The theory that autism is genetic, hereditary or starts only in the womb, is the biggest misconception in the entire mess that is autism. Further perpetuated by Health Organizations heralding ‘reputable’ status, without actually earning it first. For over 30 years, leading researchers have done numerous studies examining genetic, hereditary and in utero causes for autism. Every study, though claiming a significant discovery, has turned up inadequate results. The most significant study turned out a 15% genetic find. 15%. Wow, sure sounds like genetics play a major role in autism. Sarcasm aside, people need to know that this is all science can turn up and that we are wasting time believing the lie that autism is genetic.
Recently this came across my newsfeed and I was pretty interested so I took the time to look into it. Now first the news page didn’t have a link to the study or even had the decency to name it. Thankfully they saved me a bit of extra searching by providing the University that conducted the study. Their webpage didn’t turn up a link but it did name the study and thankfully google was able to help out again.Unfortunately only the abstract is available and not the full study, but we work with what we can.
So the study containing 1,105 participants was done by using ultrasounds from back in the 80’s and follow up diagnosis in later life. The small cohort consisted of low birth weight infants, a good group to use as these infants are more susceptible to many issues. Now I’ll be honest, every time I see a headline like the news pages are carrying for this one, I get excited, hoping for some really good data. I fall for it each and every time, but thankfully I don’t rely on the headline as it is usually very deceiving. Only 14 of 1,105 participants were diagnosed with autism. What was singled out as the cause was Ventricular Enlargement and is detectable through ultrasound. Thus giving the idea that this method can help diagnose autism early on, can you say hello extra ultrasounds on babies. This is not the greatest idea since the science isn’t exactly clear on the risks of ultrasounds. That aside, news reports are also using this to pass around the idea that autism occurs in the womb, especially for low birth weight babies. The articles are coming out biased and even the definitions of autism used are not current. The articles bias shows by indicating that autism is strictly a brain issue that occurs in the womb. Is it any wonder to discover that the grant for this particular study is from none other than The National Institutes of Health (NIH). Without blathering on, the NIH has shown it’s ineptitude when it comes to autism and you can catch a bit of it for you own eyes. Just watch this Autism Congressional Hearing, I know it’s long but I promise, it is worth it.
Now I do have several problems with this study and the original report on it. Several are speculation questions as I don’t have access (and am certainly not paying for) the full study details. The first is whether the participants diagnosed with autism were the only ones with Ventricular Enlargement or were several others in the group undiagnosed that also had it.Secondly and I’m doubtful on this, were the mother’s history and pregnancy observed to determine the cause of the Ventricular enlargement. What are the control numbers for children with Ventricular Enlargement without autism, at least for a general comparison. The next issue is that this study hasn’t really determined anything. There are alot of ‘mays’ and ‘suggests’ and the only 3 prominent facts are; low birth weight, Ventricular Enlargement and autism. We know low birth weight gives infants a tougher time the first bit of life and that Ventricular Enlargement is being implicated as the cause, namely because it is a seen effect on the brain. Now this brings me to my last and most important issue with this study. The study and original article have completely missed a very important factor. One I saw within five minutes of looking up what Ventricular Enlargement was. Why did I notice it and not the researchers who performed the study. I can only speculate but I have two ideas; The NIH has a bit more control in this study than should be allowed or because my son has autism, that we live with everyday and that I observe the shit out of. I certainly would hate to believe that these researchers didn’t consider something that I did in five mins. Right?
Whatever the reason, they missed it. Inflammation. Those who know why this is so important, I applaud you. Inflammation occurs because of our immune system, which usually gets activated by infections or by vaccination. Inflammation is a part of Ventricular Enlargement and while focusing on finding some way that it causes autism (which it make in fact not), thus finally proving their autism/brain/genetic theory; they again miss an opportunity to produce something useful, something helpful. What caused that original inflammation/VE in those infants, this should be the question. The answer could help define a risk factor for children who will experience a reaction to vaccines. It could help pregnant mothers with steps to reduce the risk of autism in their children. This small study had the possibility of reducing the insanely growing autism numbers. Yet it flopped. I guess 1 in 29 isn’t low enough to care yet.
Mainstream reporters are regurgitating original source information and very rarely does one investigate any more. Alternative media once laughed at, is now turned to for accurate news. It really is up to us to dispel the myths being spread and halting the progress that could help millions of people. When parents are the driving force behind the progress in autism and leading health organizations are still scratching their heads; you know we have a problem.
There is no test for autism here, 14/1,105 and only low birth weight cohorts is not enough to promote some test, especially when the mechanisms are greatly unknown. But hey, it is a commercialized world out there and with ultrasounds being used less (because of more people asking questions) this would be a great boost for lost profits.
Whatever comes from this study one thing is for sure, inflammation was a factor in those diagnosed and it should not be left out.