You are not alone if you are in a family with a child diagnosed with an Autistic/ Allergic disorder and an adult diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. What has disrupted the lifestyles espoused by the developed world? It is plain to see that our children are far weaker and have severe allergies to food items that our ancestors have eaten for generations and even their grandparents can tolerate well in their old age!
The genetic link is suspected to be an autoimmune genes. Yet, inspite of large, genome studies there is no single gene or a group of genes that appear to be common factors. There are several large regions on the chromosomes that share common characteristics among patients with Autism, Aspergers, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Autoimmune diseases. The immune genes appear to play a role but no particular set of immune genes stand out. Obviously, genes alone are not responsible for these disorders.
The dedicated researchers in this field continue to perservere since it is obvious there is a shared set of factors triggering such disorders in a single family. Do contact the researchers and encourage them. These men and women are working long hours to discover these common triggers. Invite them to your support groups and inspire them. Shower them with accolades and let these men and women researchers know that they are our modern “Knights in shining armor”.
Here are three scholarly, peer-reviewed articles discussing their research on the subject:
One is by Dr Joseph Piven and colleagues, giving their expert psychiatric analysis of such families and concluding that there is a higher incidence of communication and behavioral deficits in the relatives. Families with Autism were compared with families with Down Syndrome and his conclusion was found only in families with Autism.
His contact information:
Dr. Piven, 1875 John Pappajohn Pavilion, Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242-1057; firstname.lastname@example.org. uiowa.edu (e-mail).
Two is by a team of Psychiatrists and a Pediatrician from Medical Schools in Indiana. Their team studied about 300 families and concluded that autoimmune diseases like rheumatic fever was far more common in parents of children with Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, and such disorders than in parents of children not showing such disorders. They see an immune and autoimmune connection in families with Autistic disorders. They found this finding “unanticipated” and illuminating. In addition, they found this connection was not as strong in patients with PDD NOS and far stronger in patients with Autism and Aspergers. Interesting, right?
They hypothesize a mother to son transmission factor. They conclude this from a particularly important observation that there is a numerical increase in autoimmune diseases in grandmothers and uncles, as well as mothers and brothers of PDD patients. Normally, less men and more women present with autoimmune disorders. Yet, Autism and Aspergers are largely diagnosed in boys.
Thayne L. Sweeten, PhD*, Suzanne L. Bowyer, MD‡, David J. Posey, MD*, Gary M. Halberstadt, DO§, Christopher J. McDougle, MD*
*Departments of Psychiatry
‡Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, and James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children Indianapolis, Indiana
§St Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana
Three is by The researchers studied the rates of Autoimmune diseases in parents of 111 infant Autistic patients and naturally, there were more boy patients (82) than girl patients (29). They observed a higher incidence of ulcerative collitis in mothers and Type 1 diabetes in fathers of infant Autism patients in comparison of parents of 330 normal children. The results were published in 2007 in the peer-reviewed journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.
Mouridsen, S. E., Rich, B., Isager, T. and Nedergaard, N. J.
* Correspondence to first author at Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. E-mail: email@example.com
1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Denmark
2 Terrasserne 105, Roskilde, Denmark
3 Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark
4 Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
The scientific authors of these scientific publications on Autism disorders are observing with tempered frustration how uneducated the larger population is of this rising epidemic. They request that you allow for a 30% error in their observations. This error percentage is far higher in experiments allowing for human error. That is because people in general are unaware of the terms and symptoms of this rising epidemic until it hits one dear to them. Your role is to educate the public. Then the researchers in this field will find it easier to get results less prone to “uneducated responses” from their researched families “untouched” by Autoimmune disorders. This societal shift in autoimmune diseases in more boys vs girls and women is what the researchers are following. The numbers of Autistic and Asperger boys are rising each year. They will grow up and outlive their parents, many of whom are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Society faces a future it has no previous comprehension of.
Photo credit here.
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