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autism
autism spectrum disorder
physical signs
Rates Of Autism Rapidly Increasing But Research Is At A Standstill
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Autism is a disorder that effects the development of neurological processes of the brain. Usually there are no physical signs of this disorder but rather sufferers often have many behavioral symptoms like trouble with communication and social interaction skills. The number of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States has recently spiked to about one in 88 children cases which is exponentially greater than the statistics found and reported from 2002 and 2006. It has been found that the rate within boys is roughly one in 54 while girls show only one in 252 cases of ASD- according to the CDC.

Many believe that the increased number of cases of ASD diagnosed is related to the availability and use of a greater amount of drugs and immunizations available to parents- specifically mothers before, during and after pregnancy. In a study conducted by an association of the CDC, Kaiser Permanente Groups, UCLA, Harvard Med, and the Center for Vaccine Research they looked at the main trends and effects of Infants and Prenatal exposure to main ingredients (thimerosal and mercury) of vaccines and immunoglobulins. The children were selected by a series of interviews, assessments and genetic counseling done with consent of their parents. Exposure took place between pregnancy and the child’s second birthday and data collected until the child was 16 years of age. Experimental controls were determined by intense maternal interviewing and testing.

Procedural exposure began in periods from prenatal to birth, birth to one month, birth to seven months and birth to 24 months. They recorded the amount of total mercury and thimerosal administered through vaccinations during pregnancy to the levels of these vaccination ingredients in the child’s body after birth.

Over the course of this experiment, they found no correlation of increased risk of autistic spectrum disorders from the exposure of vaccine and immunoglobulin ingredients during the period of prenatal to infant.

Although there could be a societal influence from vaccines on theses noticeably increased numbers of diagnosed cases, it is hard to study at this time due to multiple factors. First, there is not enough research since the study of autism really only began in the mid 1900’s so cases of autism were not thoroughly recorded until more recent years. Another reason being that autistic spectrum disorders could be caused by genetic mutations of the brain and behavioral sections of the brain. With genetics and genomics we have the technology to synthesize and sequence specific genes, but ASD could very well be caused by multiple genes or the regulation of those genes. Therefore, we would need to isolate and study these processes. This is difficult because humans are not a good test subject and we know that humans are unique in that we have more cognitive ability than any other species or organism. Overall, there are many more factors that could lead us to finding a source and cause of autistic spectrum disorders.


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