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posted by janrinok on Friday March 28 2014, @06:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the who-cares-what-Jenny-McCarthy-thinks dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

An abstract of a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the study's "2010 [Autism Spectrum Disorder] prevalence estimate of 14.7 per 1,000 (95% CI = 14.3-15.1), or one in 68 children aged 8 years, was 29% higher than the preceding estimate of 11.3 per 1,000 (95% CI = 11.0-11.7), or one in 88 children aged 8 years in 2008." Of the sites surveyed, four counties in New Jersey had the highest prevalence estimate, with 21.9 per 1,000 (95% CI = 20.4-23.6).

National Public Radio quotes CDC experts that "skyrocketing estimates don't necessarily mean that kids are more likely to have autism now than they were 10 years ago."

"It may be that we're getting better at identifying autism," says , director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.

Another abstract of a "small, explorative study" from The New England Journal of Medicine describes Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism and suggests "a probable dysregulation of layer formation and layer-specific neuronal differentiation at prenatal developmental stages." CBS News demystifies the study as "brain abnormalities may begin in utero." [Ed's note: Link intermittent]

Last month, we discussed findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders including Autism.

Related Stories

Delayed fatherhood linked to Schizophrenic kids 44 comments

robingHood writes:

"New Scientist Magazine reports on findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders such as Apert syndrome, Autism and Schizophrenia. The article reports that 'although there is a big increase in risk for many disorders, it's a big increase in a very small risk. A 40-year-old is about 50 per cent more likely to father an autistic child than a 20-year-old is, for instance, but the overall risk is only about 1 per cent to start with.' In other words: time to start mating before those tadpoles turn into toads."

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by d on Friday March 28 2014, @07:19PM

    by d (523) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:19PM (#22640)

    I bet this has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with feeding kids with drugs when they allegedly suffer from ADHD...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday March 28 2014, @07:27PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:27PM (#22645) Homepage

      More likely that the mothers are taking prescription drugs (painkillers, psychotropic drugs). Bipolar 2 for example is the kind of bipolar that 90% of women are diagnosed with, and guess what, we have a pill for that! Of course it's safe to take during pregnancy, trust us.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday March 28 2014, @07:46PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:46PM (#22656)

        There's a strong genetic component that pre-dispositions to Autism, but there's probably an environmental trigger that combines with it.

        My wife wasn't taking any drugs (unless you count the pre-natal vitamins prescribed by her doctor), and we've got 2 boys, both diagnosed and clearly more severe than "Aspergers."

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
        • (Score: 1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday March 28 2014, @07:56PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:56PM (#22663) Homepage

          Not trying to pry, but for the sake of science, would you mind letting us know if the age of you and/or your wife at the time of the pregnancies was believed to be a factor?

          My own anecdotes are contradictory, my mid-40's aged teacher got pregnant and had a perfectly normal, healthy kid. My friend had in her late 30's a daughter who managed to be fine mentally but was born with only one kidney.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @08:51PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @08:51PM (#22690)
            I postulate that accumulated pollutants are causing this rise in defective on arrival babies.
          • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday March 29 2014, @04:14AM

            by dry (223) on Saturday March 29 2014, @04:14AM (#22820) Journal

            Not the parent but my wife was 23 and I was 31 when our autistic son was born.
            She wasn't on any drugs either and I was a light pot smoker.

          • (Score: 1) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 29 2014, @11:59PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 29 2014, @11:59PM (#22969)

            Anecdotal means nothing in the greater discussion and scientific evaluation (and, of course, everything to the individuals) - with present rates quoted at 1/42 boys born, I congratulate your two friends on falling into the "easier to mesh with society" side of the lottery. However, if it's just a lottery, we just pulled out a 1/1700 winner.

            We are older - and there may be a behavioral selection bias there (don't find mates until later, yadda yadda) The kids were born at mom's age 37 and 39.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
        • (Score: 1) by sbgen on Friday March 28 2014, @09:28PM

          by sbgen (1302) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:28PM (#22717)

          Forgive me if this is personal, what age did they get diagnosed? I am sure you are aware of the importance of early detection and intervention in this case. It is true there is a genetic component to this disorder which is likely very strongly influenced by environmental trigger/s. Unfortunately all the components seem to be some what rare in the sense each individual might have a unique set of them. That makes it difficult to hunt them down. Interaction of genetic and environment is what makes Autism a complex disorder.

          --
          Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
          • (Score: 1) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:02AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:02AM (#22973)

            When they were born (early 2000s) the establishment refused to attempt diagnosis until age 3. The older boy was enrolled in special needs pre-school starting 5 days after his 3rd birthday (and it was very helpful...)

            By the time the younger was 2.5, they were starting to stretch the rules a little and we got a M.D. to do the diagnosis then.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
            • (Score: 1) by sbgen on Monday March 31 2014, @01:32PM

              by sbgen (1302) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:32PM (#23550)

              I am glad that the kids got started with the program by 3. In early 2000s the concept that diagnosing kids at 3 for autism was very new and most clinicians did not believe in it anyway. Things have rapidly changed since then. I am reading these days they test much earlier than 3 years, that paediatricians (sp.??) follow it as routine and the intervention programs have become better refined. We need more research in this area and the one referred in TFA is a small study by any standards, a progress nonetheless.

              I wish your family good luck and hope for the best outcome possible, nothing less.

              --
              Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by MillionthMonkey on Friday March 28 2014, @08:20PM

        by MillionthMonkey (2861) on Friday March 28 2014, @08:20PM (#22677)

        Bipolar 2 for example is the kind of bipolar that 90% of women are diagnosed with

        Wow, that's an interesting statistic with no attribution whatsoever... you should really provide a footnote to your source, whether you plucked that statistic out of a chain email or just from your own ass.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @08:46PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @08:46PM (#22689)

          Congratulations, Poindexter, you pounced on that light-hearted example of hyperbole and beat the living shit out of it. I hope you feel proud of yourself, because you won!

          • (Score: 1) by MillionthMonkey on Friday March 28 2014, @09:05PM

            by MillionthMonkey (2861) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:05PM (#22697)

            Congratulations, Poindexter, you pounced on that light-hearted example of hyperbole and beat the living shit out of it.
            My wife has bipolar 2, but her real problem is the comorbid migraine disorder. she has had a single migraine continuously for two years now, so I'm probably a bit heavy hearted. I don't think this was "light hyperbole", just shit from some asshole who mocks people for being disabled.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29 2014, @06:57AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29 2014, @06:57AM (#22842)

              I know it is completely different but after Iraq I suffered migraines. Mine were cause by being a wee bit too close to numerous explosions. I tried everything the VA gave me to help with the migraines. Most of it worked somewhat but it wasn't until I tried pot was I able to deal with the migraines.

              Nowadays I can feel that I have a migraine (Its hard to describe exactly what I mean here) but I do not actively notice the pain anymore.

              I cannot speak to smoking pot with bi-polar though. I could see it helping or hurting. If it doesn't exacerbate her bi-polar I would recommend that she at least try smoking to see if it helps. It has helped me go from being a shut in (Light/noise sensitivity) after my discharge to going back to school and getting a damn good job.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by fishybell on Friday March 28 2014, @08:33PM

        by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @08:33PM (#22681)

        You're doctor isn't following FDA guidelines if they're prescribing lithium during pregnancy without giving specific information about the risks to the fetus. I'm quite sure the same is true for other anti-psychotics. If you're asserting that doctors are declaring anti-psychotics safe for pregnancy, I'd like a citation to back that up. I'm not saying that there isn't quite possibly a drug, or class of drugs, that cause higher incidents of autism, but I'm placing my bet on environmental factors like pollution to specific compounds or heavy metals.

    • (Score: 1) by JoeMerchant on Friday March 28 2014, @07:43PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:43PM (#22654)

      It has more to do with feeding moms drugs, pollutants, etc. because, as they say, most Autism starts young, very young.

      They used to not diagnose it until age 3, but that number has been coming down steadily until, as this paper says, it may begin in utero...

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:26PM (#22643)

    It's scary. We have an ever growing list of things known to cause developmental disorders like autism.

    Maternal obesity in mothers linked to autism: (sorry, paywalled) https://login.medscape.com/login/sso/getlogin?urlC ache=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5tZWRzY2FwZS5jb20vdmlld2FydGljb GUvNzYyMDAy&ac=401 [medscape.com]

    BPA linked to autism:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bpa-exposure-linked-to -genetic-changes-that-alter-brain-development/ [cbsnews.com]

    BPS, which has been used to REPLACE BPA, is linked to cancer and developmental disorders (don't remember if autism was among them; sorry, I heard a great report on NPR the other day but cannot find that transcript online right now):
    http://answerquestions.hubpages.com/hub/BPA-Free-P roducts-Are-Still-Toxic-The-Facts-You-Must-Know-Ab out-BPA-And-Its-Replacement-BPS [hubpages.com]

    Older fathers linked to autism:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/health/fathers-a ge-is-linked-to-risk-of-autism-and-schizophrenia.h tml?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

    Has anyone extrapolated what the autism rates would be if fathers were breeding at the age they used to? I know that's a difficult extrapolation since the definition of autism has changed over the years, but I'd imagine there should be models somewhere that could be refined over time with peer analysis. If we had models that removed these things (older fathers, BPA exposure, etc..) and estimated what autism rates we'd have without these things based on the influence they seem to have via these studies, I'd be very interested to see them, to see if they predict our current rates or not.

    Has anyone taken the old definitions from 70 years ago that have since been redefined as "autism", and applied those to modern samples of autistic children to see if the rates decline to 70-year-ago rates?

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Daiv on Friday March 28 2014, @07:42PM

    by Daiv (3940) on Friday March 28 2014, @07:42PM (#22653)

    This couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with the fact the definition of Autism was heavily expanded and encompassed a much larger gamut of the population in 2012, with the change taking effect just one year ago.

    http://www.thedp.com/index.php/article/2012/01/apa _redefines_autism [thedp.com]

    How is this not being told as the main part of these Autism stories? Oh, that's right, because FUD sells more eyeballs than reality.

    • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Friday March 28 2014, @09:15PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:15PM (#22706) Journal

      The study by the CDC was done in 2010, so the later re-definition shouldn't impact it. The general trends are also increasing, so the results were not surprising.

      • (Score: 1) by Daiv on Friday March 28 2014, @10:23PM

        by Daiv (3940) on Friday March 28 2014, @10:23PM (#22734)

        You are technically correct, but consider the DSM isn't the leading edge. The ADA tends to follow the trend of medicine when the majority of opinions shift. So by 2010, the number of medical professionals were already redefining what they considered autism (I understand it's a spectrum, but my point stands regardless) and so the APA was already being pressured to redefine it. By 2012, presumably the APA got enough pressure to make it official. These CDC studies were done on the upswing in diagnosing and attention, so of course more doctors were aware of it.

        The takeaway did a great story here (http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/182190-what-happ ens-if-we-define-autism-new-ways/) and I wish I could find an even better story I had heard, but the internet is too big and I'm busy.

        The result is definitely not surprising and this will draw more attention to the subject at hand. Ridding the world of all the shitty associations people have with autism isn't gonna happen any time soon, but this is a start.

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday March 29 2014, @04:26AM

        by dry (223) on Saturday March 29 2014, @04:26AM (#22824) Journal

        While diagnosis has changed, we were still getting diagnosed back in the day. I got evaluated in '68 as oxygen deprived during birth, my son got evaluated in '98 as autistic. We both have the same sort of problems though I started talking at 4 and he didn't start talking until 6 and in general he is somewhat further along the spectrum then I am.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by sbgen on Friday March 28 2014, @09:35PM

      by sbgen (1302) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:35PM (#22723)

      Another poster has already pointed out that this data is from 2010, prior to the change in definition you refer to. I want to point out that autism spectrum of disorders has been gaining recognition in clinical settings for a while now. As the clinicians as well as general population gained understanding and awareness of the matter the rate of diagnosis has been increasing. I do not believe that something has suddenly started causing more of the disorder, it is just that the existing condition is being better recognized.

      --
      Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:53PM (#22660)

    Just ask yourself, what would #AskJenny say?

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @07:57PM (#22664)

    Good, it the wife's fault. Just like Bill Cosby says, "You had it last, what happened?"

  • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Friday March 28 2014, @08:55PM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Friday March 28 2014, @08:55PM (#22691)

    ...that listening to this [wikipedia.org] would be trouble. I should have listened.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by bugamn on Friday March 28 2014, @09:00PM

      by bugamn (1017) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:00PM (#22695)

      No, no, no. If listening to it would be trouble, you shouldn't have listened.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FlatPepsi on Friday March 28 2014, @09:12PM

    by FlatPepsi (3546) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:12PM (#22702)

    I don't believe that autism is on the rise.
    I do believe that autism diagnosis is on the rise. Too much money in medication, special needs finding in school, and "non-profit" awareness organizations.

    Just like the "1 in 5 kids suffers from hunger" billboards. If that were true, 1 in 5 parents should be in prison for child neglect.

    Propaganda, folks. Propaganda.

    • (Score: 1) by tizan on Friday March 28 2014, @10:20PM

      by tizan (3245) on Friday March 28 2014, @10:20PM (#22731)

      The title should read:

      "Rate of autism dectection/diagnosis is on the rise".

      There is a gap between all detection being all cases existent.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @09:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @09:14PM (#22704)
  • (Score: 1) by pjbgravely on Friday March 28 2014, @10:37PM

    Which form of Autism is on the increase? I think they forgot that it is called the Autistic spectrum because many things cause the same symptoms, small strokes, hormonal imbalances, mental retardation , super high intelligence and many other things can cause the same group of symptoms.

    For the people who say we are drugging kids for ADHD. The drugs are stimulants and they calm down hyperactive kids. If they make the kids worse then they don't have ADHD and should not be given them. Some researchers believe that ADHD is the result of higher IQ's trying to deal with a system designed for lower IQ.
    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday March 29 2014, @05:22AM

      by sjames (2882) on Saturday March 29 2014, @05:22AM (#22831) Journal

      Unfortunately, stimulants work GREAT if the objective is to dumb down a high IQ child for a low IQ school. One effect of that class of stimulant is laser focus on trivia. The kid essentially becomes a knick-knacking tweaker.

      • (Score: 1) by pjbgravely on Sunday March 30 2014, @02:52AM

        My child with mild Autism and ADHD enjoyed their best school experience while on stimulants. They had to stop because of heart problems and has been a mediocre student since. If they are in a class jumping from one thing to the next is a benefit then they excel.

        I know it is the educational system that is at fault but it is all we could afford.
        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday March 30 2014, @03:49AM

          by sjames (2882) on Sunday March 30 2014, @03:49AM (#23031) Journal

          There are other contexts where the stimulants work. Possibly even in cases where the child's ability to focus is insufficient (that is, the intended use).

          In many other cases, the actual educational outcome is unlikely to improve, but the school's perception of it might. In others, of course, a different educational environment would probably work even better and without side effects.

          But yeah, it is hard to get an appropriate school environment if none is offered.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Friday March 28 2014, @10:40PM

    by mmcmonster (401) on Friday March 28 2014, @10:40PM (#22740)

    A friend's son was diagnosed with autism. Actually, he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum process.

    Now, a few years later, he's near the top of his class and the teacher wants him to be tested for the gifted program for next year.

    Overdiagnosis of autism is common because there is secondary gain. The child gets added help in class. The state government sends more $ to the county. The county hires counsellors to help the kid out.

    No one benefits from saying the rate of autism is lower than before.

    • (Score: 1) by Jameso_ on Saturday March 29 2014, @03:00AM

      by Jameso_ (252) on Saturday March 29 2014, @03:00AM (#22799)

      Autism is not a synonym for mental retardation; it is not a cognitive disability and has no direct bearing on intelligence. It primarily impacts the ability to communicate and socialize, ranging from anxiety attacks and sensory overload on the mild end, to complete inability to speak on the sever end.

      If an autistic child is high-functioning enough to survive a classroom environment without having a meltdown, it's not uncommon for them to earn high marks, since schoolwork has very clear parameters and unambiguous expectations. The distinction becomes more clear in adulthood when life becomes less structured and the ability to navigate complex social landscapes and form extended networks becomes vastly more important than sheer academic performance to sustain and advance a career.

  • (Score: 1) by desgua on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:43AM

    by desgua (876) on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:43AM (#22767)

    From the mentioned article (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6302.pdf):

    "The findings in this report are subject to at least five
    limitations. First, although data in this report were obtained
    through the largest ongoing investigation of ASD prevalence
    in the United States, the surveillance sites were not selected
    to be representative of the entire United States, nor were they
    selected to be representative of the states in which they are
    located. Limitations regarding population size and racial/ethnic
    distribution among sites were considered when interpreting
    results. However, differences by sex and race/ethnicity reported
    in the overall findings might be confounded by site, and these
    patterns might not be universal among all sites.
    Second, population denominators used for this report were
    based on the 2010 decennial census. Decennial population
    counts are considered to be more accurate than postcensal
    estimates, which are modeled for years following a decennial
    census and for intercensal estimates, which are modeled for
    years in between the two most recent decennial census counts
    (28). ADDM reports from nondecennial surveillance years
    such as 2002, 2006, and 2008 are likely influenced by greater
    error in the population denominators used for those previous
    surveillance years, which were based on postcensal estimates. For
    this reason and others described previously, comparisons with
    previous ADDM findings should be interpreted with caution.
    The method of adjusting census counts using school enrollment
    data, as described in the analytic methods section of this report,
    introduces another source of denominator error specific to the
    Arizona ADDM site.
    Third, three of the nine sites with access to review children’s
    education records did not receive permission to do so in all
    individual school districts within the site’s overall surveillance
    area. In North Carolina, the impact of this could be addressed
    in the evaluation of missing records, and because the school
    districts participating in this study comprised the vast majority
    (>90%) of the overall population covered by the North
    Carolina ADDM site, prevalence estimates for North Carolina
    were similar whether including or excluding the geographic
    area encompassed by the nonparticipating school district.
    In Colorado, the participating school districts comprised
    a relatively small portion (10%) of the overall population
    covered by the Colorado ADDM site. Consistent with the
    results from Colorado as reported for the 2008 surveillance year
    (11), prevalence estimates for the geographic area encompassed
    by the participating school districts were higher than for the
    overall surveillance area. In Alabama, where the participating
    school districts also comprised a relatively small portion (about
    10%) of the overall population covered, prevalence estimates
    for the geographic areas encompassed by participating school
    districts were similar to those from the remainder of the overall
    surveillance area. For all three of these sites, the extent to which
    these comparisons reflect completeness of case ascertainment
    or geographic differences such as regional and socioeconomic
    disparities in access to services is uncertain. Study of this topic
    in much greater depth is planned.
    Fourth, all results describing intellectual ability were
    restricted to sites that had these data for at least 70% of children
    with ASD, with the proportion ranging from 76% to 96%.
    Therefore, findings that address intellectual ability might not
    be generalizable to all ADDM sites or, among the seven sites
    reporting data on intellectual ability, to those children with
    ASD for whom these data were not available.
    Finally, throughout this report, race and ethnicity are
    presented in very broad terms and should not be interpreted
    as generalizable to all persons within those categories. For
    example, children were categorized as Hispanic regardless
    of their racial group or geographic origin, which might
    differ among ADDM sites. Likewise, other attributes such
    as socioeconomic status might differ widely among children
    categorized in any single category of race/ethnicity."