Vaccine - Autism link

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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Plutonia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:26 pm

BrandonD » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:57 am wrote:
Plutonia » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:22 pm wrote:Just one other thing: researchers are looking for a genetic marker for autism because autism very clearly runs in families and one of the ways that undiagnosed adult autistics are becoming aware of their own autism is via their child's, or family member's child, autism diagnosis. There are no statistics for adult autistics, as far as I'm aware, but more than one of my friends have "come out" as autistic in this way, in recent years.


This example of people "coming out" as autistic is the type of thing that I would associate with the social/behavioral characteristics commonly associated with autism. People in this area generally did not have any physical or developmental abnormalities when growing up.

My nephew has both physical and developmental abnormalities, I think this is a crucial difference between the two. Because one can be conceivably dismissed as just a behavioral "difference", while the other is truly a disorder.

What you said here ^^ is a great illustration of confounding autism can be! You present the opinion that your brother has "real" autism because he has obvious abnormalities but you say that he is apparently being treated effectively with ABA therapy. Of course, ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis - is Bahaviorism derived from BF Skinners work: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755377/

Also, it happens quite often that an autistic considered profoundly retarded with be discovered to be highly intelligent once someone has figured out how to help him or her to communicate. Carly Fleishman is one case. Also Tito Mukhopadhyay - whose mother, Soma Mukhopadhyay, developed a technique called rapid prompting which she used with Keli Thorsteinsson who promptly requested to be taught to play piano because he had been composing music in his head since he was a toddler: http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/docu ... urel-joss/

And you probably don't know this but autistic self-advocates are constantly being accused of being "not autistic", it's probably the most common way that autistic voices are invalidated. Google the "Amanda Baggs controversy" to see how far it got taken in her case. Then go here to see what Amanda has said for herself, here: http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1073/1239 or here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... anda+baggs

So back to ABA: we've been so inculcated with the crisis model of autism that the simple fact that used to be commonly known is that autism used to be considered a childhood condition because most autistic difficulties, even significant impairments, improve over time - just naturally, on their own - so that autism was seen as a condition that one outgrew. What that means now is that the prognosis for those who receive early intervention is about the same as for those who don't. This was so in my case, which was severe enough that I was considered a candidate for institutionalization.

So if it occurred to you to wonder about treating autism with Behaviorism (which, since you are a Rigger, it aught to have), you should know that Ivar Lovaas developed ABA initially to treat "sissy" boys and switched to autistic children when the idea of curing homosexuality lost it's cache. Lovaas reported what were considered to be spectacular successes with autism but what most don't realize is that he was employing such "adversives" as slaps and electro-shock.

Here is Michelle Dawson's brilliant critique of ABA: http://www.sentex.net/~nexus23/naa_aba.html

BTW, Michelle Dawson is autistic, has significant impairments, is a ground-breaking autism researcher, and aught to be required reading, she writes so cogently about autism.

Here is an excellent pos-aut backgrounder resource that may also be useful: http://www.autismspectrumexplained.com/
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:12 pm

Behaviourism is funny, since for the most part, you are assuaging the observer, who thinks that if the person simply stops doing 'xyz' then all will be well and outward 'normality' means inward 'normality'. This approach does not take into consideration the feelings of the person with the behaviour or their needs. It just looks nicer and more normal for the neighbors or whoever.

My mom was a PT in state hospitals. She saw people tied to their beds so that they wouldn't rock or 'stim'. Not because it was dangerous to anyone. The caretakers simply were trying to enforce 'normal' any way they could. My mom theorized that some of the rocking was not unlike what small children do naturally to develop their inner ear (vestibular input). So she tried using a massager against the ear area for a few minutes time and for some the rocking behaviours decreased to the point the patients were allowed to be 'free'. I have no idea how many of these patients were auties, but her experience makes electric shocks and constant constraint look even more barbaric to me.

My own autistic kid was lucky. From my mom he got proper childhood PT and OT intervention, and from myself and the rest of the family he got total acceptance. I've never thought the alarmist attitude of AS and similar groups to be constructive and I hate to think where my kid would be had we thrown him into that system. As it was, I used to get amazed resposes when the teachers would look at my kid's IEP and discover he'd never been put on drugs or subjected to 'therapies' like his peers, and yet he was doing so well...It is hard to believe that a man who now has a quick mind and reads literature flapped and rocked and barely spoke until after three and wasn't reading until six or seven. I don't know how he deals with stimming on the ship, though. I'm sure he figures it out somehow. :wink

As for genetics vs poison, I'm willing to countenance both. My father was written off as 'retarded' as a child and my own worsening sensory problems give credence to the genetics side of it. On the other hand, the vastly polluted society we live in could well have a hand in making the presenting conditions 'worse' and more common.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby 82_28 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:33 pm

I was holding off on weighing in on this one as my opinion is not popular. But my good friend Twyla did just now, so I will add my .02.

I have had OCD all of my life and in fact all my doctors growing up pinned it on vaccines. I was in the hospital for about a month as a baby with a fever that did not break. Also pinned on the booster shots. There is definitely a case to be made about this. I wouldn't go the whole hog booster shot route. I would spread it out over a number of months as an infant.

That said, I haven't been sick since about 1991. Never had the flu, once had mono and actually got over it in a week -- to much surprise. So who knows. Never got sick again after the mono -- really. I do know I got OCD from somewhere. I didn't choose it. I am 50/50 on mandatory vaccines.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:43 pm

More on the behaviorist angle. I wish I could find the testimonies of actual patients of the JRC in my links, but a decent google on the subject would probably bring them up.

http://boycottautismspeaks.wordpress.co ... -supports/

http://www.autistichoya.com/2013/11/an- ... s-and.html
For those who may not be regular readers of Autistic Hoya, let me elaborate on the history of the Judge Rotenberg Center. The JRC, formerly known as the Behavior Research Institute, was originally founded in 1971 by Harvard-educated psychologist Matthew Israel, who studied behaviorism under B. F. Skinner. Israel opened shop in California, taking in students with significant developmental, neurological, and behavioral disabilities with a no-expulsion, no-rejection policy. His methodology of treatment was predicated on techniques called aversive interventions — slaps, forced inhalation of ammonia, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, prolonged restraint, deep-muscle pinches intended to inflict maximum pain, and long-term seclusion. One of the more disturbing practices that Israel favors is called "behavior rehearsal lessons," in which students are coerced into producing unwanted behaviors solely for the purpose of subsequently punishing them. Essentially, aversive interventions operate on the same philosophy that some people apply to animals — if you pair an unwanted behavior with a painful stimulus, the unwanted behavior will go away.

Except in California, one of Israel's students died as a result of his "treatment" methods. The BRI was forced to relocate, and Israel settled in Rhode Island, where his abusive practices continued. In the early 1990's, Israel had a brilliant epiphany — what if he were to use electric shock as an aversive? Rhode Island's regulatory agency refused to permit the BRI to subject its residents to electric shock punishments, and so Israel moved the facility once again to Massachusetts, where it has remained ever since. The BRI invented their own device, known as the graduated electronic decelator, which is intentionally designed to be more powerful and more painful than a police taser. Students are forced to wear electrodes attached to various parts of their bodies, and whenever they engage in any unwanted behavior (anything from head-banging to flapping their hands to getting out of their seat without permission), staff press a button that causes an electric shock. When the state of Massachusetts attempted to end this barbaric practice, Israel sued the regulating agency. When he prevailed, forcing the then-Commissioner of Mental Retardation to resign, he renamed the facility after the judge who oversaw the agreement — Ernest Rotenberg.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:50 pm

82_28 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:33 pm wrote:I was holding off on weighing in on this one as my opinion is not popular. But my good friend Twyla did just now, so I will add my .02.

I have had OCD all of my life and in fact all my doctors growing up pinned it on vaccines. I was in the hospital for about a month as a baby with a fever that did not break. Also pinned on the booster shots. There is definitely a case to be made about this. I wouldn't go the whole hog booster shot route. I would spread it out over a number of months as an infant.

That said, I haven't been sick since about 1991. Never had the flu, once had mono and actually got over it in a week -- to much surprise. So who knows. Never got sick again after the mono -- really. I do know I got OCD from somewhere. I didn't choose it. I am 50/50 on mandatory vaccines.

When my son was 8 weeks or so, right after his first immuniation, he was sickish and fussy, so I handed him off to my dad who, of our family had 'the touch' with babies. He picked him up and said, "Somethings wrong, he's not holding himself right, he's too stiff"

My father died long before my son was diagnosed, but I've never forgotten the moment. And it makes me think.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Plutonia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:46 pm

Twyla, I was about to suggest that the timing of your son's vaccination may have been coincidental with the onset of regressive autism (1/3 of autism diagnoses), which is to say "correlation does not equal causation", but 8 months is very young for that to be the case:
Regression is most often observed between the first and second birthday, with mean ages of regression reported across different samples between 16 and 20 months (Fombonne & Chakrabarti, 2001; Goldberg et al., 2003; Kurita, 1985; Ozonoff et al., 2005; Shinnar et al., 2001).


It is likely that some combination of genetics and environmental trigger are at autism's roots, but I think that more fruit will be bourne through examining more subtle influences - like neotenous development. say or medicalized birthing practices, or adaptation to a technological environment.

Likewise, 82-28, I'm astonished that your doctors attribute your OCD to vaccine injury, rather than, say, the trauma of hospitalization and being separated from your mother for so long. In fact there does seem to be a relationship between OCD and attachment insecurity: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

For those curious about how neoteny works and how it might involved with autism, here is Andrew Lehman's site with his free ebook on the subject: http://www.neoteny.org/

And here is his very useful description of how neoteny works:
[Stephen J.] Gould described the dynamics of heterochronic theory. Neoteny is one of the six processes of heterochrony. Here we’ll mostly talk about neoteny and neoteny’s opposite, acceleration. Both describe how changing the rate of maturation can result in lightning-fast evolution. Changing the timing of maturation also affects evolution.

When describing neoteny, Gould and others have found it convenient to consider the chimpanzee as representative of a human-like forebear perhaps five million years old. If you note a chimpanzee infant’s relatively small chin, large head relative to body size, large eyes relative to face and upright positioning of the head on the neck, you get the idea that a chimpanzee infant exhibits features much like a contemporary human adult. There are a number of features retained by a chimpanzee infant, and the infant of what would be our ancient ancestor, which over a period of thousands of generations grew slowly to appear in the features of descendant adults, moving upwards through toddlers to preteens to adolescents. That is the basic principle of neoteny. Ancestor infant features prolong or extend themselves over the course of evolution into later and later maturational phases until infant traits appear in the adults of descendants. Not just physical features are affected. Ancient chimpanzee infant or human forebear child personality characteristics such as curiosity, playfulness, displays of affection and social behavior all prolong themselves, through neoteny, to appear in the features of adult descendants, modern humans.

Acceleration is the opposite of neoteny. Imagine an animal, over time, condensing or withdrawing adult features backward, or earlier, over generations. Ancestor adult features appear earlier and earlier with successive generations until the traits of adult ancestors appear in the children of their descendants. For example, if a relatively hairless elephant forebear had evolved into the mammoth when an ice age came, the hairy aspect of an adult may have resulted, over time, in hairy babies. Evolution would in this case encourage the acceleration of maturation so that adult features appear in the very young, with the adults becoming even hairier over time.

Prolonging maturation results in neoteny. Neoteny is when ancestor infant features appear in descendant adults. Withdrawing or condensing maturation creates acceleration, or the moving backward through ontogeny, or development, so that adult characteristics emerge in the young of descendants.

By adjusting only the rates and timing of maturation over generations, evolution can be dramatically sped up. Mutation is not required. Evidence suggests that a host of environmental influences in addition to sexual selection can directly influence the rate and timing of maturation, resulting in neoteny and its opposite.

http://www.neoteny.org/what-is-neoteny/
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby BrandonD » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:12 pm

Plutonia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:26 am wrote:What you said here ^^ is a great illustration of confounding autism can be! You present the opinion that your brother has "real" autism because he has obvious abnormalities but you say that he is apparently being treated effectively with ABA therapy.


Well, perhaps I should've been more specific. The specific area that has improved dramatically is his ability to speak and communicate. He was far behind the norm in that area, and my sister was particularly frightened about that.

A fair amount of the traits have not changed, though. His head is still larger than 99% of the children his age, for example.

Thank you once again for your information. Hopefully I can learn some new things through this thread that can be of help to my sister and nephew as well.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:54 pm

BrandonD » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:12 pm wrote:
Plutonia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:26 am wrote:What you said here ^^ is a great illustration of confounding autism can be! You present the opinion that your brother has "real" autism because he has obvious abnormalities but you say that he is apparently being treated effectively with ABA therapy.


Well, perhaps I should've been more specific. The specific area that has improved dramatically is his ability to speak and communicate. He was far behind the norm in that area, and my sister was particularly frightened about that.

A fair amount of the traits have not changed, though. His head is still larger than 99% of the children his age, for example.

Thank you once again for your information. Hopefully I can learn some new things through this thread that can be of help to my sister and nephew as well.

I wish you and your sister and nephew well. :hug1:
It is not an easy thing and there is much disinformation. What I find heartening is the new generation of self-advocating autistics on the internet. They tend to be the same age as my son and are confronting the stereotypes that non-autistics have pushed on the media. It seems the biggest mistake is to confuse lack of 'normal' verbal communication with lack of awareness or intelligence...
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:09 pm

Plutonia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:46 pm wrote:Twyla, I was about to suggest that the timing of your son's vaccination may have been coincidental with the onset of regressive autism (1/3 of autism diagnoses), which is to say "correlation does not equal causation", but 8 months is very young for that to be the case:



He didn't regress at that point, I think that would have been closer to 18 months, 2 years or so, when he started to rock and such and he never really got going language wise until later, so it is hard to say how much he 'regressed'. The shot thing was apparently an abnormal reaction, noted by a professional who worked with handicapped people of many ages, and it stuck in my mind after the fact. It could well be independant of any of this.

Thank you for the information and the links to Michelle Dawson. She has some good articles and excellent research/activism. I've spent the afternoon on her wesite and links... :thumbsup
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby 82_28 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:21 pm

I don't believe the OCD was completely attributed to the vaccines, but the fevers were. It wasn't until far down the line that those early fevers were thought to be a "culprit" in giving me the OCD and "tics". It could very well be why I swear so much too. OCD and Tourettes are completely related. I stutter a bit and I kind of compensate with the stacatto word of inserting "fuck" in everything I say. It just happens to carry over into my writing. It's funny, but using the word "fuck" and all its variations totally saves you from stuttering! Toss that in when you feel you're about to stutter and it kinda saves you from looking like an idiot. Like if a word won't come out, I put a "fuck" in there and can totally finish the verbal sentence.

But yeah. Fevers blamed on booster shots. OCD blamed on fevers. Just what I've been told.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15291690

http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/ocdcauses.asp

I'm not sure whether any of this lines up with autism per se. I don't think I am autistic as I learned to read at high school levels by the age of 6 and I have never had a problem being social. Anyhow. There's that.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby 82_28 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:27 pm

I have met LaSarc JR. and have always been impressed with his intelligence and compassion. Good kid, very good kid and I hope he is doing well.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby BrandonD » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:28 pm

Twyla LaSarc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:54 pm wrote:I wish you and your sister and nephew well. :hug1:
It is not an easy thing and there is much disinformation. What I find heartening is the new generation of self-advocating autistics on the internet. They tend to be the same age as my son and are confronting the stereotypes that non-autistics have pushed on the media. It seems the biggest mistake is to confuse lack of 'normal' verbal communication with lack of awareness or intelligence...


Thank you! I don't quite understand it all yet. I initially considered myself to be on the autism spectrum because behaviorally I was extremely different from all my siblings, even though we all grew up under the same circumstances. I possessed the social traits associated with Asperger's, though fortunately I have adjusted well as an adult.

But I did not have any difficulty speaking or walking, so when I saw the traits of my nephew it occurred to me that my personal conception of autism may not be correct. When I look into it, the whole thing seems quite murky in general. Like schizophrenia, a condition defined by its symptoms, whose cause is not well understood.

One example that comes to mind is that autism is generally associated with a difficulty in verbal communication (such as with my nephew), where as Asperger's is associated with a difficulty in non-verbal communication. There is no impairment in verbal communication. And yet today these two conditions are considered to be different degrees of severity on the same spectrum. The dissonance between the characteristics seems odd to me, and makes me suspect that they are not necessarily related.

I think that if people are possibly lumping together a collection of traits that do not have the same cause, it would definitely contribute to the confusion in this subject.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Plutonia » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:07 am

Michelle Dawson is awesome, Twyla. I love here "voice", which I receive as icy and clear as a wind from a mountain top. She and Tyler Cowen, of the blog Marginal Revolution, co-wrote a paper about Turing's test - contextualizing it in light of his homosexuality and possible autism - enjoy!: https://www.gmu.edu/centers/publicchoic ... gfinal.pdf

82_28 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:21 pm wrote:I'm not sure whether any of this lines up with autism per se. I don't think I am autistic as I learned to read at high school levels by the age of 6 and I have never had a problem being social. Anyhow. There's that.
82-28, I guess that you didn't know that the Asperger's variant of autism is characterized by precocious language ability!? Thanks for the links.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Plutonia » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:34 am

BrandonD » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:28 pm wrote:
One example that comes to mind is that autism is generally associated with a difficulty in verbal communication (such as with my nephew), where as Asperger's is associated with a difficulty in non-verbal communication. There is no impairment in verbal communication. And yet today these two conditions are considered to be different degrees of severity on the same spectrum. The dissonance between the characteristics seems odd to me, and makes me suspect that they are not necessarily related.

I think that if people are possibly lumping together a collection of traits that do not have the same cause, it would definitely contribute to the confusion in this subject.

I think that ^^^ does happen more now since the "autism panic", so point taken. And that is a great observation about the association of Aspergers with high-functioning and autism with low, that is indeed a widespread misunderstanding because there are low-functioning Aspergers types.

I make sense of it by imagining the brain divided into four quadrants of emphasis or orientation: Left (literal, logical, analytical) and Right (associational, holistic), we are familiar with, but there is also Fore (controlled, focused attention) and Aft (unfocused, day-dreamy, open awareness). So the hemispheric and quadrant emphasis determines what type of autist one is ie Left/Fore emphasis = extremely literal, hyper-rational, single-minded etc.

That ^^^ is a really bad attempted explanation that I cribbed that from the Caetextia Theory of autism - promising except they threw out the (retarded) autists and only consider highly intelligent Aspergerians. There is a nice little video to watch: http://www.caetextia.com/pages/defaultnetwork.html
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:12 pm

Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism
Evidence is mounting that intestinal microbes exacerbate or perhaps even cause some of autism's symptoms
Aug 14, 2014 |By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Autism is primarily a disorder of the brain, but research suggests that as many as nine out of 10 individuals with the condition also suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease and “leaky gut.” The latter condition occurs when the intestines become excessively permeable and leak their contents into the bloodstream. Scientists have long wondered whether the composition of bacteria in the intestines, known as the gut microbiome, might be abnormal in people with autism and drive some of these symptoms. Now a spate of new studies supports this notion and suggests that restoring proper microbial balance could alleviate some of the disorder's behavioral symptoms.

At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology held in May in Boston, researchers at Arizona State University reported the results of an experiment in which they measured the levels of various microbial by-products in the feces of children with autism and compared them with those found in healthy children. The levels of 50 of these substances, they found, significantly differed between the two groups. And in a 2013 study published in PLOS ONE, Italian researchers reported that, compared with healthy kids, those with autism had altered levels of several intestinal bacterial species, including fewer Bifidobacterium, a group known to promote good intestinal health.

One open question is whether these microbial differences drive the development of the condition or are instead a consequence of it. A study published in December 2013 in Cell supports the former idea. When researchers at the California Institute of Technology incited autismlike symptoms in mice using an established paradigm that involved infecting their mothers with a viruslike molecule during pregnancy, they found that after birth, the mice had altered gut bacteria compared with healthy mice. By treating the sick rodents with a health-promoting bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis, the researchers were able to attenuate some, but not all, of their behavioral symptoms. The treated mice had less anxious and stereotyped behaviors and became more vocally communicative.

Researchers do not yet know how exactly gut bacteria might influence behavior, but one hypothesis is that a leaky gut may allow substances to pass into the bloodstream that harm the brain. In the mouse study, the probiotic may have helped reshape the microbial ecosystem and made the intestines more robust, preventing the leakage of such substances, says co-author Elaine Y. Hsiao, a microbiologist at Caltech.

So could autism one day be treated with drugs designed to restore a healthy microbial balance? Perhaps, but autism is the result of a “complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors,” explains Manya Angley, an autism researcher at the University of South Australia, so the solution may not be that simple. Caltech biologist Sarkis K. Mazmanian, co-author of the mouse study, agrees. “Many more years of work will be needed before we are confident that gut bacteria impact autism and whether probiotics are a viable treatment,” he says.
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