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Why the increase in Autism?

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11-19-2012, 09:04 AM
  #1
xX Hot Fuss
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Why the increase in Autism?

I've been talking about this a lot recently and i was wondering what you all would think. I work with this woman who is getting her Doctor's in teaching/child development and she's writing a book apparently as well. We were talking a few days ago about Autism and she was saying how she was involved in a lot of research. Not doing the research herself, but interviewing scientists and being a medium for awareness between the scientist's data and the public.

She was telling me that what is believed to be the leading cause of Autism is the food we eat. That the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup and all of that crap is negatively affecting both the father and mother's bodies before the child is even born. She also said that even the "real" food we buy at grocery stores isn't that good/natural for us either. The way they clean our food, what they pasteurize it with, the hormones in our meat etc...all of this is having a negative effect on our body and, before the birth of our children, is already making them more susceptible to these types of disorders.

HOWEVER, i talked to my Uncle the other night as well. He's an ER Doctor, not an expert in in Autism, but a Doctor and Hospital Administrator nonetheless. His view on it was that the increase in Autism isn't so much of an "increase" but that in 2012 we're better equipped to diagnose it than we were 30 years ago and 3 years ago. The "Increase" isn't an increase, just a more accurate diagnosis.

What do you all think? I know I'm not an expert and most likely most of us on HF Boards aren't either but just for discussion's sake, i'm curious to see your opinions on this.

Here's a link from the CDC...

http://www.cdc.gov/features/autismprevalence/

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11-19-2012, 09:31 AM
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AfroThunder396
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It's just getting diagnosed more. People are aware of it, and so they're LOOKING for autism. Like concussions in sports.

A lot of kids with OCD, ADHD, and other anxiety disorders are being falsely diagnosed with autism because autism is a big deal now and people don't want their kid to go undiagnosed. If a kid shows stunted development in pretty much any area, doctors today immediately jump to autism.

For a while autism was linked to trace amounts of mercury in vaccines, but since mercury has stopped being used there is no correlation between vaccines and autism.

To be clear, it's not JUST getting diagnosed more. But the magnitude by which it's increasing is mostly related to the awareness we now have for it. There are other factors at play.


Last edited by AfroThunder396: 11-19-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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11-19-2012, 11:09 AM
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LadyStanley
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From a few TV shows I've seen, my impression is that a lot of kids are better diagnosed with a number of issues, from asthma to autism, than they were when I was a kid decades ago.

There is also the population bump from the busters and following generations that might help skew the numbers as well.

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11-19-2012, 02:07 PM
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As an educator we are now better equipped to diagnos these conditions earlier on in a child's life and I believe that your uncle is on the right track. This does not mean that your co-worker isn't wrong either. There is some reasearch that claims that the type of food we eat can cause some of these conditions. The thing to remember also that we are also differentiating between how we diagnos these students. 40-50+ years ago we would have a classified alot of these students with autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, ect. As being under 1 classification; ********.

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11-19-2012, 02:31 PM
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montreal
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Here's a good article on Autism and how they mix fix the problem going forward,

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/op...it_th_20120826

It sounds like if they can reduce inflammation in the body then it's going to have a big impact on treating it.

There's a company, Star Scientific that's doing research with their anti-inflamatory drug called Anatabloc (http://anatabloc.com/home/) as I believe they either just started a clinical human trial or will be shortly.

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11-19-2012, 05:27 PM
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Now people know what it is. Before, if you had it, you were just deemed not smart to put it politely. Same with Asthma in a sense. Before, it just meant you were terrible at sports.

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11-19-2012, 08:21 PM
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I don't think autism is on the rise in any way, it's just being accurately diagnosed more now. Back in the day, autistic folks were likely just considered spazzes or suffering from a form of mental retardation.

Kind of liken it to concussions in the NHL and NFL nowadays. Don't think that concussions were ever on the rise, it's just that both leagues actually now have protocols to diagnose and treat concussed players.

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11-20-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal View Post
Here's a good article on Autism and how they mix fix the problem going forward,

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/op...it_th_20120826

It sounds like if they can reduce inflammation in the body then it's going to have a big impact on treating it.

There's a company, Star Scientific that's doing research with their anti-inflamatory drug called Anatabloc (http://anatabloc.com/home/) as I believe they either just started a clinical human trial or will be shortly.
Inflammation plays a huge role in not just autism, but a LOT of diseases. It's a major paradigm for cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well. If we figure out how to better avoid systemic inflammation, we can substantially improve the lives of many. My branch does a lot of inflammation research (I work at a cancer institute).

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11-20-2012, 12:47 PM
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montreal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stories View Post
Inflammation plays a huge role in not just autism, but a LOT of diseases. It's a major paradigm for cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well. If we figure out how to better avoid systemic inflammation, we can substantially improve the lives of many. My branch does a lot of inflammation research (I work at a cancer institute).
Currently John Hopkins is working closely with Star Scientific in research with anatabine and it's impact on inflamation in regards to the Thyriod along with several other disease's. Exciting if they can make some headway there.

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11-20-2012, 12:49 PM
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better diagnosis procedures

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11-20-2012, 01:21 PM
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Vaccines.

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11-20-2012, 03:38 PM
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As someone who is diagnosed with Asbergers', I feel that the increase is basically that like all of science and medicine, we continue to learn more and more about it on a daily basis. People are constantly being made more aware of how the disorder operates and how it affects people, thus leading to more accurate diagnoses. I also think there's less of a stigma as well as more famous people and celebrities such as Adam Young, the guy behind Owl City, Daryl Hannah, and Temple Grandin all are Autistic.

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11-20-2012, 04:32 PM
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Vaccines.
Damn, beat me to it

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11-29-2012, 05:24 PM
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I know that my Asperger's doesn't make me more qualified on this point, but I'm very skeptical that HFCS causes autism. It may trick the body about what is being consumed, but I don't think it would cause symptoms of Spectrum Disorder. I'd like to know what scientists she's interviewing as well, because that honestly sounds even more absurd than the vaccine stuff.

As for awareness and acceptance, for every Daryl Hannah, there's a Jim Parsons, who, as another aspie told me, is "the Al Jolson of Autism." I also found the Temple Grandin movie exploitative, but that might be just me.

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Old
12-03-2012, 09:32 AM
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I'm with your uncle.

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12-27-2012, 12:51 PM
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Socks
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I don't know if this will come out right, but I'm relieved at the increase in focus on Autism and other Autism Spectrum Disorders. My nephew was recently diagnosed and the amount of support and treatments that my sister has discovered is extraordinary. I can remember kids when I was younger that probably were on the spectrum but nobody knew it and they were lost and their parents didn't know how to help their child. In fact my sister was just telling me about a 15 year old who has just been diagnosed. My heart went out to his parents (and him, of course) because I see the difficulties my sister and bil are having even with all the help they have gotten; to have 15 years of no help and support outside of well-meaning and loving, but ultimately untrained family would be so hard.


Last edited by Socks: 12-27-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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