boys 4 times more likely to get autism

Below is a video discussing the genetics of autism.  If one twin has autism,  an identical twin has a 90% chance of having autism or an  autistic spectrum disorder.  That is a very high heritability  rate.  Boys are 3  to 4 times more likely to have autism than girls.  No one gene is implicated; it appears to be combinations of genes that are  involved.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjdTaiJuFu0[/youtube]

Chronic Lyme disease mimics many diseases

Below is list of symptoms for Lyme disease. Note some mental symtoms:  poor concentration and memory loss, irritability and mood swings, depression, diziness and fatique.  Couple those with lots of symptoms arcross multiple systems.  This is a disease that mimics multiple disorders.  Basic Information about Lyme disease.  This info came from Turn the Corner at  www.turnthecorner.org 

  1. Lyme disease is prevalent across the United States. Ticks do not know geographic boundaries. A patient’s county of residence does not accurately reflect their total Lyme disease risk, since people travel, pets travel, and ticks travel. This creates a dynamic situation with many opportunities for exposure for each individual.
  2. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. Spirochetal infection of multiple organ systems causes a wide range of symptoms. Familiarity with its varied presentations is key to recognizing disseminated Lyme disease. Case reports in the medical literature document its protean manifestations.
  3. Fewer than half of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. In some studies this number is as low as 15% in culture-proven Lyme borrelial infection.
  4. Fewer than half of patients with Lyme disease recall any rash. Although the bull’s eye presentation is considered classic, it is not the most common dermatologic manifestation of early-localized Lyme infection. Atypical forms of this rash are seen far more commonly. It is important to know that the Erythema Migrans rash is pathognomonic of Lyme disease and requires no further verification prior to starting 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy. Shorter treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate.
  5. There has never in the history of this illness been one study that proves even in the simplest way that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures Lyme disease. However, there is a plethora of documentation in the US and European medical literature demonstrating histologically and in culture that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete.
  6. An uncomplicated case of chronic Lyme disease requires an average of 6-12 months of high-dose antibiotic therapy. The return of symptoms and evidence of the continued presence of Borrelia burgdorferi indicates the need for further treatment. The very real consequences of untreated chronic, persistent Lyme infection far outweigh the potential consequences of long-term antibiotic therapy.
  7. Many patients with Lyme disease require treatment for 1-4 years, or until the patient is symptom free. Relapses occur and maintenance antibiotics may be required. There are no tests available to assure us whether the organism is eradicated or the patient is cured.
  8. There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia burgdorferi, over 100 strains in the US, and 300 strains worldwide. This diversity is thought to contribute to Borrelia burgdorferi‘s antigenic variability and its various antibiotic resistances.
  9. Lyme disease is the latest great imitator and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of MS, ALS, seizure and other neurological conditions, as well as arthritis, CFS, gulf war syndrome, ADHD, hypochondriasis, fibromyalgia, somatization disorder and patients with various difficult-to-diagnose multi-system syndromes.
  10. Lyme is the number one tick-borne illness in the US. The CDC reports there are 24,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US, but the CDC says that figure could be under reported by tenfold. ILADS believes newly diagnosed cases of Lyme may occur at a rate five times higher than the number of new AIDS cases. Chronic Lyme is reported in up to half of patients treated for Lyme.
  11. Symptomatic presentations of Lyme disease include:
    • Fatigue
    • Low grade fevers, “hot flashes” or chills
    • Night sweats
    • Sore throat
    • Swollen glands
    • Stiff neck
    • Migrating arthralgias, stiffness and frank arthritis
    • Myalgia
    • Chest pain and palpitations
    • Abdominal pain, nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Poor concentration and memory loss
    • Irritability and mood swings
    • Depression
    • Back pain
    • Blurred vision and eye pain
    • Jaw pain
    • Testicular/pelvic pain
    • Tinnitus
    • Vertigo
    • Cranial nerve disturbance (facial numbness, pain, tingling, palsy or optic neuritis)
    • Headaches
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
 

ticks carry Lyme Disease, common to Monterey Bay area

tickremoval2

Ticks disorders can lead to serious complications if left untreated.  If Lyme becomes a chronic condition it can lead to persistent muscle, bone, nerbe pain, fatique, and memory impairment.  Caught early, the typical treatment is 4 to 6 weeks of andibiotics. Be careful to check for ticks and see a physican for diagnosis and treatment.   What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
The list of possible symptoms for Lyme disease is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. Symptoms usually appear within three to 30 days. The following are the most common symptoms of LD. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.One of the primary symptoms is often a rash that is pink in the center and a deeper red on the surrounding skin. The rash:
  • can appear several days after infection, or not at all.
  • can last a few hours or up to several weeks.
  • can be very small or very large (up to 12 inches across).
  • can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites.
  • can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all.
  • can disappear and return several weeks later.
Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, flu-like symptoms can appear, including the following:
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • low-grade fever and chills
  • fatigue
  • poor appetite
  • sore throat
  • swollen glands
After several months, painful and swollen joints may occur.
Other possible symptoms may include the following:
  • neurological symptoms
  • heart problems
  • skin disorders
  • eye problems
  • hepatitis
  • severe fatigue
  • weakness
  • problems with coordination
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS), a condition also known as chronic Lyme disease. Symptoms include persistent muscle, bone, and nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.Symptoms of LD may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
LD may be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may resemble other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20 percent of cases. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite.Diagnosis of Lyme disease must be made by an experienced physician. Blood and laboratory tests are generally done to rule out other conditions.Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing LD.
Treatment for Lyme disease:
Your child’s physician will determine the best treatment plan based on your child’s individual situation. Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotics for a period of four to six weeks.Treatment will be considered based on these and other factors:
  • If you are bitten by a tick that tests positive for spirochetes.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and have any of the symptoms.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and are pregnant.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and live in an area where the ticks are known to be infected.
Relapse and incomplete treatment responses occur. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include: 40 to 60 percent joint disease; 15 to 20 percent neurologic disease; 8 percent carditis; and 10 percent (or more) of persons are hospitalized, some with chronic debilitating conditions.

Utah autistic adults lead more fullfilling lives

If you have an adult child with autism – why not encourage them to live in Utah?  What is it about Utah that encourages or creates social connections?  Could it be that the Mormon religion and/or strong social ties  help? 

“Twenty years after first being assessed in a long-term autism study, 41 Utahns with the disorder had a higher social outcome than those in similar studies, University of Utah psychiatry researchers have reported in the Journal of Autism Research online.

Although the researchers can’t yet explain why the follow-up study showed the Utah group fared better overall in living independently, developing social relationships, and in some cases even showing higher IQs than 20 years ago, the results offer hope for many with a childhood diagnosis of autism, according to Megan A. Farley, Ph.D., the study’s first author and a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the U of U School of Medicine.

“This is an amazing group of people who, in many cases, did a lot more than their parents were told they would ever do,” Farley said of those who participated in the follow-up study. “This gives a lot of hope for younger people with autism and average-range IQs.”

Farley and her fellow researchers drew the follow-up study participants from an original group of 241 Utahns with autism who took part in a University of Utah and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), study from 1984-1988. The average age of participants in the original study was 7, while the average age at the follow-up study was 32. Participants in the current study had an average childhood non-verbal IQ of at least 70.

For the follow-up study, the researchers assessed the participants’ overall social outcome by their ability to maintain paid employment, the existence of meaningful social relationships, and their degree of independence in daily life. From these criteria, an individual’s overall social outcome was assigned to one of five categories: very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor:

  • Very good meant the person held paid employment without extra support to perform job duties, had important social relationships, and a high independence in daily life.
  • Good indicated the individual had a generally high level of independence at work and in daily life, requiring some extra support, and also had a friendship or some acquaintances.
  • Fair reflected the need for regular support at work or home, but the person did not have to live at a special residential facility. The participants in this category had acquaintances through special activities but no particular friends.
  • Poor showed the need for a high level of support, such as a residential living facility and planned daily activities for people developmental disabilities. Those in this category had no friends outside their residential living arrangements.
  • Very poor meant the individual required a high level of care in a hospital setting with no autonomy and had no friendships.

By these measures, the researchers found that 24 percent of the participants had a very good social outcome; 24 percent had a good outcome; 34 percent had a fair outcome; and 17 percent were rated in the poor social outcome category. No one’s social outcome fell into the very poor category.

About half of the 41 study participants were employed in full- or part-time competitive jobs. Six were living independently, including three who owned homes. Three were married with children, and one person also was newly engaged to be married. Eleven of the participants have driver licenses and the same number had a higher IQ than when assessed 20 years earlier.

“Adults with autism haven’t received the attention from researchers that children have, but the few studies that have been done on similar groups showed 15 percent to 30 percent having good outcomes, compared to the 50 percent in our study,” Farley said. “One early Canadian study showed similar results to ours, but other studies have had fewer people living and working independently as adults.”

Although, Farley doesn’t know why the Utah group fared better than those in other autism studies, she thinks it may be related to early intervention to help children with the disorder and strong social and family networks in Utah.

The most important factor in whether study participants had a better living outcome was their degree of independence in daily activities – being able to take care of themselves, hold employment, live on their own or at least semi-independently, and take part in meaningful social relationships, according to Farley. Although IQ significantly influences social outcome, daily independence plays an even greater role in determining how well people with autism function, the researchers said.

Although encouraging, the follow-up study results also show autism’s devastating toll. About half the participants could not live or work independently, and the majority lived with their parents, although many of them had a high level of independence in their daily activities. Social isolation is a serious problem as well – 44 percent of the group has never dated. In addition, 60 percent of the study participants, even some of those who had achieved independent living and working, were prone to anxiety and mood disorders and worried about a social stigma attached to autism. The IQ of eight participants declined since they first were evaluated 20 years ago.

The 41 participants in the follow-up originally were identified through a statewide epidemiological survey between 1984 and 1988 conducted by the U of U and UCLA. The goal of that study was to identify every person born with autism between 1960 and 1984 and who lived in Utah during the four-year survey. The survey was one of the largest population-based autism studies in the world, meaning it tried to assess the whole population of Utahns with the disorder rather than a select group. By assessing participants from the original study, the follow-up gives a unique perspective on the long-term course of autism, according to Farley.

The long-term follow-up also will help researchers identify issues that affect the social outcomes of adults who were diagnosed with autism as children, providing information that can help determine services that will help these adults lead more fulfilling lives.

“Our current results have encouraged us to go further in following up the entire sample of 241 adults who were identified with autistic disorder in the 1980’s,” Farley said. “We now know that, with the help of the remaining adults and their families who are willing to give of their time and energy, we will be able to have a better understanding of the life course in autism. We’re excited now to contact all of the families who participated in the original study.”

Notes:

Hilary Coon, Ph.D., research professor of psychiatry, was the study’s senior author, and William M. McMahon, M.D., chairman of the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, was a member of the original study team and a co-author on the current study as well

Oiled Seal soon to be released.

Olive, a seal rescured from Monterey Bay recently, will be released back into Monterey Bay soon.  She was covered with black oil naturally gushing up during the recent storms.  To clean her up, she was washed with olive oil.  Hence her name.  Several agencies including the Monterey Bay Acquarium and U.C. Santa Cruz assisted in her rescue.

Support Local Live Theater

James Jackson appears in his seventh  play  in three years  for Golden Crow Productions.  The play is Rat Race.  Jackson plays Donald Sinclair, a flamboyant personality wearing  a flamboyant, purple suit. 

 Rat Race starts April 17.  Location:  Bethany University in Scotts Valley, CA  For more information go to: www.goldencrow.org   You can contact James Jackson at:  jaj48@aol.com

Save your ticket stubs! Email to CameronJacks@gmail.com or call 831 688-6002 that you attended. We will send half the cost of your ticket to the church/worship place of your choice located in Santa Cruz County. Support the arts. And support churches and places of worship.