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Utahs alarming autism rate

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Googsta likes this.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Salt Lake City had really nasty air when I drove by it one summer. I'm not surprised that it's got such a big pollution problem.

    Sounds a lot like ME. :p

    PS - I think I'm distantly related to the author of this article. Probably another descendent of Louis Moench, the dude that founded Weber State University in Utah.
    Googsta likes this.
  3. wdb

    wdb Admin

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    Rather sensational article. To be fair no one knows if autism rates are increasing at all, all we actually know is that detection rates have increased, other factors could equally well be responsible such as increased awareness, better screening and widening diagnostic criteria.
  4. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    ah,
    the old "frog in the boiling pan of water" scenario.... :p


    wrong.
    Can't be bothered wasting time hunting for it but at least one paper has shown that that detection/diagnostic criteria cannot explain this icnreasing problem.
  5. wdb

    wdb Admin

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    Then why bother posting at all
  6. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I just decided to take my dog out of this fight ... uhmmmmmm ... relax and let those adrenal glands heal ... uhmmmmm ... lol ... tc ... x
  7. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    And they are probably not counting the ADHD, OCD, etc.

    It's amazing some people still think it's not an emergency! If autism isn't taken extremely seriously, what chance do we have?

    I hope they can prove autism-ME links soon, because autism should be a huge national issue soon.
    Googsta likes this.
  8. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    In the UK, science reporting in the media is very heavily influenced by the Science Media Centre, which is funded by the top 6 manufacturers of pesticides, the pharmaceutical giants, and by manufacturers of all of the pollutants listed above. Industry lobbyists, both within the SMC and beyond, vigorously promote doubt and scepticism about any findings which may expose them to risk.

    Consequently, a great number of people in the UK do buy the line that is always rolled out in articles here about this subject, which argues that rates of autism might not be increasing at all, and we might just be getting better at detecting it and/or tending to diagnose people with autism who would not have been diagnosed as autistic in the past.

    This is a very useful sceptical argument because it can be used to deny almost any kind of increasing health problem, and its somewhat circular nature makes it very hard to refute. Unlike the scientific findings it refutes, this argument of allegedly improved detection rates does not appear to be required to provide evidence in order to effectively influence opinion, and this pattern of an asymmetric requirement to provide evidence is neatly illustrated by the exchange between wdb and silverblade above, where wdb did not provide any evidence but complained that silverblade did not. This pattern is so typical of the discourse by which we are surrounded in the UK that we rarely even notice it, and even subconsciously absorb and repeat it ourselves.

    Parents of autistic children are less likely to believe this, having direct experience of the reality of autism and thus being much less inclined to believe that this is a phenomenon which could possibly have gone unnoticed in previous generations. But just as with ME/CFS, those without direct experience will tend to believe that what they read and hear about the subject in the media is plausible. Until the reality becomes so severe as to be undeniable, vested interests will continue to deny it, and most people will continue to believe them.
    Googsta, Merry and Lou like this.
  9. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    I know it is increasing. I see the increase when I go out walking around the local shopping center. Everybody knows it. Will never agree with a few thugs in control of that magical consensus.

    The goal is to bury the neuro-immune disease epidemic with Propaganda, Lies, and deception if you ask me.
  10. wdb

    wdb Admin

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    How is it circular ?

    And now you haven't provided evidence either :D just more personal assertion and anecdote.

    Okay here is some evidence to get the ball rolling http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-increase-in-autism-diagnoses-two-hypotheses/

    What 'scientific finding' does it refute ? the scientific finding is that diagnosis rates have increased.
  11. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Let's remember that none of us have done extensive scientific research on this topic, so we're just chatting and speculating. Scientific evidence is still coming in, so there's still a lot of room for speculation. :D

    I'll bet every one of us went to school with at least one, and probably several, kids who were considered odd. We all could see they were socially inept at some level or another. They were often bullied and called nerds or dweebs or geeks or losers or goodness knows what else. Some of the more severe cases were classified as "retarded" or whatever was the PC label of our generation, and placed in special classes. Very few, if any, of those people were diagnosed as having autism spectrum illnesses. Now society understands more about this kind of disorder and many people with autism spectrum disorders get appropriate treatment, and hopefully less social abuse.

    I have taught or tutored several boys in the past couple of years with Asperger Syndrome. They are all functional human beings and will be able to get jobs and raise families, although it will probably be harder for them than most. People like this have always been out there, they just weren't diagnosed.

    It's easy for me to see that the diagnosis rate has increased hugely, especially of the less severely affected people. Does that explain the entire increase? I don't know, but scientific evidence that shows the majority of the increase is in diagnosis is reasonably sound.

    Perhaps everyone would understand the "data" the media is throwing at us if the information was organized more understandably. For example, what is the increase in severe -- classical autism -- cases in areas where autism was accurately diagnosed 20 years ago? If it's high, perhaps factors other than increased diagnosis are in play. Or not.

    Does the increase in autism spectrum disorders show up primarily at the milder end of the spectrum, where it wasn't recognized very long ago, or is the increase distributed across the entire spectrum? Is there more increase in rural or poverty-stricken areas without cutting-edge medical/psychiatric facilities, or not? Increase in awareness could increase diagnosis in less medically-forward areas. If the increase is the same over the range of medical access, then maybe other factors are causing the increase.

    All that kind of data would give us a better feel for whether the increase in autism spectrum diagnoses are primarily from better diagnosis, or something else. The media very rarely gives us that kind of info. It prefers the most spectacular spin.

    We can have an interesting casual discussion of our opinions based on limited genuine facts, but there's probably no point to getting too heated until we have a lot more information. ;)
    wdb likes this.
  12. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    becuase with my limited energy I wish to use it more enjoyably
    you are an adult, check for yourself, verify :)

    Hey after all, all those scrounging scum who have CFS are just conning the public or it's all in their head!....
    yes, good old asbestos and tobacco, Agent Orange and uranium! All good good stuff, children!
    Hm?

    Agendas
    Money
    power
    Fear
    Uncertainty
    Doubt

    huge one ot keep in mind most Western governments pledged to idemnify the vaccine industries' products
    Do you get that?
    as long as the public do not know for certain that vaccines cause harm they are eager to let the possibility slide by, than even entertain the possibility of having to pay out billions in compensation
    ergo, disinformation campaign
    see tobacco and many other industries, same crap every time and folk KEEP FALLING FOR IT :/
  13. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Perhaps I should have been more clear here; when I said it was somewhat circular, I was thinking really of the wider picture rather than the assertion in itself. The circularity lies in the way that the claim has been that rates of autism are rising because we are making more effort to detect it, and that this has been an unrecognised problem in the past, and also saying that because we are now recognising a problem that was previously unrecognised, we should continue to make more effort to detect it. This includes broadening and changing the basis on which diagnosis is made, and intensifying screening for it, which ensures that there will indeed be an increase in rates due to improved diagnosis (creating a self-fulfilling prophecy), but also, by moving the goalposts, this makes it effectively impossible to reliably assess whether the problem itself is actually increasing or not.

    It's interesting that this process seems to have now run its course, and the move now, in the latest DSM changes, is to narrow the definition of autistic spectrum diagnosis again, with the aim of reducing the numbers diagnosed. This will again muddy the waters and make it more difficult to determine whether the rate has risen and is now declining, whether the real problem is increasing, or whether the true rate remains unchanged. So long as the goalposts are being constantly moved, it will be difficult to prove that the true rate is rising, because the counter-argument can always be made that this may be due to the changing diagnostic practices.

    SOC's comments are very reasonable, and I would have to accept that there very probably has been an increased emphasis on diagnosis, in recent years at least, which makes it difficult to say whether the rate really is rising or not. You're right, SOC, I haven't researched this extensively and my remarks were based mainly on my distrust of those with vested interests who influence the agenda in other areas. I probably shouldn't have got so carried away without evidence to back it up, I accept that. Still, my suspicions remain the same...I guess what I've seen in relation to ME/CFS has just undermined my faith in the official 'scientific' line in general, and any kind of apparent denialism automatically looks suspicious now.

    Correct, none of us had provided any evidence, I was really referring to your complaint that silverblade hadn't. But it would be good to have a look at some of the evidence on this specific question of the rising or stables rates of autism...I hope silverblade will cite the study he mentioned if he can find it.

    Only scanned it, I don't intend to spend much time on this, as you know we have other things to be doing. One thing struck me as odd:
    It appears from this that, in 2005, Rutter made the case that the historical rate, when re-examined using the new criteria, was roughly the same as the current rate at the time: 0.3-0.6%. The traditional historical rate of 0.04% was because children were being diagnosed differently in those days; in reality it had always been 0.3 - 0.6%. What seems odd to me about this is that we now often hear of modern diagnosis rates of the order of 1 in 70 (1.4%) or, in the article about Utah, a claimed 1 in 30 (3.3%). When we hear of these sort of figures (and I've read figures over 1% often enough in the press that I assumed that was roughly the accepted rate now), are these figures dramatically overstating the current rates, or have the diagnostic criteria themselves continued to change dramatically in the last few years? Will there be another study like Rutter's to show that under the new diagnosis conditions the 'true rate' was always 1-3% after all, and not 0.3-0.6% as he thought in 2005 when the modern diagnosis rate was 0.3-0.6%? I suppose that if the figures for diagnosis really have risen that much in recent years, that might explain why the DSM are about to rewrite the criteria to get the numbers back down again...

    I was referring to the refutation of the scientific findings claimed by the article about Utah: "many studies that show higher rates of autism with greater exposure to flame retardants, plasticizers like BPA, pesticides, endocrine disruptors in personal-care products, heavy metals in air pollution, mercury, and pharmaceuticals like antidepressants". The claim that real rates have not increased would refute that there is any connection between any of these environmental factors and autism. Again, I don't know what studies the article was referring to, but I'd be interested to see them.

    Overall, my conclusion is that there are many claims that autism is rising and that this is caused by exposure to synthetic chemicals and/or vaccines; the dominant scientific view seems to be that rates aren't really rising at all; and the problem here is that what constitutes the dominant scientific view, especially in the UK media, as well as the research agenda itself, is very heavily influenced by organisations like the SMC who happen to be funded by the businesses that produce the synthetic chemicals and the vaccines. So the sad fact is that we can't really trust the dominant view, and when they argue that the rates aren't really rising at all...well, I'm afraid that the massive conflicts of interest involved in modern science mean that I just don't believe it in an argument like this any more. Sad, because I may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater occasionally, but I'm afraid that the whole basis of much modern scientific research is corrupted by huge financial interests, and I'd feel naive if I took it all at face value...I feel very sceptical indeed on an issue like this when I'm told that rates aren't rising at all and there's 'nothing to see here...'.
    Googsta and Valentijn like this.
  14. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    I'm not going to pretend that I am in a position to parse the questions about increasing rates of diagnosis versus real increases in actual rate of incidence but it might also be worth keeping in mind that Utah's population is also genetically unique given that something close to 70% of the population is Mormon and their (my ancestors') past practice of polygamy as well as a relatively insular community did little to increase genetic diversity.

    Utah is also where the recent study showing a genetic component in CFS was conducted (Albright et al., 2011). Keep in mind that this study was conducted in Utah because of the availability of extensive genealogical records for most (if not nearly all) of the population. Unlike the recent autism data, the Albright study does not provide any information about the relative rate of incidence of CFS in Utah compared to other states.

    And yes, some portions of Utah have periods of very high air pollution (especially PM2.5 - much of the population lives in large bowl shaped valleys between 8000-11000 foot high peaks that trap pollution, especially in winter when cold polluted air sinks to the valley floor in an "inversion."). As for mercury and the Great Salt Lake, this is also a bit of a perfect storm. Utah is down wind from Nevada's Great Basin where gold mining is rampant. The "lake" is actually an inland sea. There is no outlet and everything that goes into the lake is concentrated over time. Sadly, this highly polluted lake is also one of the major inland migration stopovers for birds traveling between the northern US, Central and South America. Utah's political atmosphere is very permissive towards business and industry. We maybe learning the hard way that this was a place where we needed to be especially careful.
    Googsta likes this.
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head. When a source has a financial interest in a subject, nothing they say about that subject can be trusted. When all sources have financial interests, the only recourse is to research and analyze the subjects ourselves, which isn't feasible.

    So we don't know what's really happening (or not happening), and don't have a reliable way to find out.
    Googsta likes this.
  16. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Salt basins similar to the Great Salt Lake, and similar areas are well known for deposition of toxic chemicals (see also The Dead Sea).
    Be interesting to compare it with some of the citrus growing areas in California, where the foolish system leads to build ups of poisons that have to be deposited in pools (ie, the irrigation methods cannot wash enough of the metal salts leached from the ground, and pesticides from the trees, these end up in huge salt pans)
    These foul accumulations won't go away, they increase over time...it's insane.
    All it takes is unusual weather/events to have that crap blown over the surrounding areas or into the rivers.

    *Not* the article I mentioned, but autism linked to environmental factors, not genetics (which is huge kick in the pants of the bullshit establishment)
    http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011...iversity_of_california_scientists_find_e.html


    Item I did mention, NOT earlier study form 2004
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19234401
    See?


    And as I said, our leaders will NOT ALLOW ANYONE to prove or link autism with vaccines, big business or government in any damn way, regardless of whether the link is genuine or speculative, or proven wrong eventually
    The lawsuits worldwide would be in the trillions of dollars, it would bring governments down (millions of kids allowed ot be wrecked for profit?! they'd get lynched), it would expose vast corruption in office of our elected scumbag officials etc
    So, anyone who thinks "science triumphs!" in such is clueless, alas :/
    The "truth" may take so long to come out, the victims will be dead.
    Science is "inconvenient".
    Look at the asbestos, Agent Orange, Global Warming and other issues where cocnerted long term attacks by big business and government hush, railroad, divert, weaken and screw such up.

    For lawsuits, see asbestos and nuclear test veterans
    To grasp how rotten and corrupt even science can be, note that up to 60% of pharmaceutical research studies maybe frauds or "over stating their cases"
    and so on and so forth :/

    And go see how many politicians/parties get contributions form vaccine makers, who pushed through legislation to idemnify them from lawsuits, etc.
    Example:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bill_Frist
  17. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Info on the California evaporation ponds
    http://www.water.ca.gov/pubs/ground...inage_implementation_program/06-evapponds.pdf

    such should be considered, as well as other possibly sources of contamination for autism etc
    the huge agriculture business has resulted in enormous use of pesticides and herbicides.
    As said, evidence nwo suggests they are largely responsible for the catastrophic destruction of bee colonies
    So what the hell do they do to Humans?
    many of the chemicals used in "Silicon Valley" are/were incredibly toxic.


    here's a thought:
    What if, excessive vaccinations with adjunctivants and foreign (lab grown) DNA (possibly contaminated by virii)
    plus exposure to chemicals we know are extremely potent modulators of the immune system (organophosphates, I don't know about other agro-chenicals on that degree of strength)
    set up a synergy where the immune system is "overly primed", it has difficulty regulating itself.
    Along comes a nasty a flu like illness or exposure to higher degree of poison...and bamo
    you get ME, or autism, or one of dozens of other problems depending on the circumstances.
    Hm?

    Problem is, our systems have been so used ot thinking simple "one agent causes one problem", and lab work simply cannot replciate the complexity of real life systems.

    Pesticide A may by being left in evporation ponds along with naturally occuring chemical B, plus Ultraviolet, create compound C
    These materials may by forming gas or dust, spread further than expected
    they may build up in fish, they may spread through wild fowl's feaces
    Negligent or criminal activitie smay dump these chemicals where they shouldn't

    and so on and so forth.


    Like I've said before, I live right beside one of the most contmainated sites in Europe
    They spent 100 million clenaing it up and plan to put houses on it
    They didn't spend a single damn penny on the town those scum let the steel plant be built beside with no seperation.
    I have seen numerous fmailies wipe dout by cancer and other health problems.

    Another issue with autism and, frankly, almost endemic institutional stupidity, is that chidlren are NOT the same as adults: the hormones, cell division etc can make things have very different effects on them, see radiation for example.
  18. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    There are Medical Alerts popping up on TV here in Australia now regarding Autism rates. I saw a breif portion of one this morning where they are claiming it is linked to overweight mothers & older fathers.

    Convenient how they place blame on the parent once again.
    Their solution: Funny how it won't cost the government a penny.
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Googsta, lets presume they are right, and all other explanations wrong: it is still a government problem when an ever larger proportion of children have a severe neuroimmune disease. I have heard the link but not the details, if they are implying this is not a government problem then its spin. These kinds of spin are used to argue for inaction, which is fine if the inaction will result in something that goes away on its own, but unfortunately this problem is not going to go away and is only getting worse. Putting off addressing autism (and the same goes for ME) is saving the present a penny to cost the future a gold doubloon. Bye, Alex
  20. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    The overall UK cost of autism is about 34 billion each year

    http://tinyurl.com/6lmgj42



    So if we crack autism, we'll wipe out the UK deficit in less than 4 years :innocent1:

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