Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


A Brief Update on Autisim

posted by Linda Mintle

childIf you have a chance to listen to Geneticist Wendy Chung’s TED talk on autism, do so. She briefly summarizes where we are on better understanding the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Here are a few of her points:

1) Autism is a spectrum disorder which means it looks different in different children. There is a wide range of symptoms and functioning.

2) Better awareness of the disorder and symptoms  and a wider definition of the disorder have led to more diagnoses. This may explain why the rate of 1 in 88 is higher than previous decades.

3) While we are still unclear as to why some children develop autism, we are clear that vaccines DO NOT cause autism. The original study associating vaccines has been pulled by the Lancet because it was fraudulent and the author has lost his medical license. Furthermore, the ingredient in the vaccines thought to be the culprit was removed from the vaccines in 1992 and the rate of autism has not decreased.

4) A few associated factors are paternal advanced age, exposure to certain agents during pregnancy and genetics.

5) Genetics play a role but the role varies. In some children, there is no family history of autism. Thus a gene or combination of genes are mutated or changed creating the condition with no passed down genetics. In others, there may be a genetic link.

6) The disorder can result from a single gene or a combination of genes. In fact, there can be 200-400 genes that form certain combinations. This is why we see such variety of symptoms.

7) One new direction is to identify specific genes in order to target specific drugs as potential treatment; other areas of development are the use of educational strategies and technology to train the brain.

8) Families can join the Interactive Autism Network in order to help clinicians and researchers better understand autism spectrum disorder.

9) Despite the progress on identifying genetic markers, we still do not know a lot.

10) The 4 to 1 ratio of male to female is still not understood. Early identification is key. Strategies such as looking at infants biomarkers that put them at risk, e.g., not socially connecting and tracking with eye movements, are being developed.

 



Previous Posts

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon
I'll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, "No one will play with 'Sandy' because she doesn't do what they say!" I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle. Would you be

posted 7:00:24am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Look Before You Lock: Leaving Kids in Hot Cars
It's August. It's hot! You just need to run into the store for a few minutes to grab a few groceries. Your six-month-old is sleeping soundly and he really needs a nap. Should you leave him be and run in to the store? With all the news about children dying in hot cars, the Dr. Linda Mintle radio sh

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

More Bad News for Pot Smokers
As the legalization of marijuana gains momentum, more data pours in that is NOT good news. Here are some of the findings: Sometimes, marijuana is addictive. If you begin as a teen, you have a higher chance of developing an addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Use, about 9% who

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Robin Williams: Laughter and Sadness
The news that Robin Williams had died, hit me hard. This incredible funny man was introduced to me as an alien on Mork and Mindy. Immediately, one could see the quick wit of a comedian destined for stardom. He made us laugh! Then he broadened his stage to movies and made us cry, cheer and feel i

posted 6:19:47am Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

And the Winner for the Highest Calorie Meal in a Restaurant Goes To...
Are you on the go and too busy to cook? Before you pull in to that chain restaurant for a quick meal, consider the calorie count of some of the meals. You might be a little sticker shocked when it comes to the high count. One group hands out awards for those meals that go over the top in terms of

posted 7:00:46am Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.