Babesiosis is a parasite that has symptoms similiar to malaria – headache, fever, aches. The same tick that carries Lyme Disease can also carry Babesiosis.
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.”
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
This is exerpt from an article. Can a disrupted MET gene be repaired? This is IMPORTANT as if we can repair genes maybe whe can reduce or cure autism in some people.
“The findings suggest that disrupted signaling of the MET gene may contribute to a syndrome that includes autism and co-occurring gastrointestinal dysfunction, says principal investigator Pat Levitt, Ph.D., director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and chair-designate of the Department of cell and neurobiology.
The study will appear in the March Issue of the Journal of Pediatrics and is now available online.
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by deficits in communication abilities, social behavior disruption and inflexible behavior. While gastrointestinal conditions are common among individuals with autism, researchers have long debated whether co-occurring GI dysfunction represents a unique autism subgroup, Levitt and lead author Daniel Campbell, Ph.D., say.
³Gastrointestinal disorders don¹t cause autism. Autism is a disorder of brain development,² Levitt says. ³However, our study is the first to bring together genetic risk for autism and co-occurring GI disorders in a way that provides a biologically plausible explanation for why they are seen together so often.²
In the brain, the MET gene is expressed in developing circuits that are involved in social behavior and communication. Disturbances in MET expression result in alterations in how these critical circuits develop and mature, Levitt explains. Research indicates that MET also plays an important role in development and repair of the GI system.
Researchers analyzed medical history records from 214 families in the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). They found that a variant in the MET gene was associated with autism specifically in those families where an individual had co-occurring autism and a GI condition.
The study brings researchers closer to understanding the complex genetic risks for autism. However, further research is needed, as different combinations of genes are likely to result in different types of autism features, Levitt says.
³We believe that there are other genes that will help identify different subgroups of individuals who have autism spectrum disorder,² he says. ³We also believe that there needs to be research looking at whether the children with co-occurring GI dysfunction and autism have unique features that will help us predict what treatments will be best for them.²
The study was funded by the Simons Foundation, the Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation, the Dan Marino Foundation¹s Marino Autism Research Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.”
“Distinct Genetic Risk Based on Association of MET in Families With Co- occurring Autism and Gastrointestinal Conditions.”
Daniel B. Campbell, Timothy M. Buie, Harland Winter, Margaret Bauman, James S. Sutcliffe, James M. Perrin, Pat Levitt.
Pediatrics. Doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0819.
The following is taken from a recent article on success treating autism with presurized oxygen:
In a medical world that tells parents of autistic children to “accept” the condition of their child, a new study brings not only hope, but actual help, to these families. Lead physician and researcher, Daniel Rossignol, M.D., treats children with autism. Seeing his patients improve with hyperbaric oxygen treatment led him to conduct the first large scale, double-blind, controlled study to examine its effectiveness. And, the results of this study demonstrate positive improvements.
Hyperbaric therapy traditionally involves inhaling up to 100% oxygen at a pressure greater than 1 atmosphere (atm) in a pressurized chamber. In the first randomized, controlled, double-blind multicenter trial, published in BMC Pediatrics and entitled “Hyperbaric treatment for children with autism: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.” Dr. Rossignol and colleagues, from 6 centers in the USA, studied 62 children, aged 2-7 years, to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric treatment in children with autism.
The research trial concludes that children with autism who received hyperbaric treatment at 1.3 atmospheres and 24% oxygen for 40 hourly sessions had significant improvements in overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory/cognitive awareness compared to children who received slightly pressurized room air.
The children were randomly assigned to either 40 hours of hyperbaric treatment at 1.3 atm and 24% oxygen (treatment group) or slightly pressurized room air at 1.03 atm and 21% oxygen (non-treatment group). Clinical outcomes were evaluated by three different scales: the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC).
Dr. Rossignol said, “In our study, we observed significant improvements in several core autistic behaviors with the use of hyperbaric therapy at 1.3 atm compared to children receiving near-placebo treatment. These findings confirm what we are seeing in clinical practice–that many children with autism may benefit with the use of this treatment.”
Director of the International Hyperbarics Association, Shannon Kenitz, said, “With autism on the rise, it is promising to see a study that has been conducted with the high standards endorsed by the medical community. Having this scientifically controlled and analyzed study that shows the positive effects of hyperbarics is truly what this community has needed. The study not only presents the benefit of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for children with autism, but also gives families the hope that so many other therapies have failed to do.”
“The impact of this study on the autism community is significant. It brings validity to a successful intervention that needs to become part of mainstream medicine,” commented Kyle Van Dyke, M.D., and Autism Specialist from Madison, Wisconsin.
According to Philip James, M.D., an expert in hyperbaric medicine out of the UK, this study is “An article of outstanding merit and interest in its field.”
The growing concern regarding autism in this country is reinforced by the critically high ranking this study as earned by BMC Pediatrics. It is currently the most accessed article and projected to continue to climb in significance.
International Hyperbarics Association, Inc.
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.
Take a look at IAN — www.ianproject.org Front page lists a number of research articles.
This case is now before the U.S. Supreme Courtt. How decided may affect how law in enforced in Monterey County.
In Austin, Texas, they wanted to move a polling place from a garage to an elementary school. Seems simple. They were told that they first had to get permission from the U.S. Justice Department Why? Because Section 5 of the Voting Right Act is imposed on Texas. Section 5 is also imposed on Monterey County. Justice Kennedy is considered to be the swing vote on the case. Kennedy tends to be skeptical of race conscious laws.
. This case will soon come up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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.
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.
Sunset at Rio del Mar beach …