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Brain scans in infants shed light on autism onset
February 17th, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Brain scans in infants shed light on autism onset

New research provides evidence that wiring in the brains of children with autism differs from typically developing children as early as six months of age, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Friday.

"This is the earliest study of brain development using neuro-imaging," says Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D. "By six months of age, even before the symptoms [of autism] emerge, the brain networks that connect different brain regions do not develop correctly."

Dawson is not only one of the study authors, she's also the Chief Science Officer of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, which, along with the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation, funded the research.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with researchers from other locations of the Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) network, studied 92 babies who were all considered to be at high-risk for developing autism because they had older siblings with the neurodevelopmental disorder. Currently, about one in 110 children in the United States has autism, according to the latest CDC statistics.

All 92 infants underwent a type of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan called diffusion tensor imaging.  MRIs do not use radiation and therefore are safe to use on babies.

Most of the children were scanned again at the age of 12 and 24 months. They were also given standard behavioral assessments for autism when they were 24 months old. After the behavioral assessment, 28 children met the criteria for autism, 64 did not.

When the researchers looked at the 6, 12 and 24-month brain scans, they found differences in the development of white matter fiber tract development – how the neurons in the brain talk to or connect to other parts of the brain – in 12 of 15 major brain connections or pathways.

The 6-month brain scans of children who were later diagnosed with autism revealed that these white matter pathways were growing faster or were more dense compared to those who didn't develop autism. That growth then appears to slow down, so that at 12 months, both groups of children seem to have similar pathway development. By the time the children were 24 months old, the toddlers who developed autism had less dense brain connections than their typically developing counterparts.

Dr. Eric Hollander says these new findings are very important because they suggest brain connectivity plays a central role in autism. Hollander, who is the director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, was not involved in the study.

He says the work done by these researchers is very unique and what's really fascinating is that they picked up the differences by studying children over time. Had the children only been studied at a single point, like at 12 months, the difference may not have been evident.

"Usually we are picking up clinical [behavioral] symptoms at 18 months, some say even earlier... clearly they are picking up alterations in white matter as early as 6 months."

Zachary Warren, who also was not involved with the research, describes this new research as "powerful" and "exciting" because he says it's the most impressive data to date that looks at the developing brain over time.

"It provides the best evidence to date that core features of autism are likely related to nerve biological connectivity. This is really compelling evidence that we should be focusing on connection and disconnection in the brain," said Warren, director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) at Vanderbilt University.

All the experts, including the study authors, caution that this doesn't mean researchers have found a way to diagnose autism using MRI scans.  The research is far too preliminary to draw that conclusion because it only included children who were known to be at high risk for autism because of their siblings.  Lead study author Jason Wolff says in a statement, "it's a preliminary albeit great first step towards thinking about developing a biomarker for risk in advance of our current ability to diagnose autism."

He says this study suggests that autism is a whole brain-phenomenon, rather than any particular brain region.

Dawson says further research needs to include other children, including other high-risk babies like those born prematurely, as well as low-risk babies – to see if the same differences in the development of white matter brain connections are seen. Researchers will also study even younger infants to see how early these brain connections seem to go awry.

Early diagnosis of autism leads to earlier interventions and, because this study identifies problems with the brain's connections before symptoms appear, Dawson is hopeful that this research could lead to earlier interventions.  She says if autism could be identified in infants before symptoms are apparent, they could receive therapies to stimulate early social development and possibly even prevent onset of symptoms.

Dawson says this study helps researchers better understand why children with autism have trouble with communication and social skills.  If different parts of the brain aren't properly connected, it helps explain why children with autism have difficulties developing complex social behaviors and language since multiple parts of the brain are involved at any given time.

Since this is still early research that provides clues to biomarkers for autism which may eventually lead to a clear diagnostic test, it's much too early to suggest regular MRI screenings to determine if a child will have autism.

Until such a test exists, parents are urged to look for early signs of autism, including:
- lack of eye contact
- failure to use gestures
- lack of social play
- child does not respond to its name by age 1

More information for recognizing early signs of autism can be found at www.autismspeaks.org and from the CDC.


soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Chartreuxe

    This study encourages me. As a parent of an Autistic 24 year old son, perhaps some others can be helped. This is the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life and the task is never-ending. My son is dependent upon me. As a survivor of ovarian cancer I have no idea how long I'll be around for him. What he'll do when I'm gone haunts me...and 1 of 110 babies is born with some form of Autism in this country now.

    We must stop the increase of Autism in our children.

    February 17, 2012 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • S Leigh

      Stop putting heavy chemicals in new born children....hence vaccinations!

      February 17, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Rob in Canada

      Chartreuxe, good luck, this is something that no parent should have to go through, but many millions do. My 3 and a half year old has autism, can't speak and may be dependent on my wife and I for as long as we're alive. We will be there for him for as long as we are able, but once we're gone, we can only hope that society will be kind to him. He's the most lovable and loving kid in the world, but I fear that there may not be a place for him in a world where politicians only care about the powerful.

      Meanwhile, I am glad that scientists are doing what they can to find a cure and to get treatment for the kids as early as possible. There have been huge advances in the last few decades and hopefully our children will be among the last generations to be afflicted by this scourge.

      February 17, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • MakeThemEatCake

      My son has a high functional form of autism (what used to be called Ausberger's Syndrom) so his main issue is with his social interaction. Right now he enjoys going to school and the early intervention therapies have been nothing short of miraculous (sp). But since he does not talk much about his day at school, we worry if he gets picked on at school he won't tell anyone. We just hope that studies like these not only lead towards better treatment but also keep in the public eye the plight of children with autism. This syndrome did not just show up one day so one needs to wonder how children in past generations that had autism were treated in society.

      February 17, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • lordshipmayhem

      S Leigh, please, crack open a science textbook. There is no evidence whatsoever that vaccination leads to autism.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • kgt

      @lordshipmayhem stop believing everything that the government is feeding you.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Stop acting as though this is the Matrix, nut-case.

      February 17, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
    • ixnay

      Enough with the vaccinations cause autism bunk.

      February 18, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • Martin smith

      There is no correlation between vaccines and autism. There is also no correlation between increased incidence of auto immune disease and vaccination.

      February 18, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse |
    • ljcjec

      Martin Smith, there are clear links between auto-immune disease and vaccinations. While there doesn't seem to be much support for vaccines causing autism, virtually every vaccine package insert includes various auto-immune conditions as potential side effects. We have a friend who got Guillan Barre Syndrome (GBS) from the flu vaccine. Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) is the most common form of GBS, and the term is often used synonymously with GBS. It is caused by an auto-immune response directed against Schwann cell membranes.

      February 18, 2012 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
    • healthychick

      is anyone aware that coal burning produces mercury fall out in the area of the power plant and where ever prevailing winds take it? asbury park press had an article about P.A. being held to higher standards for environmental pollution to the state of new jersey!! I think people have the right idea about mercury,,,just barking up the wrong tree!! also...there is an awareness that exclusively breastfed babies have lower rates of autism...that is why there is an initiative from surgeon general to implement exclusive breastfeeding in hospitals...

      February 18, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • Sharon A Bunting

      Chartreuxe, as a mother of a 2+ year old boy and being of the age of 43+, I will let nothing stand in my way of raising my son. Do you hear me, if there is one thing my son has giving to me, is to have more faith in God than ever before. My mother died when I was 12 and I wished everyday that she lived. I know she gave up on living, she lost her fight. Don't give in to it, don't, find a way to find your faith. Your faith is in something outside this physical body. I wouldn't be alive today, if I didn't have faith in God. Faith in one thing and you have to know how to use it. It is believing with conviction. I hope you can understand what I'm saying. Our bodies have the ability to heal. If we want to stay here in the physical, we can, if we want to give up and leave, we can. I pray about everything, and then I let it go and trust.

      February 19, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      S Leigh – the autism/vaccine connection has been DISPROVEN. Vaccines are helpful both to individual children and to society. They prevents children and adults from DYING needlessly. Even if they did carry a risk of causing autism – which they don't – most parents would rather their kids be alive with autism than completely dead. Quit spreading your fearmongering that causes people not to give their kids life-saving vaccines.

      February 19, 2012 at 03:28 | Report abuse |
    • LogicRules

      Even if vaccines caused autism, which is false, saying we should get rid of them is idiotic. That's like demanding that we get rid of all cars because some people get into fatal car wrecks.

      February 19, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • gstlab3

      THIS IS THE SORT OF STUDY THAT GIVES THE PRO ABORTION PEOPLE WET DREAMS I'M SURE.

      ANOTHER TOOL THAT CAN AD WILL BE USED BY THE EUGENISISTS TO WIPE OUT THE UNDESIREABLES

      February 19, 2012 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      No one is "pro abortion". You're an idiot.

      February 19, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      Now that genetic testing is gaining widespread availability and individual full genome sequencing is on the horizon for under $1000.00, I believe that we're on the horizon of determining REAL, SCIENTIFIC BASES for disease processes, predetermined susceptibilities and actual autosomal dominances. The trouble will NOT be one of obtaining the genetic testing, but of how to manage the information without indicting huge groups of the population for having 'flawed dna'. Moreover, the more genetic testing is done – the more we will realize that almost everyone will have some 'flaw' in their genetic material which predisposes them to some difficult physiology. The key will be then be in how to toggle the bad gene(s) On or Off! Here we are in a time where the Science is ahead of the Culture.

      February 19, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • DC Girl

      You don't vaccinate newborns. They don't have immune systems yet.

      February 20, 2012 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • Tooth Fairy

      Newborns are most certainly in possession of an immune system and they are given vaccinations at birth for Hep B.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • informedunionvoter

      Please stop spreading this falsehood. The study about vaccinations was debunked and thrown out. Vaccinations save lives.

      February 20, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      Yes. They do. It's heartening to see that common sense and education are winning out over supersti tion and misinformation.

      February 20, 2012 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      S Leigh: Please stop reading the hyperbolic rumors about vaccines. The Internet is a great source of information, but also a great source of misinformation. The anti-vaccine crowd is the epitome of ignorant panic, which not only endangers your children to known threats such as measles, whooping cough, or polio - but endangers all of us by letting these horrible diseases again get a foothold in our society. We've lived a comfortable life, free of horrible childhood maladies for the past fifty years. Autism hasn't increased, but the diagnosis procedure has become more precise and somewhat overly broad - as evidenced by the fact that a significant number of children diagnosed with mild autism grow out of it by the 'tween years. One doesn't "grow out of" a brain disorder. The autism diagnosis procedure is still a young science and needs to be developed further. But we do know that vaccines are not the cause, which is what these brain scans prove.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics is doing a symposium on transition issues for ASD children. We invite parents to send us a story of 2000 words or less about their experiences in helping their child/children transition to adulthood. This is such an important topic. Please see our call for stories here:
      http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/narrative_inquiry_in_bioethics/symposia.html

      February 21, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • ?.

      You might want to watch A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truths About Factory Farms. if you live near one. I'm not totally convinced that the vaccinations were safe myself. they did take thimerosol out now. but i sort of remember reading about something like this happening in the future (new world order junk which i couldn't stand reading) when i was about 20. so...i'm not shocked that it happened. i'm saddened that it happened.

      February 21, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  2. 4commonsensenow

    Well, I'm so glad the doctors find this so interesting. I guess shooting up new borns with overdoses of forced vaccines and then probe thier little developing brains with radiation must be a life's dream fundings work. I don't have to be a doctor or a nurse to know the last thing newborns need is a shot of ' corporate reality' to start thier lives. I also know the myth's being spread that breast feeding is bad is pure evil. So write and study and feather your caps, swim in your pool and sleep like the babies you really are on the issue of child safety from big pharma.

    February 17, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glasshalffull

      It said no radiation MRI. Even had a cross reference link. Why are you so eloquently hating on them for making progress?

      February 17, 2012 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • Heid Theba

      Another incoherent, misspelled rant from the lunatic fringe – you know, the vocal group who never let the facts get in the way of their "right" to vent ont issues they actually know nothing about (except what they find on conspiracy-nut.com). Please – shut up and go away, nobody cares about your paranoid ravings.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Nothing sickens me more than listening to rabid anti-vax conspiracy theorists ranting.

      First of all, they've done study after study showing NO LINK between vaccines and autism. NONE. The guy who started that propaganda against vaccines was found to be guilty of scientific FRAUD. His whole study linking autism and vaccines was scare-mongering and lies. Since then, biomedical researchers have studied groups of kids who NEVER got vaccinated and groups of kids who got the normal vaccines. The rates of autism were the same. However, some evidence is coming out that pesticides and food chemicals could have some influence on autism.

      And MRI's DON'T have any radiation. They're MAGNETIC. Magnetism is NOT ionizing radiation. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

      February 17, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • 4makingsensenow

      Where, exactly, is the portion that discusses vaccination? Oh, wait, it isn't there at all, it is all in your imagination.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • The_Mick

      Notice how you decided that "radiation" was involved even though the article says no-radiation MRI. That's the same poor logic that has people like you believing vaccines cause autism. Do you pray to a duck god because you see ducks fly north, bringing Spring with them each year?

      February 17, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      Leo– you can't legitimately prove a negative. There is no study that actually disproves the Wakefield Study, because it would be morally objectionable to actually do a study that disproves it.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Let's not get all nuts here. It's true MRIs have no radiation, so that is not a risk. However, it's still unknown what – if any – effects the magnetics behind MRIs can have on the human body, especially the developing human body. As for vaccines – if we are starting to understand that brain growth and development is different for children with autism than with those who don't, there could be any number of variables that affect that, and vaccines or the way vaccines work – triggering an autoimunne response – could play a role, which would give credence to those parents who "know" that their child was triggered after having had a routine vaccination. That doesn't mean the vaccine (or the response) CAUSED the autism, but it could mean it played a part in enhancing the symptoms. I think this study is revealing, and I hope the medical world is following up with more research.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Just an FYI to clear things up, MRIs do utilize radiation as an integral part of the device. It begins with introducing a strong magnetic field, but that alone won't provide any data. Then you have to introduce radiation (aka electromagnetic field) in the radio frequency range to excite the protons in the body (mostly in water molecules), and upon turning off the radiation your protons realign to the magnetic field and emit signals that can be interpreted by the MRI device and turned into an image. Voila. The major difference between the radiation used in MRI and say CT scans or X-rays is the frequency, so the frequencies utilized in the latter testing methods are at ionizing levels which can be damaging to the human body, whereas the former is not ionizing, therefore it does not appear to harm the human body in a measurable way. Still, the statement "MRIs do not use radiation" is incorrect. Do a little more research when discussing devices or processes you are unfamiliar with.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      Katie–

      In addition about not knowing the risks of an MRI. Children under a certain age receiving an MRI have to be put under to have the test performed. There are many, many risks to the medication used to put a child to sleep for this procedure. Don't believe me, my 8 year old just had an MRI done, I signed the release forms. There are risks for children getting an MRI.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      And Katie– THANK-YOU. My son has autism. Vaccinations did not cause it, but the auto-immune response from the vaccines definitely had an adverse affect.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • me

      if it can't be proven without a doubt what causes autism then how can vaccines and environmental factors be ruled out yet? if you don't know, how can you know? hopefully in time we will know so we can take the right measures to stop autism.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      I agree with you, this is nothing but a new avenue to make money at high risk to small babies. You have got to be nuts or just not care to allow these guys to put your new born healthy baby into an MRI scanner.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      Did you read the article? The study involved no physical ontervention.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
    • Kids in MRIs

      Kids don't necessarily have to be put under in order to get an MRI. Some facilities refuse to use anesthesia for MRIs, including the one in Riverside where my 6-day-old baby got one.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Just the facts

      The "reality" is that few of us have ever seen an iron lung b/c vaccinations dropped polio cases from 350,000 in 1988 to less than 2,000 in 2007.
      Reality is that smallpox killed 400,000 per year as recently as the 18th century and since 1979 has killed... zero.

      Do you really think the world would be better without vaccination programs?

      February 17, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      MRIs don't use ionizing radiation. And the study is extremely strong evidence AGAINST the notion that vaccines are involved in autism, which has already been utterly demolished anyway, but another brick never hurts, I guess. Not that any amount of actual, real world evidence will ever sway someone who would rather believe the ill-formed opinions of a silicone-pumped pole dancer over those of actual scientists.

      February 19, 2012 at 07:12 | Report abuse |
    • iminim

      MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies are performed using radio waves & magnets, not traditional "radiation" like that used in Xrays, CTs, or even nuclear medicine studies.

      February 19, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Ummmm..MRI uses magnetism, not radiation. You should try closing your mouth and opening some medical textbooks and learning a little bit before you speak again.

      February 19, 2012 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah isn't it amazing how Germany drugged up its population and ran Concentration Camps, drugged up Hitler, drugged up their soldiers and oh yeah, let's see that wonderful Pharmaceutical IG Farben, now call Bayer ran a portion of Auschwitz. Sure we can believe Pharmaceuticals. They only were responsible for a European and Asian War. Doctors are the absolute slime of humanity, they always have been and always will be. When you can dole out products from poison companies... People wake up. Doctors also tell you that Opoids are good for you, Anti-Depressants are good for you. If you really want to know how good and honest these Doctors are, look at Whitney Houston. Everyone knew she had a drug problem, all her doctor and her Pharmacist did was "cash in". Be sure to join the hysteria and go out and get your yearly flu shot. They don't know if they can target a strain of the Flu, but they do know after you get that shot you'll go out and buy other Pharmaceutical products to combat the Flu they just gave you, just remember it's doctor recommended, because when you take drugs and vaccines, you'll be back to see them...

      February 19, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Tooth Fairy

      Another moron brays its ignorance and paranoia.

      February 19, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • Deb Arnason

      No, vaccines do not cause autism – the preservative in them containing mercury -thiMERasol- does cause autism. Lab techs know how to induce autoimmune disorders in lab rats – inject them with mercury and then find drugs to treat autism, alzheimers, MS, lupus, fibromyalgia , the whole range of brain & nerve-damaged disorders so common these days. The solution is to give vaccines singly and without the thimerasol that preserves their shelf-life and damages children. Havi

      February 20, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      This is not true. There is NO evidence that thimerosal causes autism.

      February 21, 2012 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
  3. betty

    Chartreuxe, I feel for you. I have two autistic nephews and my sister's life is hard. I'm sure her one son will be living with her indefinitely and I also fear for him and his brother after my generation in the family is gone. I pray that they unlock the key to the mystery behind the cause of autism and maybe in doing these brain studies, they can also offer hope for finding a cure for Alzheimer's, too. Both diseases run in my family and are extremely troubling brain disorders. It's disturbing how they both affect our most vulnerable members of society, the youngest and the oldest.

    God speed to the scientific community in finding a cure for both of these devastating diseases, soon.

    February 17, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marty

      Autism is not a disease, and many of us that have grown up with it don't want a cure. We want more understanding, especially for people to stop thinking of us as diseased or disabled. My mind works differently, but not wrongly.

      February 17, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      Autism is not a disease, it is a set of symptoms that has a label. There is NO proof that all autism cases have ONE genetic cause.

      People used to think cancer was one disease, and it is THOUSANDS of diseases. The same will happen with autism, eventually we will know what certain cases of autism were caused by, but NOT all.

      My son is autistic and did not talk until age 5, and was not toilet trained until age 7. He has a mitochondrial disease which caused his autism symptoms, and once he was treated with Coenzyme Q10 for the mito disease, he improved GREATLY. But the mito disease is so rare that NO ONE tests autistic kids for it.

      They should be doing lactate, pyruvate, and Coenzyme Q10 testing on ALL autistic patients. And if you think I'm nuts, look at the details of the only award for vaccine damage causing autism, the girl has mitochondrial disease causing the autism.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      @Marty – I think you have a great point. I believe not everyone has to conform to what the 'standard' is, whatever that may be.

      March 1, 2012 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
  4. jojo61397

    As a parent of a child with autism, I fear that studies like this will lead to Eugenics. If we find a way to detect autism in infants, babies, and fetuses in utero, what result do you expect? It wouldn't be a broader understanding of a condition, it would be an excuse to abort or give up a child.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Oh, for Pete's sake...

      What makes you think they won't try to find treatments and solutions? What kind of paranoid fantasy world do you live in where medical researchers spend years of their lives trying to understand a problem so they can use it as an excuse to kill babies?

      February 17, 2012 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      The paranoid fantasy world where 90% of children diagnosed in utero with downs syndrome are aborted... The paranoid world where environmental and other factors that could cause autism are completely disregarded, and only genetic reasons are investigated. The paranoid fantasy world where the school districts don't actually follow the law laid down by IDEA and hide autistic children in a closet of a classroom and pray that the parents will just go away. The paranoid world where the PSYCHIATRISTS are writing most cases of autism out of the DSM-V, so that less children will be diagnosed, less children will get necessary services, and less children will benefit from treatment. These aren't delusions, these are facts.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • just wrong

      what is wrong with eugenics?

      February 17, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Marty

      "As a parent of a child with autism, I fear that studies like this will lead to Eugenics. If we find a way to detect autism in infants, babies, and fetuses in utero, what result do you expect? It wouldn't be a broader understanding of a condition, it would be an excuse to abort or give up a child."

      As a person with autism myself, it almost seems like you consider me a lesser person, as if my genetics are somehow less so eugenics is inevitable. If we find a way to detect autism, it just means parents can be prepared, and armed with useful information and support so their children can grow up and live a life they're happy with. I would argue that autism presents many aspects that are superior to "normal" people, such as the fact that I find it damn near impossible to lie, and when I do I'm hopeless at it. Or the fact that I have an IQ of 147 at the age of 28. Or the fact that we see and observe the world in a way that many NTs don't. With that in mind, I think it's safe to say we are different; we aren't inferior, we aren't superior, just very different.

      What we NEED is for NTs to understand that, not to fear it or look down on us as lesser beings. The only parent that's going to consider abortion is a terribly uneducated or ignorant one.

      Autism isn't Down's Syndrome. It is a developmental condition, and I wouldn't even call it a disorder. What people see in me as a disorder, I see as a capacity for a different measure of understanding. It wasn't always the case for me. And most cases of autism are not being written out of the DSM V, but merely being recategorised. I have Asperger's, which will not change. It will now be called High-Functioning Autism, and be given a category.

      Your reasoning is very paranoid. Instead of hindering the way of science, we should be opening people's minds to it. Parents would only consider aborting their autistic children if they were afraid, but there is nothing to fear. The problem is they don't know that. The problem isn't the science, or the research. It's the critics who know nothing about what they're talking about. Like anti-vaxers

      February 17, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Marty, sadly not every parent would agree with you. In fact, most nt's do see autism as a problem rather than a difference. I consider myself a translator to my autistic son. I'm trying to help him understand nt's so he can get along with them but he's able to speak and understand. To the parents of children who are mute and locked away in their world only communicating by screaming and hurting themselves, they feel it's something that needs to be fixed. The fact is, there are children unlike you and my son ARE suffering and there needs to be treatments to help them.

      Because of this, I am afraid that pressure will be put on pregnant women if they are told that their unborn child is autistic. They may be told only the worst case scenario. I don't know how much truth there is to it, but on wrong planet, they maintain that one of the most prominent autism organizations that claims to speak for the autistic funnels much of its funding towards finding a way to prevent children from being born with autism. Take that how you will, but it angers me because the world needs people like you and my son.

      February 17, 2012 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      Marty– I have aspergers. I don't think of my self as a lesser person, but I fear that studies like this will some day lead to abortions and other issues like eugenics.

      February 17, 2012 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • informedunionvoter

      Hi Marti, I wish there was a like button here! I agree with your earlier comment about it not being a disease. I like this statement of yours as well: "I would argue that autism presents many aspects that are superior to "normal" people, such as the fact that I find it damn near impossible to lie, and when I do I'm hopeless at it. Or the fact that I have an IQ of 147 at the age of 28. Or the fact that we see and observe the world in a way that many NTs don't. With that in mind, I think it's safe to say we are different; we aren't inferior, we aren't superior, just very different."
      I think most people picture the rocking mute child when they think of autism, primarily because of the way it has been presented in TV shows and movies, when the truth, of course, is that it manafests so completely differently in each person and that it is possible for people with autism to live perfectly normal lives. I am a spec. ed. teacher and have had kids on various points of the spectrum. I loved everyone of them just the way they were. It would be hard to imagine the world w/o einstein. Brains are cool. Everybody is on the spectrum somewhere, Who is to say what is "normal"?

      February 20, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
  5. slcota

    This is encouraging news... My daughter is almost 3, and we are beginning the process of testing her to see if she is autistic.. I am scared for her. She is very high functioning, but is such a handful. BUT knowing will help her get the help she needs- more than just the speech and developmental therapy she is already getting. 1 in 110 babies is an alarming number.. keep working to find the cause!!

    February 17, 2012 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • glennrobert

      Being a handful at age three is quite normal!

      February 17, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      @glennrobert: you aren't there, so you can't make the (implied) judgment that her daughter is the "regular" handful that three year olds are. I have a son with this condition, and describing his behaviors to others left them thinking we were overreacting. But if you are in the midst of it, just saying "my son was screaming at Target" doesn't really get across the magnitude of what's going on. I got so tired of people looking at me as if I was some kind of bad parent... when it was the fact that my son was triggered by certain colors and sounds to tantrum. Keep your opinions and implicit judgments to yourself, because you just don't know.

      February 18, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  6. Little Hippo

    have they found where it comes from? is this a genetic mutation? what causes this? ( i am very ignorant of this condition. i do not know anyone who has been affected). as a woman who aspires to be a mother one day, i am starting to educate myself more about these things.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Heather

      There is a lot of information to be had with an online search. I came across the word Aspergers about six years ago when I was trying to find out why my son was so different. There are genetic links that can be seen. Looking at my family, I can see that my grandfather, uncle and father all are high functioning and my husband and I both have some traits. After doing some research, you'll understand it better and you can probably take a look at your own family tree and know if you are more likely to have a child with Autism. (Aspergers is being phased out as a diagnosis) Chances are that if you are unfamiliar with autism, then you aren't any more likely than average to have a child with it.

      February 17, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
  7. me_again

    i know entire article has nothing to do with vaccines, but they do mentioned these time frames:

    6 months white matter grows more dense in child with autism, 12 months becomes equal to counter parts, then by 24 brain is less dense than counterparts.

    it would be nice if they would mention if the children did receive a vaccine at anytime during these scans. the standard "bad guy" MMR vaccine is scheduled at 12 months. could that slow down some growth an autistic child needs? idk.

    i am not saying that is the cause i am just wondering. there is no mention of this factor in the article.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marty

      That's because vaccines have been ruled out as a cause of autism entirely. Repeatedly. Over and over and time and time again. The real researchers aren't looking at vaccines anymore because they aren't worth their time or budget limitations.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      It isn't mentioned because there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of a link between vaccination and autism. The only source for such a link has been found to have falsified his data in hopes of cashing in while shorting a vaccine company, and his coauthors have unanimously withdrawn their names from the article and condemned his work and conclusions. Oh, and there are the loud-mouthed yammerings of a silicone-pumped former pole dancer, which seem to carry more weight than anything an actual scientist might say.

      February 19, 2012 at 07:17 | Report abuse |
    • fiapop

      No links between vaccines and autism right? Just like decades ago there were no links between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. And how doctors actually recommended ciggarettes to patients. Vaccines are FILLED with heavy metals... heavy metals have been proven to cause encephalitis.. brain inflammation. Which is a common trait in many neurological disorders. Dont trust the govt 100% please. Do YOUR own research. Look at both sides of story and make your own decisions. There is somuch corruption in the govt and the FDA that its hard for me to believe them on any topic. FDA allowed Bayer to sell its medicine that was infected with HIV virus to other countries after it was banned in the US. Research Dr Burzinsky movie. Watch it on netflix. This society is driven on money and power. Cancer has a cure... Nutrition. They can't patent organic vegetables.... so they keep killing is with chemo and radiation. Wake up America!

      February 19, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Oh, for Pete's sake. The "heavy metals" you are blabbering about along with other substances are found in such minute levels in vaccines that they are far below toxic.

      Stop posting your hysteria and hyperbole. Anyone with a brain knows you're crazy.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
  8. Meir Weiss

    Reblogged this on Meir Weiss' Blog.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Sy2502

    That there's still people who bring up the vaccine crap shows me the level of stupidity afoot in this country. When no amount of evidence can convince you, I know you believe what you believe because you are completely irrational.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • me

      I am not stupid or irrational. I just think that until a cause is accurately identifed you can not rule vaccines out. We all have to wait for the research to find the answer. Until then we just do not know.

      Calling ppl stupid over something you can not prove without a doubt seems more irrational to me.

      February 17, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • lordshipmayhem

      Me, look at the other studies – the ones which, unlike Mr. Wakefield's discredited piece of fraud, show no link to vaccination. When you have no indication that there's a link, repeatedly, then chances are excellent that no link exists. It can't prove there's no link, because you can never prove a negative, but you also can't prove that the Celestial Teapot doesn't exist, either.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • Marty

      Me, I might suggest ruling vaccines out based on numerous studies conducted since Wakefield's research was first done, including a particularly famous Danish one, that have concluded that there is no link between vaccines and autism, but I'm sure that people have done that before and you have ignored them outright. You can rule out something if it is disproven, that is, proven to be NOT the cause.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      If the facts don't fit the conspiracy, build a bigger conspiracy.

      February 19, 2012 at 03:08 | Report abuse |
  10. Brandi Castro

    Is the benefit worth the risk? My name is Brandi Castro and I am a medical student. The goals of a treating physician and a researcher are very different, however they are often the same person. The motives of a physician are to do no harm and provide the best care to every patient in an equal and fair way. Researchers are hoping to learn something from their study to benefit future patients and improve their own reputation. This means that the patients could benefit or be harmed in the process. Research is a crucial part of progression in terms of diagnosis and treatment of diseases but it is important to be aware of this dichotomy.

    This study showed selection bias, as they only chose infants with a predisposition to developing autism because of a sibling who has the diagnosis. That means the families of these infants are already under a heightened level of stress. They were already faced with a diagnosis for their child that has no definitive cure. Is it a good idea to subject these families to additional stressors by running experiments on their next child? I don’t think it is fair to these parents. Even though the MRIs are not exposing these babies to radiation, it isn’t the most harmless imaging modality. The exam itself takes 30 minutes and a sedative often has to be used to keep the infant still for that amount of time.

    In addition, very few autistic individuals move off the scale of having autism spectrum disorder. Even those that do “lose their diagnosis,” as the Autism Speaks website claims, may still have some autistic symptoms. They just may not have enough symptoms to be diagnosed according to the DSM IV criteria. The Autism Speaks website also notes that these individuals are often misdiagnosed or go on to develop a diagnosis of ADHD. Although it is vital to do research on Autism, the parents of autistic children are doing their best to raise a child with a disease that has no cure. Let’s not let our desire for progress cloud our judgment and subject families to more stress than necessary until there is hope of a cure or solution to this devastating diagnosis.

    February 17, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ally

      While I think it's good that you're considering this, the families would have consented to these tests. I know several families with children on the autism spectrum and every single one of them would jump at the chance to participate in a study that may help to find a cure.

      February 17, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Becca

      Although I appreciate your concern for these families, if you refer to the actual published article in the Journal of Psychiatry, you will see that these MRI scans were completed on babies late at night while they were naturally sleeping. This is an important point for those who think the risks of the research outweigh the benefits. It is clear that there is much to be learned from these types of studies for those who are interested in figuring out exactly what is happening in the brain development of children who are already at risk for autism. Because the media only reports on their take of the research study, it is important for people to read the details of the study before making rash decisions as to the methods used to obtain the MRI data. The best way to get the whole story is to read the published article. In addition, it seems to me that parents who already have one child with autism would be the ones who would have the most to benefit from this type of study. These findings can only help to work towards more early intervention strategies.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      This is hardly a stress inducing study on anyone. Parents with one child probably want to know as early as possible if their next child has it so they can receive the best care possible as early as possible. These parents were lucky to be included in this research.

      February 18, 2012 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • Mimi

      Your thoughts are well conveyed, until you called autism a disease with no cure. It's not a disease, a med student should know this.

      February 23, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  11. BanLawnPesticides- its the myelination people!!!!!

    This is NOT at all surprising and confirms many peoples theories including mine. The connections between the brain hemispheres, the corpus callosum, account for the majority of the white matter in the brain. Girls have larger more developed connections and thus less Autism. Autism is strongly associated with a disordered or reduced corpus callosum structure. What is missing in this study and many others is attempting to scan and weigh the amount of myelin surrounding the nerve bundles and comparing these to the level of autism to see if there is a correlation. Its clear that pesticides originally derived from nerve agents are designed to kill insects by damaging nerve sheathings of insects. All these chemicals and pesticides are entering our children through the environment in-utero and causing the damage prior to birth. The thing the VAX nuts don't get is that the brain continues to myelinate from about 5 weeks post conception to about 18 years old. A key period of myelination occurs just as children are being diagnosed as autistic.

    We should stop Monsanto, Scotts and everyone else from poisoning us. Pesticides & Chemicials cause de-myelination or prohibi myelination in white matter. Stop that and we will stop many illnesses.

    February 17, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Heather

      I was living in a fishing village in the middle of nowhere where pesticides weren't used when my autistic son was born. Funny enough, my grandfather, uncle and father all have the same traits. I knew the first week of his life that he was different because he didn't snuggle around me to nurse like his sister did. I laugh at the vaccine/environmental sabotage conspiracy theorists. You're going to have to present me with some really solid science to sway my opinion.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Heather, your posts are a breath of fresh air.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      wrong, insecticides inhibit breakdown of neuro transmitters causing nerves to fire continuously. Has nothing to do with myelin.

      February 18, 2012 at 01:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      @Heather: I totally agree with you. My youngest child has autism, and I noticed differences from birth. He was a preemie, I was 38, had preeclampsia, and he already had several temperament issues. The NICU nurse said he had a "temper" noting it a couple of times. He never tracked my movements, never said "Mama" and missed most of the social milestones as an infant. If I had not already had two other children, girls, I would have missed all the red lights like, "Oh, he's a boy. They're different." Since I'm a teacher (first preschool and then later elementary and secondary), I have seen many behaviors that ultimately lead to autism, I persisted in believing that something wasn't right. He eventually showed signs of ecolalia, perseverative behaviors, and oral fixations like chewing on furniture and everything else in the house. He would stand in front of the TV cabinet and open and shut the doors for an hour, and I could not distract him without a screaming tantrum. I got my baby into therapy( after a diagnosis), and now he's in public kindergarten, reading at a higher level than most of his classmates, is a math whiz, and knows almost as much about computers as my computer engineer husband. Long story short, I reject the whole vaccination story, too.

      February 18, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • fiapop

      Heavy metals.. adjuvants.. and other toxin ingredients I. Vaccines cause brain inflammation. Encephalitis. It also causes a disruption in the blood brain barrier... which then allows free radicals and toxins to penetrate the brain.. increasing the chances of neurological damage. Autism is a neurological disorder. Of aluminum.. mercury.. and other chemicals thar are present in our foods.. as well as vaccines.. DO cause brain inflammation and allow free radicals to infiltrate our blood brain barrier... then one could see how vaccines and toxins in our food can increase the onset of autism and other neurological diseases. Look up Dr Russel Blaylock. Neurosurgeon and expert toxicologist. You tube him

      February 19, 2012 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      He's a quack.Blaylock has retired from neurosurgery and has taken up a career opposing science-based medicine and promoting pseudoscience-based medicine and supplements that he sells under the label Brain Repair Formula. He suggests that his supplements can treat and prevent such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He asserts that his formula "will maximize your brain’s ability to heal and reduce inflammation." The rest of the scientific community seems oblivious to these claims, which are not based on large-scale clinical trials. Blaylock also sells hope to cancer patients by encouraging them to believe he has found the secret to prevention and cure.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
  12. A long way to go

    I'm not a vaccine hater just curious why no studies have been done to test the safety of the combination of the vaccines administered at the same time. A totally non invasive study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children can be done using QEEGs and looking at hyper and hypo coherence vs norms of age matches autistic and non autistic kids. Who will fund that?

    February 17, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CEW

      What makes you think that such studies haven't been done?

      February 17, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
    • lead the way

      There are no published studies of the safety of additive effects of multiple simultaneous vaccinations. There are no published QEEG studies of pre/post vaccination autistic/non autistic. There is alot of work to still do.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • Marty

      Just because you haven't seen, or can't find, the aforementioned studies, it does not mean they don't exist.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Where is it?

      @Marty So if they exist and we can't find them what do you suggest? Someone is withholding information?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Millions upon millions of children HAVE been immunized for multiple diseases at once with NO ill effect. That's your evidence.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse |
    • ljcjec

      MaryLand, what you posted doesn't make sense. While I don't necessarily think there is a link between autism and vaccines, millions of children climb trees and don't fall out and break their backs, but that doesn't mean that every parent would feel comfortable letting their child climb a tree, especially if they knew their child was clumsy. Every person's body is different. Just because most children are capable of tolerating a certain medication/food/chemical, doesn't mean all children are. Millions of children can be vaccinated with no adverse effects while other children are very adversely impacted. Vaccine manufacturers even admit to this. If you need proof, go ahead and read the package insert for the MMR vaccine. There are very serious risks for some children.

      February 18, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Learn to read. I didn't say that NO child was ever adversely affected by a vaccine. There is no guarantee that anything we do will be 100% safe for everyone. The fact is that the vast majority of children are vaccinated safely. The fact is that vaccines are far less dangerous than the diseases they prevent. The fact is that vaccines HAVE been tested, over and over. They continue to be tested all the time.

      February 19, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
  13. Teri

    Get fast and natural hemorrhoid relief using all natural Hem-eez. Hem-eez is an all natural, fast acting, and non surgical approach to all natural hemorrhoids. Get Hem-eez and get fast relief! Go to http://www.hem-eez.com to get fast relief!

    February 17, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. nocompulsoryvaccination

    First off, the study that needs to be done is a before and after study – doing a scan of an infant's brain before vaccination and then, comparing it to a scan of the baby's brain after. What you may be seeing is the effect but you have no idea of the cause unless you study this simple before and after picture.

    Next, your assertion that there is no radiation from MRIs and therefore, they are safe, is completely incorrect! There is no ionising radiation, but MRIs give off very high levels of electromagnetic radiation. The European Union is currently debating banning MRIs (http://www.mtbeurope.info/news/2007/709029.htm) not just because of the danger to the person being tested, but also to anyone standing within 1 metre of the machine from the high levels of radiation given off.

    February 17, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • reasonablehank

      To see how wrong anti-vaccinationist Meryl Dorey (nocompulsoryvac) is, once again, see here:
      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150625967623588&set=a.144130563587.111188.143367983587&type=1&theater
      This should be a cause of great embarrassment for Meryl Dorey, who once again shows that she cannot understand the very citations she uses.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  15. nocompulsoryvaccination

    Reblogged this on No Compulsory Vaccination and commented:
    First off, the study that needs to be done is a before and after study – doing a scan of an infant's brain before vaccination and then, comparing it to a scan of the baby's brain after. What you may be seeing is the effect but you have no idea of the cause unless you study this simple before and after picture.

    Next, your assertion that there is no radiation from MRIs and therefore, they are safe, is completely incorrect! There is no ionising radiation, but MRIs give off very high levels of electromagnetic radiation. The European Union is currently debating banning MRIs (http://www.mtbeurope.info/news/2007/709029.htm) not just because of the danger to the person being tested, but also to anyone standing within 1 metre of the machine from the high levels of radiation given off.

    February 17, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      If all the children are vaccinated, and only a few develop autism, then they DO have before and after images in ALL the normal children. Electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation has been shown to have no adverse effects on living tissue and the EU is never going to ban MRIs because they are perfectly safe (although slightly expensive).

      February 18, 2012 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • Martin smith

      Meryl, as the HCCC found you do, you have once again given misinformation. For starters how is 2007 (from your EU reference) current? MRIs are not going to banned, and magnetic fields are not emr. As to your wholly irrational anti vaccination stance,that has been dealt with elsewhere, but it seems once again you misunderstand the very studies you are quoting.

      February 18, 2012 at 02:37 | Report abuse |
  16. DNADEB

    It is GENETIC! It can be inherited. And babies have to be a certain age to be vaccinated so these are newborns! It provides a baseline.

    February 17, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. DNADEB

    And what about those children who are autistic who never had the vaccine? This has been shown in studies now as well. Do the research!

    February 17, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • the right demographic

      Mennonites are the only population where there are no cases of autism because they refuse vaccinations and it is multi-generational. There is no pure population that would satisfy that study except them. An unvaccinated autistic can still have a vaccinated parent and heavy metals and other toxins do get transferred in utero.

      February 17, 2012 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • kdw31

      Mennonites and Amish do vaccinate and they do have children with autism. It is a myth that they don't. A simple internet search will demonstrate how wrong you are.

      February 17, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      This canard about Mennonites and Amish is so old it's desiccated. They DO vaccinate. And there IS autism in both communities.

      Do a little reading for a change.

      February 17, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • Genetic testing

      What is it that triggers the gene expression in one twin and not the other?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Good question. There is no answer to it, as yet. There are many aspects of autism that remain mysteries. Eventually, a cause will probably be found. But the fact that it's not know as yet does not mean vaccines are the cause.

      February 17, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
  18. Marty

    This is brilliant, finally the efforts of autism researchers who are focused on the evidence are making progress. Of course, all this means that the anti-vax crowd is going to get up in arms because their precious campaign against vaccines will take a massive hit from even more evidence, and that of course means to them that this study is wrong and someone screwed up, or any other irrational reason they can think of to tell the real scientists, "go shove it, we're right and you're wrong. You're all just in the pockets of Big Pharma like everyone else that says we're wrong."

    Even if a direct genetic cause for autism can be proven, I'm sure the anti-vax mob will find some way to continue to tie it to vaccines. Of course, when you have an ideological axe to grind, any sort of rational reasoning will likely vanish.

    Anyway, as an autistic person myself, I have grown up with a great many difficulties in life, but I like the person I have become. I don't care what cause it, in the end, but if it was the vaccines (and I'm not saying it was), then I would happily take each and every one of them again.

    February 17, 2012 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • readuh

      Hi Marty,

      Reading a few of your posts here has really brightened my day. As the mother to a young ASD son who is absolutely brilliant, I hope I am able to support him and help foster within him the sort of strength of character and acceptance of self that you appear to have. It has been clear since he was quite young that he was "different" and his differences certainly have posed some challenges. However, as you mentioned about yourself, he is also unbelievably off-the-charts gifted and exceptional in ways that "normal" (non-ASD) individuals are not and I truly believe he will be an outstanding contributing member of society. Anybody concerned about Eugenics should scroll through the comments and read Marty's posts and contrast them with the rest. A little Aspergers would do them good, LOL. Hat tip to you, Sir.

      February 17, 2012 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
  19. mary

    If you skip vaccination, you could jeopardize an entire community of an epidemic as well as the mortality of your child. Throw away the hippie philosophy and get realistic about it. Vaccination doesn't cause Autism. It is what the mother and fathers put into their food and water system and environment that causes it. It could be genetic, it could be environmental but not when you have to control an epidemic. Have you ever been in a community where scarlet fever has broken out? Or small pox? or typhoid? Take a trip to subsaharan Africa and you will encounter such environment where 10-12 children die every day of epidemic in a small village.

    February 17, 2012 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Why then?

      IIf vaccinations prevent the spread of disease do kids that are vaccinated still get chicken pox?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Vaccines do not prevent every person from contracting disease. Wherever did you get the idea they do? What they DO do is to immunize an overwhelming percentage of people and thereby protect MOST of them.

      Didn't you ever learn that nothing is sure but death and taxes?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • What percentage?

      So if 1% (or whatever it is) of the population doesn't decide to vaccinate then the herd should still survive – why freak out on the 1%?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Because it isn't just the 1% and THEY aren't the only ones at risk, as you'd know if you educated yourself. There are many people who CAN'T be vaccinated because of underlying health problems (chronic illness, age, etc.). They are at risk from the morons who CAN get vaccinated but don't get their azzes immunized. That's why children still die of pertussis.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • How unamerican

      Freedom of choice reigns – sorry Maryland you feel so angry at people who still exercise their rights. Hate is more evil that any disease.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Oh, can it, you moron. You're not about "freedom of choice" at all. You're all about ignorance, just like the rest of the nut-jobs who think there's some huge conspiracy by the FDA and "Big Pharma", as your sort like to call it.

      Go suck an egg.

      February 17, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  20. MaryLand

    Wave the autism banana and all the anti-vax monkeys start howling.

    February 17, 2012 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • How about

      What about making the vaccines with safer contents instead of formaldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate,neomycin sorbitol hydrolized gelatin,neomycin sulfate, phenol, polyribosylribitol phosphate,polymyxin, beta-propiolactone etc? We read the ingredients our food and if you don't know what it is you don't eat it – why can't it be the same for vaccines? Do we even know what all that crap is? Or what it does to anyone?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Yes, actually, I do. If you don't, I suggest you start studying. H2O is toxic, you know. Dosage matters. Figure it out.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • How about

      I'm here to learn, can you help me understand the safety levels of phenol, neomycin, aluminum that is injectable. It seems like you have that knowledge so please help.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:50 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      I'm not here to "help" you. If you are able to type on a computer, you can find the information yourself.

      February 17, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • How about

      Why are you here then? Shouldn't people like me get a fair shot at understanding your point of view and ask for supporting literature? I would like to know what you know – can't you send me in the path you have already taken?

      February 17, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      What, do you think I just fell off the turnip truck, troll? You aren't here to learn, you hypocrite.

      February 17, 2012 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
    • Martin smith

      Re toxic vaccines.. Vaccines contain those chemicals at doses much less than the required dose for toxicity. Vaccines contain a fraction of the amount of chemicals like formaldehyde and aluminum that you have naturally already in your body. And before you go the whole "injected" route, vaccines are subcutaneous or intra muscular, not intra veneous. Formaldehyde is a byproduct of liver function. The serum levels of these chemicals are much higher "naturally" than the dose you receive from vaccines. You get more mercury from your lunch, more aluminum from breast milk, and more formaldehyde from your liver than you do from vaccines. These amounts are simply not toxic.

      February 18, 2012 at 02:45 | Report abuse |
  21. Maureen Chuck

    @what about – I don't beleive you are here to learn at all. If you were you would read what Dr Guptha has written and accept it as part of learning. But you don't, you just throw up more red herrings. How is that learning? If you really want to learn go and get some education instead of asking gotcha questions that we've heard a million times

    February 17, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Hear, hear. Brava, Maureen! I'm so weary of these dimwits who attempt to impersonate sentient humans.

      February 17, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • New here

      I follow the vaccination schedule for my three kids but didn't know all those chemicals were in the vaccines, I would like to know what Maryland has found so that I can rest easy.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • toddflanders

      hey new here..try talking to your kids doctor. MaryLand's job is not to educate you. This is a comment board, not a way to earn college credit. Do your own work.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Sure you would, honey. And I'm Santa Claus. Get a cluestick and smack yourself with it. No one is so stupid as to buy your silly act. You're a troll, pure and simple (mostly simple-minded), who's here to ask leading questions that you think you can use to build a case against vaccines. Troll elsewhere, Mr. Obvious.

      February 17, 2012 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
  22. toddflanders

    Great to see that any study that discusses autism brings out the anti-vaccine people. This article has nothing to do with vaccines, but mention autism and they start singing the same old song. I weep for their ignorance.

    February 17, 2012 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dont fall for it

      You are quite blind and happy enough to swallow whatever corporate media tells you. If I were king I think I would like 300,000,000 citizens just like you!

      February 20, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • YNot

      And you're a nut-case who thinks the moon landing was faked, there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll in Dallas, and there are aliens hidden in Area 51.

      February 20, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  23. Momtosonwithautsim

    Really? Really? You would take vaccines all over again if it meant you could have high functioning autism? As a mother to a 7 year old son who has been receiving therapy since he was 16 months old, I find it irritating, disgusting and frustrating when someone with "high functioning autism" tells me or anyone else that they wouldn't change a thing. Oh, boo hoo. You have a hard time relating to people. Try being a 7 year old, non-verbal child, who is unable to communicate something as simple as an ear infection. The medical community is not researching what causes autism to accomodate those who can speak, hold a job, and function independently...they're looking to help those who struggle with simply becoming toliet trained. It is a complete slap in the face to those who deal with the real symptoms of true autism eveyday to say that you wouldn't change a thing. I bet you wouldn't. You have the ability to communicate. The research is for those who cannot. It's like someone with a simple freckle comparing their life to someone with stage 4 cancer. Why do we spend so much time worrying about what didn't cause autism, let's figure out what does.

    February 17, 2012 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jojo61397

      As someone with high functioning autism (Aspergers), who has a son with low to moderate functioning autism, I completely and totally agree with you. I don't have much empathy, it's a difficult emotion for me, but no matter what my feelings are, I know suffering, and I know that with certain aspects of his life, my son suffers, and it absolutely KILLS me. I would not change his personality one iota, but I would take away everything that comes with autism that is painful. And let me tell you that I am happy with myself, but my autism/aspergers is not a walk in a park, it's not fun, it has caused me pain. And I would change what has caused me pain too.

      February 18, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
  24. Justme

    So they started doing the MRI's at 6 months? What about before that? This study is not truly accurate because there is no control. Babies start getting vax before 6 months, so we will never know if that was the cause.

    February 18, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Vaccines have already been ruled out as a cause of autism.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • ?.

      thimerosol was removed from those vaccines many years ago, so testing today is not the same as testing then.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      Maryland, your statement is not true at all. Vaccines have not been ruled out as a cause for Autism. People are winning court cases on this very subject. You don’t know this because those cases and evidence are sealed as part of the condition of the settlements, although the plaintiffs are allowed to talk about it. The most publicly known case is Hannah Poling.

      Wake up a little bit. You still have time since you are likely in your twenties and are only capable of echoing what you have been told to think and believe. In 10-15 years you will realize just how very naive you were!

      February 22, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Yes, they have. Hannah Poling's case is one of injury, NOT autism. But don't let the facts get in your way.

      By the way, I'm over 50, and I actually know how to write decently. You? Not so much.

      February 22, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  25. Dr Bill Toth

    Encouraging step towards learning more. Were the infants vaccinated or not? Where they separated by income or education level? Was nutrition measured or monitored? and many more factors to consider as well.

    February 18, 2012 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rh

    There is absolutely NO real data in this article.

    Words like "less" and "more" are MEANINGLESS when talking about science. Give percentages, levels, something, if you want to disseminate science in mass media.

    And the most worrisome thing – when they looked back, KNOWING which infants eventually met the autism criteria, they THEN found differences. They had the answer and found something that seemed to match. No cause – effect proven.

    And you see from the posts how many people say "aha, this proves vaccines cause autism" as if many parents refuse them (let alone a parent who would subject their kids to unneeded brains scans?).

    February 18, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. B

      If you want the actual data, then read the actual study. CNN isn't written to the medical community, it's written for the "average American." The problem is that the "average American" has about as much logical thinking ability as a cantaloupe. This is why science stories get blown out of proportion into frothy-mouthed panic over "what's going to kill you." Science is not exact, and studies are just that: studies. They have to be repeated on large samples in order to have any statistical significance, and so when the media reports on these initial studies with small samples, I just shake my head and wait for the freak squad to put on their tinfoil hats and start spouting off crap about government conspiracies and what-not.

      February 18, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
  27. Kat

    My 7 year old has Autism and my 10 year old has Aspbergers. While life is a challenging rollercoaster ride I would not change a thing about them. They are the sweetest, funniest most amazing kids I have ever known and they bring me joy from the time I get up in the morning to the time I go to bed and sometimes even in the middle of the night when my littlest one wakes me up in the middle of the night so he can chatter and giggle for a few hours. 🙂

    February 18, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maria

      I am sure you did not mean it to sound as though your children function as a source of cuteness and personal entertainment. We as parents constantly worry about the needs of our children who, after our death, will live in an unforgiving and callous world with, likely as not, less medical and social protection. If we did, or will do something, that compromises their ability to be comfortable and happy – then we want to know about it.....

      February 18, 2012 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  28. Maria

    Does that mean we should rethink aggressive prenatal care? Sometimes 'more' is not 'better.'
    Maybe we are not adapted to develop with super prenatal vitamins, 'eating for two', or precocious growth.

    I have had cause to think on this as I have an Aspy son.....who was over 10.5 pounds at birth

    February 18, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Irish Warrior

    I hope this makes them eligible for abortion.

    February 18, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Thank goodness YOU showed up, Irish. I was beginning to think the number of idiots on this board was low.

      February 18, 2012 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
  30. Jumbo Jenna

    I hope they find some evidence that leads to a cure like the promising evidence they found lately with Alzheimer's and rats. I used to think autism had something to do with irresponsible parents or immunization shots but can never be sure.

    February 19, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. KnowsMore123

    Autism is a myth. Autism is what happens when people refuse to grow up. Cry me a river!

    February 19, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Addi

      Screw you!!!

      February 19, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • Tooth Fairy

      KnowsMore? Knows more than what? A retarded worm?

      You're beyond stupid if you think autism doesn't exist. But then, you knew that, since you're a teenaged troll and dumber than dirt.

      February 19, 2012 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      Your Mom's autistic.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
  32. Addi

    This is all very interesting.

    Now, someone shut your pie hole and educate my autistic child!!!

    February 19, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. BPittsburgh

    While I always want to know "why"?...I am happy with my son and see everyday as an achievement. Brainscans, Vaccinations, Herdity, Who knows? I am so glad (sarcastic) that Autism Speaks helped fund, or is helping...Seeing their last quarters donation facts was less than "Stimulating" to all the money that I have put forth in this organization.

    February 20, 2012 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Donna

    Im a single mom of a disable son of nearly 7 years old with autism and other serious health problems.I think personally everyone needs to stop blaming on things and start how to to get services to the special needs children how need it like behavorial therapy speech etc. than accusing.We have beaten the odds one mircale at a time with him starting to talk fully now, potty train and everything else through interventions and God's blessings!Stop blaming and start praying for everyone it just advice ppl you don't have to follow it! Never under estimate the power of a prayer and God and Jesus Christi healing and loving for us all!God Bless Everyone and May Love Peace and Happiness Be With You All!

    February 20, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      "how to to get services to the special needs children" Don't look for help in an election year.
      Mitt says it's people like you who are robbing us blind and stealing from his grandchildren.
      Ron Paul says "pay for it yourself, not America's problem."
      Santorum says just pray more and you'll feel happier.
      Looks like that Socialist from Kenya is the only one on your side.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
  35. tacc2

    Now, if only they can develop a test to determine if a fetus will develop autism. This way the pregnancy can be terminated and save the poor parents a lifetime of having to care for their disabled child.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tooth Fairy

      Nobody is looking to abort fetuses with autism. You've posted this same crap under multiple handles. Find a hobby, troll.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      My autistic kid says that's a bad idea, and he ought to know.

      February 21, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  36. dont fall for it

    Wow.. I hope actual curious readers quickly see through the CRAP posters like "MaryLand" are trying to shovel down your throats, as well as some of the other posters that are replying waaaay too much to have just an interest in this columns reading and study. It's like smacking big pharmas nest and the hornets come out stining like crazy (as you will see by the retorts calling me a moron or conspiracy theorist).

    Although this article is very encouraging, this information is already known within the community with family members on the spectrum. A lot of great research conducted by doctors who have family members on the spectrum and are helping to wake people up to what is going on with our environments as well as vaccines. Are vaccines the sole cause? No, but they are a contributor. Just take a look at the ingredients – there are some extremely harmful things to human bodies in these shots. The schedule alone is way too early and hard on a babies immune system.

    I recommend searching local forums in your area if you are interested in getting more information. You can always delay the shot schedule, and always review the info packet you get with each vaccine. Just remember that you received about 1/4 of the vaccines your children now get. You are fine aren't you? Big pharma is like an other business, to make money. They don't even have to show up in court for vaccine related injuries. There is a separate court system that the tax payers foot the bill for lawsuits so there is no accountability on there end as far as what matters most, the $.

    February 20, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • YNot

      Threatened, I see. Too bad none of your sites provide factual, verifiable information. Just more conspiracy theories and scare tactics. Ho-hum.

      February 20, 2012 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      I've been reading these posts, and I only see a couple of them posted under this name "don't fall for it". Yet you claim you've been targeted by another poster more than a few times. That must mean you're posting under different names. Why would you do that? Seems to me that if you had any facts, you'd post under one name and stand by your words instead of pretending that 5 or 6 other people agree with you.

      Add to that the fact that you've posted no real information or research to back up what you say, and you look less and less credible.

      Several other posters have refuted the nonsensical claim that the ingredients in vaccines are present in levels even close to being harmful.

      It's a sure bet that anyone claiming that "Big Pharma makes big money on vaccines" is misinformed and ignorant of the facts. There is no evidence that an infant's immune system is incapable of handling multiple vaccines at once. It's also been pointed out numerous times that the only reason there's a mechanism in place for parents whose children suffered an injury due to a vaccine is because without one, frivolous and baseless lawsuits would result in companies withdrawing from manufacturing vaccines here and the US would have to import them from other countries, like China.

      You can blather on and on, under any name you wish, but your hyperbole and hysteria have no basis in facts. None.

      February 20, 2012 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      I love it when self-proclaimed "experts" screw up on the "you're"/"your" thing. It makes them oh, so very much more credible!

      February 20, 2012 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      Ooops. I meant the "their/"they're" thing. Same difference. I doubt the OP can figure out either one.

      February 20, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      And "there". Poor little "don't fall". He/she fell on its azz.

      February 20, 2012 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      Ugh...to YNot, I didn't post any sites. Are you referring to the local forums I stated in my post? Sooo you checked every local forum on Autism and found nothing useful. Just stop posting. You didn't even read and/or understand what I typed.

      Eeyore... I didn't claim to be targeted ever in my post. Did you even read it? I am posting under just this tag and only twice. I very rarely post on the internet but the crap shoveling by some of these posters is so uniformed I had to say something. As far as studies done on multiple vaccinations, it is not required of pharmaceuticals to look into that – although it should be!

      .... Tucker, I think you need to take some English 101.

      February 21, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "(as you will see by the retorts calling me a moron or conspiracy theorist)." Are you saying you are NOT a conspiracy theorist? You must be the Queen of De Nile then, Cleopatra. You make post after post about the Big Pharma Conspiracy. Your tinfoil hat is showing. Half your words are misspelled and you're emotional; maybe you should admit you aren't as smart as you think?

      February 21, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "There is a separate court system " No! I'm so shocked! This is secret hidden information. Call the newspapers and reveal the existence of civil courts. So, your theory is that this is a conspiracy? Hmmm?

      February 21, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      I need to take English 101? Sorry, dude, you're the one who writes like a 5th grader. You can't figure out the "there"/"they're"/"their" bit, but you think people should heed your "expertise" on vaccines?

      What color is the sky on your planet?

      February 21, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      Hmmm. It's "uniformed"? In what, camp? Dress blues?

      You are a hoot, 'don't fall'. Thanks for the laugh.

      February 21, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Sorry, but I don't see anyplace where anyone called you a "moron".

      February 21, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      I am speaking the truth; you just don’t have the eyes to see it yet.

      February 22, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Nobody without special 3-D glasses or X-ray vision can see it because it isn't there, you fraud.

      February 23, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
  37. RDFinOP

    This is exciting research and worthy of follow up. It needs to be replicated and if that is successful, they need to do MRI's of many babies, analyze them and then wait to see if they are right without doing any sort of intervention. That's cold hearted. Maybe there is a way to watch the whole sample for early behavioral indications so they get the research results they need and start interventions as early as possible. Eventually, if this technique is proven, babies can be scanned and interventions can start before the behaviors emerge. Very cool.

    The other reason this is exciting is that it provides clues to the cause. If brains are changing at 6 months, we are narrowing down the timeline.

    February 20, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Hmmm

    It has to be something from our technological age, either Vaccines, birth control, food additives. The Amish don't have autism.

    February 20, 2012 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • YNot

      Yes, they do. Good grief, how can anyone be ignorant of this fact?

      February 20, 2012 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      The Amish are ashamed of them and hide them, but they have them all right. Quit perpetuating that myth. Next you'll be back on the 'vaccines cause it' hoax.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  39. Daisy

    I don't know why this is breaking news, we've known for a long time that autism is a brain connectivity problem. What's needed are cures for those who are already afflicted – as is my precious 7-year old son. What's needed too, is that greedy companies stop bombarding us with chemicals that have never been tested for human safety, pesticides and other neurotoxins. It's no coincidence that our children are developing autism in record numbers, our elders are affected by an epidemic of Alzheimer's, and 1 of every 2 Americans will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. I urge every concerned mom and dad to demand that Congress pass the Safer Chemicals Act. See here for more info: http://www.saferchemicals.org/
    This is not a Republican vs Democrats issue, it's a Health issue.

    February 20, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Susan Hall

    Members of the military are required to get many vaccines at one time. Are there any studies of a higher incidence of autism among this population especially if both parents are in the service?

    February 20, 2012 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eeyore

      Ha! Good question! I'd love to see a response from 'don't fall for it' on this question. I am absolutely certain he/she has ALL the inside info!

      February 20, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Autism isn't something that suddenly comes on in adults, no matter how many vaccines they get. Unless you're suggesting that vaccines somehow cause people to have autistic children? No, they don't.

      February 20, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      Good question. Although the adults are very very high probability of being completely safe because they are developed human beings and their immune systems are fully functional. If they were to have a child (get pregnant) it's what is inside the mothers body. The father is not a factor because only his sperm is used. To be clear on this specific type of case, it is not the actual vaccine that will make an impact but the heavy metals that are used as carriers for the vaccine that prolongs the exposure in your body to prompt an immune response. Most people can rid themselves of heavy metals in the body but some less than others. It would be the heavy metals that would pass through to the developing fetus. Heavy metals tend to stick to fatty tissue which includes areas in the body like the brain. Not to make a really long post, any person interested can Google heavy metals like mercury and aluminum to find out what affects they have on the human body.

      February 21, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      So any amount of mercury is toxic and will cause untold harm?

      Sorry, you're wrong.

      February 21, 2012 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      Tucker, you just better hope you get to remain completely ignorant of all of this for the rest of your life because you will be singing a different tune if any of this mess finds its way to you.

      February 22, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      What "mess" are you gibbering about? You are either a troll or completely delusional. Vaccines have been ruled out as a cause of autism.

      Get a clue, dude.

      February 23, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  41. Rebecca

    Until this study is replicated, it doesn't mean much. Could be interesting though.

    February 20, 2012 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Laur

    Maybe all these people can stop blaming vaccines. I spread out my vaccines for my children, but I did not withhold. I couldn't live with myself if they died from whooping cough or something I could have prevented. If vaccines were the cause then a lot more children would have autism. Doctors are better at diagnosing then they were years ago, doesn't necessarily mean there is more of it.

    February 21, 2012 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dont fall for it

      There is a point of good advice in this post. Get the vaccines (if you want, I'm not in charge) but delay the schedule and spread them out!

      February 21, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  43. Susan Hall

    To clarify my question, do the CHILDREN of military parents have a higher incidence of autism?

    February 21, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jojo61397

      Yes, my son is a military brat, and the estimates are as high as 1 in 43 boys.

      February 21, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Cite your source of these numbers, please. I have googled and seen a very wide range of numbers. What source are you using as the basis of your post?

      February 21, 2012 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
  44. Bob

    So, if doctors can now test for autism traits in infants, before they've had vaccinations and before they've been exposed to a 'polluted' environment, will it finally be the end of "the vaccinations/environment caused it" nonsense?

    February 21, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jojo61397

      First off, the brain scans are done on infants at 4-6 months of age, and they have already had at least 4 vaccines at that time. Secondly, it's not just the environment outside the uterus that can affect the development of a child. There are environmental factors within the uterus that could be a factor– for instance maternal stress, pre-eclampsia. Finally, children are as Dr. Oz put it, the "canary in the cave" when it comes to environment. Whatever in our environment affects us, the affects will show up first in children.

      Anecdotal example, my son was born in the Germany. We suspected autism early on. He was pretty high functioning as a child. We left Germany. Come to find out the neighborhood we lived in had higher than recommended levels of lead in the ground water. All, but two children have officially been diagnosed with autism, adhd, or cognitive delays. My husband and I had lead poisoning. My son was also poisoned. My daughter is not. My daughter has asperger-like symptoms, but no diagnosis. I wonder how much of my son's autism is a result of exposure to lead. He is diagnosed as cognitively delayed, and this delay has been attributed to lead poisoning. So no matter what you say, you will never convince me otherwise that environment most definitely plays a role.

      February 21, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      The mothers environment before and during pregancy are factors as well. One of the most basic is tooth fillings. If the mother has a metal tooth filling – there is mercury in that. Did you know? Yeah mercury is not good for you.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:03 | Report abuse |
    • ?.

      did you ever see the congressional hearing on autism that was on cspan with wakefield et al? interesting. they took thimerosol out. if you test today, it wouldn't be the same.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • ?.

      when i was a kid i could tell that i started to feel sick when i got fillings, but my parents were so broke i didn't tell anyone. i didn't think they would take them out. i would like to have them taken out now. sick of being sick.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • jojo61397

      ?, the hearings were just for ONE ingredient in ONE shot, and ONE study. There have not been studies that study the effects of all possible environmental factors.

      February 21, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • ?.

      jojo61397: their take on it was that it had to do with mercury in MMR shots and more precisely the measles part of the shot evidently. they thought it was a problem because three shots were given in one (which they showed down to the mechanism in the gut, but also thought that if the child didn't have enough b vitamins on board at the time of the shot, it could short circuit a neural pathway to their brain. they thought that accounted for the spectrum that parents were describing also). thimerosol was removed from those vaccines years ago. (albiet quietly) interesting that that tape was pulled from cspan. i taped part of it, but gave it to a pharmacist and never got it back.

      February 21, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      Cite your source of information, don't fall. Where did you get this nonsense?

      February 21, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • dont fall for it

      About the tooth fillings? So you didn’t know and now you do. That stuff attaches to your brain tissue and causes damage. You have a lot of metal fillings, don’t you? I can tell…

      February 22, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      I don't have so many that I failed to notice you provide no citation for your ridiculous claims.

      That's because there isn't any. Thanks for playing. See the attendant for your consolation prize.

      February 23, 2012 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • Tucker

      Here's what Quackwatch has to say, don't fall. Looks like you're wrong. As usual.

      Mercury is a component of the amalgam used for "silver" fillings. The other major ingredients are silver, tin, copper, and zinc. When mixed, these elements bond to form a strong, stable substance. The difference between bound and unbound chemicals can be illustrated by a simple analogy. Elemental hydrogen is an explosive gas. Elemental oxygen is a gas that supports combustion. When combined, however, they form water, which has neither of these effects. Amalgam's ingredients are tightly bonded to each other. Although the types of chemical bonds in water and amalgam differ, saying that amalgam will poison you is just as wrong as saying that drinking water will make you explode and burst into flames.

      February 23, 2012 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
  45. nikki porter

    my son is 30 and has aspergers syndrome...he has incredible intelligence and is constantly teaching himself but has seizures once a month so he is concerned about going to college or getting a job because he is worried he will have one while he is out and the people around him will allow him to be hurt...i just recovered from breast and bone cancer but will not be here forever to care for him either...he is learing how to do more things every day but society is so cruel...he has post trauma stress from being bullied in grade school and we don't live in a "progressive" are – we are in the midwest. I sincerely wish with all my heart that society would hear the plight of these people (his girlfried is also autistic with aspergers and works for the State of Missouri Regioinal Center but is constantly told there is nothing that can be done to help them...not disabled enough) so they can become productive members of society and not just getting SSI to live on. They desperately just want a life like everyone else but are constantly denied. 1 in 110 children is born with autism...WAKE UP people...one of these days they will be adults with nowhere to go and noone to help...what then?

    February 21, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raigh

      How right you are, Nikki! Parents of young people with ASD are not looking towards the Future. There are no services for adults with autism/Asperger's.. because Medicine does not recognize the issues and problems of HFA adults and how difficult their lives actually can be, especially when their parents/spouses are no longer around to support/assist them. There is little information re HFA adults and their spouses and families. HFA adults have fallen thru the cracks of Medicine and society. HFA adults who are senior citizens were no given vaccinations...but they have autism.

      April 6, 2012 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
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