class of genes in autism and autistic traits. 8 of these genes (such as NTRK1) were involved in neural growth, providing further support to the idea that autism and autistic traits could result from aberrant patterns of connectivity in the developing brain. The other 9 genes (such as OXTR) were involved in social behaviour, shedding light on the biology of social and emotional sensitivity.

    Dr Chakrabarti commented: "These 27 genes represent preliminary leads for understanding the genetic bases of AS and related traits, such as empathy, in the general population. All of these are good candidates for independent replication studies in both low and high functioning autism samples. 5 of the genes we found have been previously reported in autism, but the other 22 have never before been reported in association with AS, autistic traits or empathy. We now need to test models of how these genes interact and construct 'risk' models for the development of AS."

    Professor Baron-Cohen added: "We chose to look at the genetics of AS because all other genetic studies have focused on classic autism, which can include learning difficulties and language delay. AS is a more 'pure' condition because these other factors are absent. These new results represent a significant advance over our previous work in showing that the sex steroid hormones (e.g. testosterone and oestrogen) influence social development and autistic traits. The new study also confirms earlier reports that other molecules (such as oxytocin) are important in understanding autism, autistic traits, and empathy."
  15. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    A few things could be going on regarding the reported increase:

    When I was little, kids with severe development delays or deficiencies were placed pretty much all in the same bucket. You didn't see them out with other kids, they were usually institutionalized. Autism was an exotic and rare diagnosis and someone on the spectrum was likely to get diagnosed as "retarded". On the high functioning end there was generally no dx. About a decade back, awareness of the whole spectrum among parents and pediatricians expanded, along with dramatically expanded services for the kids.

    At the same time, we have the prevalence of parents over 35, some with fathers over 40. Many will do fine, but paternal age >40 does increase the chance of ASD in the child. (I do not know by how much.) We also have the prevalence of technical careers, so that people with ASD who would have been underemployed years ago can now do quite well as programmers or in similar technical fields, and they're likely to meet a mate with whom they have those qualities in common. Thus there are probably a few more autistic kids, more of them being diagnosed, and kids with an unknown disability labeled as autistic bc that label has functional value. I think it's going to take much further work to tease out the proportions of each category.

    We don't know what causes autism and Asperger's nor even that they have the same cause although they are both within ASD. I think it's more important now to figure out how to get folks with ASD to be as heathy and successful as possible rather than writing them off and not imagining that it's some epidemic/swamp thing. I recall a chart along those lines which purported to show that 110% of kids would be autistic by 2025. I'm pretty sure that inspired theoretician would have flunked Aspie school ;-)

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