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April 2nd, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Latest on autism research

By Madison Park
CNNhealth.com writer/producer

April 2 is U.N.-declared World Autism Awareness Day. A life touched by autism is one forever in search of new information, and answers to the questions "Why did this happen?" and "How can I help my child?" Here's a brief wrap of some of the latest headlines about the mysterious neurological disorder, which affects as many as 1 in 110 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In March, a federal court ruled that the evidence supporting an alleged link between autism and a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines was not persuasive, and that the families of children who have  autism were not entitled to compensation. Vaccine court finds no link to autism

In February, a notorious study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and digestive disorders, was retracted 12 years after it was published.  Its lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research by the British entity that oversees doctors.   Medical journal retracts study linking autism to vaccine

As research  indicates that the rates of autism are increasing and that about 1 percent of the children in the United States have the disorder,  there is an increasing body of science looking into causes and contributing factors to the mysterious condition.

Here are some major findings according to Autism Speaks, a leading advocacy and education organization.

1) Two major studies using different methodologies reached similar conclusions: autism is on the rise.  Four years earlier, autism spectrum disorder was found to affect 1 out of 150 children, but more recent data suggest it's closer to 1 in 91 or 1 in 110 children, depending on the study.  Research also found that autism is four times more common in boys than girls.

Prevalence of parent-reported diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder among children in the US

Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders – autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network

2) Delivering early intervention programs for children with autism improved IQ, language skills and adaptive behavior even for those as young as 18 months.

Randomized, controlled trial of an intervention for toddlers with autism: the Early Start Denver Model

3) An autism genome study found a genetic variation associated with the genes cadherin 10 and 9, which are responsible for forming nerve connections. This suggests abnormal interactions between neurons may cause the deficits seen in autism.

Common genetic variants on 5p14.1 associate with autism spectrum disorders

4) Researchers analyzed submicroscopic DNA deletions or duplications called copy number variants in the autism genome and found a new cellular pathway called "ubiquitin pathway," in the pathology of autism.

Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes

5) A study demonstrated that combining drug and behavioral treatments were more effective than drug treatment alone for reducing challenging behaviors.

Medication and parent training in children with pervasive developmental disorders and serious behavior problems: Results from a randomized clinical trial

For the complete list and expanded explanation, visit Top 10 Autism Research Achievements

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Kevin H

    Disease de jour misdiagnosis brew. Take one part child that develops at a different rate than their peers. Take a loving parent who is a bit overly concerned or anxious. Add drug companies who make big bucks after they spend big bucks developing drugs. Add in doctors anxious to help but fearful of lawsuits. Add in a strong desire on everyone's part to find "the problem" and "fix" the problem and you have the disease de jour brew. Before anyone "freaks" out – I'm not denigrating kids with diseases – not making fun or insulting – nor their loving parents. I'm just saying that I think a lot of factors create an unhealthy environment for kids – and I also think we need to be a whole lot more careful – and make sure we include plenty of folks with common sense – and a bit of distance from "the problem". Because perhaps there is no "problem" perhaps Johnny or Johnnie is simply developing at a different pace.

    April 2, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Anna Wolk

    What a wealth of information you have all provided! I think that alone speaks to the fact that autism is definitely a spectrum disorder, and what therapies might work for one child may not work for another.
    All I know is my own experience~ my son developed on schedule until he received the MMR vaccine. Within 2 weeks his language disappeared and he wouldn't respond to his name, nor make eye contact. After having his hearing checked and several hours of testing performed on several occasion, we were told he has autism. Never heard the word before, and yet I KNEW the diagnosis was correct. In my heart, I know that the mercury in the vaccine is the cause of my sons' autism, and by same token, it may not be the cause in all cases.
    And I, like so many, SWORE I would NEVER medicate him. That is, until he hit puberty and became amazingly aggressive, and began having seizures. NOW I thank God for his meds–for my safety and his ability to cope. All I can do is love him–and love him I do!–for he is the best Adam that he can be. Yes, autism sucks–it's hard to tolerate the stares of strangers–but think of how difficult if must be for our kids! There has to be a cure/prevention and I think it's wonderful that so many people are voicing their opinions to help bring that day to realization alittle sooner rather than later!

    April 2, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. stu

    John A – it has and there's no difference in autism rates.

    April 2, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Becky

    Following my son's 4 thimerosoal laden flu shot in his life, in 2007 when he was 3 years 2 months, he over the course of 8 weeks lost all speech and eye contact, developed horrible diarrhea and started exhibiting what because severe autistic behaviors. His pre-school had to move him out of their regular ed room he had been in for 2 months fairly rapidly into a structured learning program. We found not a trace of mercury in his hair 8 weeks post the shot, which is not normal- if one has any ability whatsoever to detoxify heavy metals then trace amounts should show up in hair from normal environmental exposure and well above reference levels should show up after a bolus 25ug injected exposure. A sophisiticated porphyrins test 8 months later proved a significant heavy metal burden still lodged in his body. Some speech and much eye contact and potty training has returned through chelation and digestive enzymes to help his pancreatic insufficiency, but he is still significantly autistic. There is no related family history of autism, and genetic testing available today has found no cause to cause to explain "spontaneously dramatic autisic regression" at the ripe age of 3 years 2 months coincidently starting 1 day after the flu shot per report of the pre-school teach who was first alarmed by the change the next day. While vaccine-induced brain damage certainly does not describe all autistics and I would hate for any parent to have their autistic child battle a "brain damage" label that does not apply to their child , it most certanly describes my son's cause of autism as well as many other autistic children I know. It really irritates me how many take their own single experience with autism and push this as the truth for every other case of autism. It also irritates me that the AAP/CDC state thimerosal has been removed, rates are not dropping, all the while mudding the waters in heavily advertising and pushing thimerosal laden H1N1 and seasonal flu on pregnant women and infants over 6 months. If the CDC/FDA ever decides to finally remove or forbid thimerosal from H1N1 and seasonal flu shots given to pregnant woman and children over 6 months, when the birth cohort beneficiaries of such a ban are 4-6 years old and assessed for autism, we would finally be able to determine what % of autistic cases resulted from vaccine thimerosal exposure. Looks like we are well more than 6 years from that assessment, as the expected statictically signifant drop in autism for these birth cohorts would have a pretty devastating imact to vaccine court and pharmaceutical industries.

    April 2, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. bieasy

    In 2000, our son was 5 years old and wasn't saying a single word. When he tried to communicate he used to use his own vocabulary like: 'bush' for sleeping, 'swip' for eating etc... My wife and I were desperate. As the age of scholarship came up, we decided to give him a 'last chance' and we registered him in a 'normal' school. As an excuse for being speechless, we told the teachers that we came from another country, which was true, but we avoided to specify that that was four and a half years before. To our great surprise we noticed some significant progress in the first month of school. Actually, he suffered from a type of audition dyslexia, and as soon as he started to link the first letters of the alphabet to the sounds he heard, he started to speak. Today, he is fourteen years old and he speaks perfectly. He has some difficulties in literature, but he is gifted in math.

    April 2, 2010 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Andrew

    More information on what Cellceutix Corporation is doing towards finding a cure for autism: http://www.otcshowcase.com/?cat=16

    April 2, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Amy

    My 6 year old is autistic, and he makes each one of us laugh every day, he draws our family together in ways that no one else could. We are the protectors and the biggest fans of Jake. I fear the future for him and know that life in this world will always be a social struggle. For now he is oblivious, he wakes up happy and goes to bed happy echoing his favorite phrases of the day. God Bless Jake and all the other individuals out there that are unique and special in their own way.

    April 2, 2010 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ute

    Of course everyone is different and that's directly linked to genes and epigenes, the switches that turn genes on or off . Depending on how they are potentially affected by external factors, this will determine the disease progression in a person and symptoms they do and do not get.

    April 2, 2010 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Eric

    The amount of misinformation in some of these posts is astounding. A few examples:

    Jay claims that the amish do not vaccinate, and do not get autism. Both of these statements are wrong. Many Amish communities do vaccinate, and the Amish appear to have similar autism rates to non-Amish communities (although Amish are less likely to seek a diagnosis), with no apparent difference between Amish communities that vaccinate and those that do not.

    John A asks why no one has looked at autism rates between vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations (a question echoed by others). These studies have been done in Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada and Japan. In all cases, no difference was seen between vaccinated and non-vaccinated kids.

    dan claims that the symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism are identical. They are not. There is some overlap, but autistic kids do not show many of the symptoms of mercury poisoning (narrowing of field of vision, severe psychosis, microcephaly, etc).

    The simple reality is that there are thousands of scientists looking into the causes of autism. As in any field, a few of these may be bad people, motivated by selfish goals, but the vast majority are people who have dedicated their lives to improving human health. This notion that there is a vast conspiracy between scientists, doctors and the government is absurd.

    April 2, 2010 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Pam

    Heavy metals like mercury may well be to blame, but it seems silly to blame the trace amounts in vaccines with the huge amounts loose in our environment. If you have ever eaten tuna, you've likely been exposed to far more mercury than in a single vaccination. I do not think it is a coincidence that the rise in cases of autism parallels the rise of pollutant levels since the dawn of the industrial age. Those people still focused on vaccines as the cause of autism "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel".

    April 2, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. onceagain

    Heidi, I agree with you. People be careful of quick-fix treatments! I knew someone in the natural medicine community that tried to get me into their "program" to eliminate mercury and other toxins from my child with a "special" machine. I rode out the Aspie trials (so many!) and I know that homeschooling, out of all the many, many things we tried, worked. No bullying, etc. and you can help them develop and try out things in the world at their own pace. My kid will be 21 soon and as other posters have said, he is much better. Diet is so important – but spending lots of time with them is the key!

    April 2, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Michele R

    @James Wilson....I was given Pitocin with my daughter after my water broke and contractions stalled. I agree that it would be a good idea to do a survey, because you may be on to something with the Pitocin.

    By the time my daughter was 2, we knew something was wrong and got help immediately. From that point until she was ready for kindergarten, she got intense behavioral therapy and school teaching. She was mainstreamed into regular kindergarten with no issues whatsover. She is now almost 9, and praise God, is considered "recovered."

    I see many parents who are in denial, and it's disappointing. Having been through this, it is easy to see the behaviors in children that are not "normal." If you don't catch this early, you lose ground rapidly. The issue is how to delicately approach the parent, without making them feel like they are not being a good parent. I found the best way to do it is to engage the parent in conversation and then gradually say I had the same problem with my daughter, and I had her evaluated, and this is what we did.

    If you have any inkling or feeling that something just isn't right, you need to go with your gut. Do not let your pediatrician dismiss your observations. Keep a journal of behaviors and incidents, and what may cause them. My daughter ended up with sensory issues and dx'd with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Check with your county and see if they offer services to evaluate your child. They will come out to your home at no cost. They then determine a possible diagnosis and recommend professional evaluation from there, but will set up therapy for your child in your home for any child under 3. We were fortunate that our county covered all of the therapy, and the school district drove her to her school from the time she was 3 until 5. At one point, between school and behavioral therapy, she was getting 20 hours of "therapy" a week!

    God bless all of the parents out there struggling with this every day. We need to keep fighting for our children!

    April 2, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Michael

    If anyone truly wants to study whether or not there is a connection between vaccines – and/or vaccines and then taking aspirin for a fever related to a vaccine – why not give data that illustrates how many children have autism who have never received those vaccinations in question. Or the data that gives numbers for the occurrences of autism in countries that have a different method and time table for vaccinations.

    Where is this data and more importantly, who is conducting it because I have never seen such information.

    April 2, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Maurine Meleck

    CNN should fee l ridiculous for putting out this piece which tells us absolutely nothing new about autism. In fact, there's been nothing new in this area for years and it continues to be as mysterious as an Agatha Christie book, according to government and health agencies and their slaves, the media. Between that and the nonsense genetic studies that can't and never will tell us anything about autism-(there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic) and celebrating world autism day–can we celebrate that the numbers are increasing faster than the number of flat screen tv's sold? Or should we celebrate by now every person on this planet is aware of autism, but we cannot stop it?
    Where's the vax vs unvax study? If I read one more article about THE MYSTERY of autism(that is not a mystery to tens of thousands of parents), I'm going to puke.
    Maurine Meleck

    April 2, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Grace

    I worked in a residential institution for the mentally retarded one summer in college in the early 60s. most of the people I worked with were children or teens; about a third had Down syndrome; the others were just 'retarded.' As I think about some of the kids I worked with - they were clearly autistic and today would be so diagnosed, but in those days, they were 'slow' didn't talk, couldn't learn and were thus diagnosed as retarded and sent away. I would wonder if the diagnoses of retardation have not gone down as the diagnoses of autism have gone up.

    Those who assume dropping vaccines is wise should remember what it was like before them. My uncle died at 18 mos of diptheria; my grandmother at 24 of the flu; my 6th grade teacher's young adult son died of polio and in the same epidemic my brother's close friend ended up in an iron lung at age 7; the son of a friend of the family died of measles and another ended up deaf; my cousin's now 44 year old daughter had meningitis as a baby and has never been toilet trained, spoken or been anything but a giant toddler who still lives with her parents; a woman athlete at a local college here had her arms and legs amputated with meningitis a few years ago.

    There are high stakes in not vaccinating.

    April 2, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Linda

    @JackieMonroe– TY for taking the time to respond– it was very helpful. Blessings to you and your family...

    April 2, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Susan O

    This MISinformation and ignorance in this feed is frightening.

    I've worked with severe autistics for 25 years, including living with one.
    – if homeopathy "cured" autism, it wasn't autism.
    – if you're alive to read this, thank a vaccine, because 100 years ago, chances are you'd be dead from a disease no one sees today.
    – Anybody ever seen a Rubella (german measles) baby, caused by a mother that WASN'T vaccinated? Spend time with a child who is deaf, blind, severely retarded and has major heart issues, and you will bless that vial of life.
    – you can blame pitocin, mercury, dogfood, whatever you want. Doesn't make it true. Let's talk about standing too close to Microwaves while pregnant, downing Nutrasweet because you aren't supposed to gain weight while pregnant. Let's take a SERIOUS look at the pesticides that pollute even non-farm land, the same ones that are disrupting frogs so bad the males are turning into females. There are a million things we SHOULD look at, but we're stuck walking in circles beating the dead horse of mercury and vaccines instead of researching them.
    – 40 years ago, we knew, through studies done on thalidomide babies, that autism begins in the first 21-28 days of gestation – NOT after birth or at 2 years. You may not even know you're pregnant yet, and your baby's already on the road to flapping. We also know older fathers are more prone to autistic children. Stop looking at what the child's gotten into, and start testing the PARENTS for environmental toxins.
    – Of course you're going to see a rise in autism – that's where the funding is. At the moment – especially all these high-level and Asperger diagnoses – Autism is most likely over diagnosed. Because we have no definitive diagnostic test – a language issue, a sensory-integration issue, you CANNOT have an accurate diagnosis. Thirty years ago your shy child with a speech issue was just that – a shy child with a speech issue who was perfectly normal by the age of 12. Today, they could be labeled autistic, because in our present school situation's emphasis of social skills over academics, the shy loner who likes trains and doesn't care about designer labels and who lost on American Idol obviously has a social disorder.
    – No one is going to take a really good look at autism. Ever. There is no miracle cure. It's not cute. They can improve, but they won't ever recover. And every 10 years or so, the behaviors will morph again and what worked at 20 won't necessarily work at 30. Every cause needs a poster child, and you can't have a poster child who's beaten themselves bloody and is smearing and eating their own feces. That's not PC. If you're kid isn't severely involved, I'd question the diagnosis, and ask about alternative diagnoses.

    I've been dealing with the sleepless nights, the ER visits, the panic attacks that result in seizures, the incident reports from worksite, the ruined restaurant meals from screaming, the embarrassment of flipping out with OCB staring at the Exit signs in Walmart for too many years. I have no patience for newcomers to the autism game who have little experience or mainstreamed kids. The majority of autistics will never be mainstreamed. If you want to help autism, then volunteer to babysit and give some poor family a break. The world is full of opinionated do-gooders eager to spout, but no one seems to want to put their money where their mouth is.

    April 3, 2010 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Stephanie

    Dear Dr. Sanjay,
    Thank you so much for taking on this topic! CNN has always done a wonderful job of trying to keep this disease in the public spotlight.
    I am a mother of three, my youngest two boys fall on the autism spectrum. Ben, who is the older of the two, attends a mainstream first grade school and is about 85% 'recovered.' Jake, who is now six, is in a special autism class room environment and has made significant advancements. Ben was diagnosed at 27 months, Jake at 18 months. We immediately began looking for solutions. Both boys have had O/T, P/T, Speech therapies from the initial diagnosis. They, and the whole family worked on ABA therapy, this is actually Jake's main communication.
    We found Dr. Mary Megson, in Richmond, VA to has led us on an incredible journey that 'there is hope for these children'. The boys are on a vitamin, mineral, anti-viral, anti-fungal regiment along with the gluten and casein free diets. AMAZING RESULTS!!!
    We were told by a very well known hospital, that Jake very likely will never speak and never be potty trained. He is now hit both of those milestones and continues to progress every day.
    I know my family is not alone out there, but between the web of the proper school/learning environment, therapists, and doctor's, I would love to get our voice heard.
    THERE IS HOPE!!
    The key is early detection, educational intervention, strict diets and supplements. I hope to hear from you on this topic.
    Fondly, Stephanie

    April 3, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dawn ryan

    My son Jake has Asperger's. He is currently on Concerta to help with focus/concentration.
    I really don't know if there is an improvement or not because he has many good days and some bad ones. Anyone else on this med and if so have you noticed improvement?
    Personally I would like him to be off medications.

    Here is his website....we just launched it and he wants to meet other children with Asperger's. He is 9 years old.

    http://www.diaryofanaspergerkid.com

    thanks,
    dawn and jake

    April 3, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kelly

    Hello,
    I have a 10 year-old gifted, son with PDD-NOS. He began therapies in the First Steps program in Kentucky and continued with the Early Education program in Indiana. He has been in both speech therapy and behavioral therapy since he was 2. When he was 6, his therapists recommended testing and it was then he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and Mood Disorder – NOS. Recently, we added ABA to his other therapies. He receives some services from the school, but it is minimal to the outside services he receives. A few years ago, we found a psychiatrist we really trust.

    He is in the gifted program at his school (mainstreamed) but I find the school simply doesn't understand autism, especially at the gifted level. I would like to see more education in the school system. We have had so much trouble with school this year because I don't think any of the educators understand the implications autism has on his daily routine and school and how it spills over to home. It has been a really dreadful school year, and I'm hoping for a better school year next year.

    April 4, 2010 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Marie

    Early intervention is the key. Through sheets of tears I noticed by the time my child was 15 months that something was wrong. Autism was screaming in my head. Working in an educational environment I had first- hand experience and able to recognize it. So I started on my journey of MRI's, genetic testings, psych's, speech therapy's, Social Security (I do not qualify for benefits but nevertheless he is declared disabled), occupational therapists, and the list goes on. Speed forward to today my son is almost six years old. He was diagnosed a little over one year ago through private psych through insurance. Yes it can be done. You need to be tough and with a knife in my mouth and banging on every door I received what I needed. I am a single mom, working fulltime, no child support, never missed work, scheduled all his appointment after work, weekends and or lunchtime. You must hang tough. Cry get up and realize that your child does not have time for your drama. My hard work has paid off. He is currently in a charter school finishing kindergarten. Due to budget cuts in the school system they have yet to evaluate him from an academic standpoint. Their cutoff date is next May before he is six. But thanks to early intervention he is where he is at. My best advice is “don't give up” and “no” is not an answer.

    April 4, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Deborah

    @Matt – You're worried that my references are trying to "sell services" – what about the pharmaceutical companies and your doctor? Illness is BIG business. Follow the money. If a parent can find a way to pull toxins out of their children so the vaccine crap is removed, why is that a problem for you? There's a reason we refer to doctors as "practicing medicine".

    How dare University of Kentucky's chemistry department chair present his research linking mercury and autism. Surely he must be making money from selling his expertise....that's really got to disturb the pharma giants.

    What's fascinating to me is that when vaccinated children are given a urine test, they pee mercury. Since doctors - you know, those guys in white lab coats who sell you drugs and charge $100+ a visit - swear their shots don't contain mercury, I wonder where that mercury comes from. Unvaccinated children don't pee mercury.

    Thank goodness there are groups like Put Children First who share a protocol with parents on how to remove toxins like mercury, aluminum, embalming fluid, and dyes so a child's system can heal from being overloaded with garbage. Hurray that we don't have to have a lost generation of children, that they can get help, because every child is a blessing and they absolutely deserve the very best treatment we have to offer.

    April 5, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Carl

    Wakefield was NOT just in trouble because he was paid by lawyers who filed a case against vaccine manufacturers. That is the red herring constantly brought up and dismissed by anti-vaccination groups.

    He was in trouble because:

    1. He DIDN'T TELL ANYONE that was the case (being funded by ANYONE doesn't invalidate a report, so long as you disclose the source), but more important...

    2. He just straight out LIED about how the handful of children were selected for his study. They were in fact selected for the study, by Wakefield and his associate, after determining whether or not they had the several conditions which would later fit Wakefield's claims. But Wakefield's paper described them as "consecutive" referrals as gastrointestinal patients, implying no special selection and implying that those kids just all showed up one after the other. In fact, he grabbed some he had already examined for another study, then grabbed some others again after knowing their diseases, passing over un-disclosed other patients in between which didn't fit.

    In short, he purposely looked for kids with certain multiple conditions, but reported that he was only treating/examining some of those conditions and just happened to notice that there was a big correlation.

    All of this is revealed in the judgment against him, and several of the points he actually admitted to. The judgment stops short of saying that he was being deceptive on purpose. I will respect anyone else's belief that he was merely so incompetent that he didn't realize that his violation of basic scientific protocol was creating misleading results, although I would expect a high school student to know better.

    April 5, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tony Bateson

    So Wakefield hid some of the facts of his research did he? Try reading the Mail on Sunday dated 22nd September 1996! It can still be got. Look at Lorraine Frasers comprehensive account of Andrew Wakefield's work with a group of children presenting chronic signs of gastrointestinal abnormality and also happening to be autistic.

    Still I suppose I should be grateful that the GMC had no complaint about Andrew Wakefield's findings, since he only asked for more research to be done! The Lancet report can also still be found.

    The facts are simple. The children of the world have been grossly damaged by a US invention coming out of Texas and the totalitarian state that is autism has to be sustained at all costs. Of course an acceptance of the true facts would bankrupt the pharmaceutical industry and the US Treasury. So what things move on let it come.

    It's ironic isn't it that this is all about Shelf Life a slightly later invention also coming out of the USA.

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

    April 6, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. J. Michael Hayman [MB.BS., LMSSA. Lond]

    I am an aged medical practitioner, who while retired at age 70 +, started to realise that I had lived a long life with a mild form of high-functioning autism. (see http: http://home.exetel.com.au/hayecg [Book: ' On the Outer Looking In ' down-loadable.]).
    I dispute the various statements about the incidence of autism increasing; it may well be said that it is simply being diagnosed more often. I object to being described as "suffering" from a "disorder", "syndrome" etc.; it could equally be said that the typical majority have a disorder because they are different from us. I have seen it stated that perhaps 'we' represent the next step in human evolution! We just happen to consist of a minority, and so, like the 'odd' bird that gets tossed out of the nest, we have difficulties coping with the ways of the 'neurotypical' majority – and if we are profoundly affected,our difficulties may be such that we are totally rejected by that majority, and even locked up – I have found that my grandfather's brother suffered that fate and died as a child in an institution.......... Yes, much points to genes, and I suspect it's time we forgot all that stuff about vaccines, measles,........ and now milk !

    April 7, 2010 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Missy

    Has any one considered antidepressants when taken during pregnancy can cause autism in the baby?

    May 20, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Lisa

    Funny someone mentioned pitocin to induce labor. I have often wondered if pitocin is harmful. I developed a fever immediately after receiving pitocin. My son has autism at 14 years old. It gets harder by the day. I have no idea what the future holds.

    September 30, 2010 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
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  33. katesisco

    The revisions of the DSM: gone is ODD, the school favorite (oppositional defiant disorder) and in is the diagnosis of bipolar for autism which, if your child's diagnosis is on record up to 12/2012 you will be allowed to keep, but the 2013 autistic children will not be so lucky. Their fate is bipolar and the treatment? the strongest drugs yet. That is the treatment as autistic children are now aging out of the manageable stage into young adults.
    I now consider the merging of Ausberger's into mainstream autism a mechanism by which the records will be confused so there is no data base of 'pure' autism to compare rates of non-drug childbirth communities. I suggest the prime candidate for autism is the premature cord clamping behind the new industry of banking babies cord blood. This industry tosses out Mother Nature and says that cutting the cord to get the baby's blood is not only profitable but uses a renewable resource, babies.
    I suggest that by far among the candidates

    January 14, 2013 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Oren Rettig

    The digestive system is an intricate system that can be disrupted by disease, diet, and emotional stress. Common digestive problems such as heartburn/GERD, IBD, and IBS cause millions of Americans to suffer daily and limit quality of life. Digestive problems often result in symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, and stomach cramps. Learning more about the digestive system may help with managing these problems. "`^"

    Talk to you later http://wellnessdigest.codw Oren Rettig

    June 19, 2013 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.