Scientists May Have Found The Root Cause Of Autism | IFLScience

 Scientists think they’ve found out what could be at the root of autism and, no, it’s not vaccines. According to a new study, it could be caused by having too many brain connections called synapses.

“An increased number of synapses creates miscommunication among neurons in the developing brain that correlates with impairments in learning, although we don’t know how,”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Social intelligence of parents with autism spectrum disorders impacts their emotional behaviour: A new proposed model for stabilising emotionality of these parents impacting their social intelligence

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Infamous Chemical Has Been Strongly Linked To Autism

    The infamous pesticide DDT has been further implicated as a possible trigger for the development of autism spectrum disorder by an international group of epidemiologists and psychiatrists studying children who were exposed in utero.

    The level of DDT in the mother’s system was quantified by a laboratory test for DDE, the chemical that DDT is metabolized into.

    Examining this data revealed that the likelihood of autism was 32 percent higher in children whose mothers harbored DDE levels in the 75th percentile (of the range of concentrations in all subject’s mothers)

    the odds of autism with intellectual disability were a staggering 121 percent higher if the mother had DDE levels above this threshold.

    Both DDT and PCBs affect the actions of male sex hormones in utero – which are being increasingly implicated in autism – yet do so differently. DDT is known to inhibit the production and function of receptors for these hormones, whereas PCBs increase the number of receptors.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Autism and vaccines: more than half of people in Britain, France, Italy still think there may be a link

    One of the most frustrating misperceptions in our many studies on what people commonly get wrong is the enduring myth that vaccines pose a risk to healthy children. It’s particularly maddening because it has direct and long-lasting consequences.

    In the UK, the rise in cases is often among young adults, who were less likely to be immunised as children during a period of vaccine concern sparked by Andrew Wakefield’s now completely discredited claims that the MMR vaccine caused leaks in the gut that went through the bloodstream to the brain.

    But new doubts keep being layered on, with points about freedom of choice from Italian political parties muddying the waters, and more than 20 tweets from the US president, Donald Trump, suggesting a link. This is despite many reviews that fail to find any link, including a 2014 meta-analysis of records from over 1.25m children.

    Around one in every five people believe that “some vaccines cause autism in healthy children”, and 38% are unsure whether it is true or not.

    Why do we fear vaccines?
    So why do three in five people across these countries feel unsure or believe that there actually is a link between some vaccines and autism in healthy children, despite the claims being so widely discredited? It is partly because it has many of the ingredients that drive conspiracy theories.

    First, it’s a highly emotive issue – there is little more emotional than the health of our children. We treat information differently when we are in highly emotional states

    Second, it involves medical complexity and requires an understanding of risk, which we really struggle with.

    In addition, the communications we do see on vaccines are often actively unhelpful, with sections of the media keeping these stories alive. This does not just mean television shows or articles that give space to those who make the case for the vaccine–autism link without providing space for counter claims.

    Then there is also a more subtle effect from “balanced” reporting. This is where a media item says that while a credible source disagrees with a position, some others still believe it. There is increasing evidence that this apparent balance actually serves to polarise

    In some ways, vaccines are a victim of their own success, because we are much more likely to notice phantom scares than world-changing but incremental improvements. We need to fight these frighteningly widespread vaccine misperceptions to avoid a much more attention-grabbing reverse.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scientists May Have Actually Found One Of The Causes Of Autism And Shockingly, It’s Not Vaccines

    Over the past few years, more and more research has been published revealing just how fundamental our gut microbiome is to our health. It can affect everything from our response to fear and negative stimuli, to our weight and mental health, to whether or not we develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus and type 1 diabetes.

    Now, a new study published in The Journal of Immunology has found a link between the gut microbiome and the neurodevelopmental condition autism using animal studies. However, it is not our own microbiome that affects whether or not we develop autism, the researchers say – it’s our mom’s.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Infamous Chemical Has Been Strongly Linked To Autism

    The infamous pesticide DDT has been further implicated as a possible trigger for the development of autism spectrum disorder by an international group of epidemiologists and psychiatrists studying children who were exposed in utero.

    Their findings, now published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, present the first evidence of a link between the banned chlorine-based chemical and the neurological condition that was drawn from cases where the mother was confirmed to have DDT in her body

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Enabling Autistic Children to Enjoy a Relaxed Visit to the Museum

    The National Museum of Computing in the UK is a great place to learn about the history of computing and decoding machines all the way to modern computers. In an earlier article we announced that Paessler is involved in financing and conducting so-called Relaxed Openings, which are intended to enable children from the autism spectrum (ASD) to visit the museum in a relaxed, quiet atmosphere.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Autism: How to Monitor the 3 Biggest Stress Factors

    For people with ASD, including Asperger’s syndrome and other mild forms of Autism, environmental influences can be a major problem. This is because a high sensitivity to environmental influences is present in most forms of autism. This sensitivity can seriously impair concentration, even if, as is the case with Asperger’s, those affected show above-average intelligence.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uncovering a Clinical Portrait of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo within an Evaluation for ADHD: A Case Study

    Despite the burgeoning scientific literature examining the sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) construct, very little is known about the clinical presentation of SCT. In clinical cases where SCT is suspected, it is critical to carefully assess not only for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but also for other comorbidities that may account for the SCT-related behaviors, especially internalizing symptoms and sleep problems.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adhd-oireiset voivat olla muita luovempia, tehokkaampia ja joustavampia – “Positiiviset piirteet usein unohdetaan, varsinkin nykypäivän koulumaailmassa”

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    a whole raft of conditions we may think of as being “modern” afflictions – from depression and anxiety to obesity, and even autism and ADHD – have actually been linked in recent years to a much more personal ecosystem: the one inside our guts

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yetitablet in Autism center

    Ladies from the Autism Foundation of Finland discuss the benefits of the Yetitablet

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Common Food Additives Have Been Linked To Anxiety And Behavior Changes

    It’s no secret that processed foods are not good for your physical health or your waistline, but a new study has highlighted how a diet rich in particular food additives might even affect your behavior too.

    The additives in question are synthetic emulsifiers – specifically polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose – that are often added to foods such as cookies, cake, bread, and margarine to improve their texture as well as extend their shelf life.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    16 years ago, a doctor published a study. It was completely made up, and it made us all sicker.
    The entire study was fabricated.

    Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

    After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

    In the intervening years, millions have been spent on studying this further to see if there was anything that could connect autism and vaccines.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Children With Autism May Not Cave To Peer Pressure Like Non-Autistic Kids, Study Finds

    “This study may explain some of [children with autism's] difficulties in social interactions,” Krug and co-authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. After all, when other children are being shaped by their peers, those who are not may struggle to fit in.

    The work also hints at how society may benefit from people with autism. Most of the time, the advice of others will be helpful and time saving. However, a person with autism who is more likely to spot problems with such advice

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “It’s a Spectrum” Doesn’t Mean What You Think

    Everyone knows that autism is a spectrum. People bring it up all the time.

    If only people knew what a spectrum is… because they are talking about autism all wrong.

    People think you can be “a little autistic” or “extremely autistic,” the way a paint colour could be a little red or extremely red.

    But autism isn’t that simple.

    Autism isn’t a set of defined symptoms that collectively worsen as you move “up” the spectrum.

    In fact, one of the distinguishing features of autism is what the DSM-V calls an “uneven profile of abilities.”

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Autistics Make Others Uncomfortable, Instantly

    Autistics make other people uncomfortable, and we do this almost instantly upon meeting. In my communications classes, I teach about the 50 to 500 milliseconds during which most people develop first impressions. These impressions are difficult, nearly impossible, to counteract with evidence and familiarity.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teachers ‘forced special needs child to make a list of his faults’
    Parents’ distress as drawing of son’s traits pinned up in classroom

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    People with autism are actually better than the rest of the population at predicting collective responses.

    People With Autism Are Better At Predicting Generalized Social Responses

    Autism spectrum is associated with finding it more difficult to assess the thoughts, emotions, and intentions of others on an individual basis. A Yale University team made the first large-scale test of whether this extends to struggling to predict the behavior of people in groups. To their surprise they found the opposite; people with autism are actually better than the rest of the population at predicting collective responses.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    On the autism spectrum? : recognition and assessment of quantitative autism traits in high-functioning school-aged children. An epidemiological and clinical study

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A “landmark study” has identified 102 genes associated with autism spectrum disorder.

    More Than 100 Identified Genes Found To Be Associated With Autism

    A “landmark study” has identified 102 genes associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in what researchers say may not only lend to understanding the causes and mechanisms behind the condition but may one day pave the way to developing precision treatments for those affected.

    “The take-home message is that there are probably many different paths to autism,” Joseph Buxbaum, Director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, told IFLScience. “That is the nature of complex disorders – many of the things that have been studied now and patient-based research is complicated now because the easy stuff has been figured out.”

    “As we look more and more into autism, we are discovering that it is much more complex than we thought,”

    Genes break down into two main classes, the first being a “critically important” component of turning genes “on and off” and the other being involved in nerve function. When mutated, certain genes may alter nerve function, which can be linked to autism.

    Of the 102 genes found to be associated with ASD, 49 are also associated with other developmental delays. Genes associated with ASD and other intellectual disabilities and developmental delays often overlap, but this work begins to tease apart the specificity.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Aspergerin oireyhtymä voi olla vahvuus työelämässä – esimerkiksi tarkassa koodarin työssä autismin kirjon ihminen pärjää paremmin kuin moni muu

    Sosiaalisesti rajoittunut ja syvästi tunteva introvertti on haluttu työntekijä erityisosaamista vaativilla tekniikan aloilla.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:


  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yet again the MMR vaccine has been proven effective and safe.

    Data On 23 Million Children Shows No Link Between Autism And MMR Vaccine

    A new review of research, using data on over 23 million children across the world, has confirmed that the MMR vaccine is effective, safe, and not associated with an increased risk of autism.

    Of course, this is not the first time the safety of the MMR/MMRV vaccine has been established. It’s been proven time and time again. However, misinformation and popular conspiracy theories about the safety of vaccines continue to rumble on, which has contributed towards a global resurgence of preventable diseases, like measles.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Air pollution and autism spectrum disorder: is there a link?

    Air pollution affects brain development – but when does the damage start?

    The emergency rooms in Barcelona were collapsing under the pressure. Hundreds of patients were arriving in desperate need as they struggled to breathe, while intensive care units struggled to cope with the sudden influx of respiratory problems. Epidemiologists scrambled to trace the source of the outbreak.

    Air pollution

    Professor Jordi Sunyer from ISGlobal, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, was one of the researchers who discovered the link to soybeans and investigates the effects of air pollution.

    ‘In the 80s, home combustion of coal was a major problem, and the levels of sulphur oxide were very high. This was controlled but now, especially in Europe, there is a dramatic increase in traffic and diesel combustion,’ he said.

    As well as changes in the type of pollution, he says that we have come to understand better the extent of damage caused by air pollution, beyond the lungs.

    ‘In the 90s, it appeared that the cardiovascular system was a major target of air pollution. Then in 2008, there were studies in animals that showed an effect on the brain,’ he said. ‘This was because the size of the particles of pollution was so small that they could go into the brain and cause neuroinflammation.’

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An app from the startup Cognoa could be the first tool that lets primary care pediatricians diagnose autism.

    AI Tool to Diagnose Autism Could Give Concerned Parents a Fast Diagnosis

    This week, a California-based company announced it will seek FDA clearance for a first-of-its-kind autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnostic tool. Cognoa’s technology uses artificial intelligence to make an ASD diagnosis within weeks of signs of concern—far faster than the current standard of care. If cleared by the FDA, it would be the first tool enabling primary care pediatricians to diagnose autism.

    Cognoa’s tool is the latest application of AI to healthcare, a fast-moving field we’ve been tracking at IEEE Spectrum. In many situations, AI tools seek to replace doctors in the prediction or diagnosis of a condition. In this case, however, the application of AI could enable more doctors to make a diagnosis of autism, thereby opening a critical bottleneck in children’s healthcare.

    While most parents of children with autism notice developmental changes early on, within the first 1 to 3 years of life, the median diagnosis age in the United States is 4.3 years old. That’s because families often wait months, even years, to see a specialist and get a diagnosis. The time lost during that period is critical: Numerous studies show that early intervention, before the syndrome is fully manifest, can reduce the severity of ASD and improve a child’s brain and behavioral development.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Depression, Anxiety And Heart Disease Risk All Linked To Single Brain Region

    Although depression and anxiety affect millions of people worldwide, there’s still much we don’t know about them. In fact, we still don’t fully understand which brain regions are involved in depression and anxiety, and how they differ between people with varying symptoms. Understanding how or why these differences occur is fundamental to developing better treatments.

    So far, we know that part of the brain’s frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, often shows activity changes in people with depression and anxiety. Parts involved in cognition and regulating emotions are underactive, whereas other parts involved in emotion generation and internal bodily functions are over-active.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Epigenetic Changes In Sperm May Predict If A Man’s Child Will Have Autism, Small Study Suggest

    Scientists have discovered biomarkers in human sperm that might be able to indicate whether a father is likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

    Simply by looking at whether sperm had these key DNA methylation regions, the researchers were then able to predict whether a fathers’ offspring had autism with up to 90 percent accuracy.

    “We can now potentially use this to assess whether a man is going to pass autism on to his children,” Michael Skinner, professor of biological sciences at Washington State University and corresponding author on the study, said in a statement. “It is also a major step toward identifying what factors might promote autism.”

    This new research, reported in the journal Clinical Epigenetics, saw a team of scientists look at sperm epigenetics in 26 men, half of whom 13 had fathered sons with autism and half who had children without the disorder.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LSD Promotes Social Behavior Via Protein That Is Linked To Autism, Study Finds

    The authors of a new study into the behavioral effects of LSD have suggested that the drug may provide the key to developing new therapies for autism (ASD) and social anxiety. This assertion is based on the finding that LSD boosts social behavior in mice and that this effect is mediated by a protein complex that is often associated with ASD.

    Publishing their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers reveal that a single low dose of LSD had no effect on the rodents’ sociability, but that the animals became increasingly convivial towards unfamiliar mice after receiving the drug every day for a week. It is well known that LSD and other psychedelics produce their effects by interacting with serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex, and the study authors were, therefore, unsurprised to find that blocking these receptors nullified this increase in social behavior.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The innovation is based on a machine-learning algorithm that identifies key antibodies.

    Algorithm Predicts A Type Of Autism With 100% Accuracy Using Mother’s Biomarkers

    New technology may be able to predict a certain type of autism with 100% accuracy using biomarkers in the mothers’ blood plasma, suggests a study published in Molecular Psychiatry. The innovation is based on a machine-learning algorithm that identifies key antibodies thought to be linked with maternal autoantibody-related autism spectrum disorder (MAR ASD), which accounts for around 20% of all autism diagnoses, and could become an important screening tool for autism in the future.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How gut microbes could drive brain disorders
    Scientists are starting to work out how the gut microbiome can affect brain health. That might lead to better and easier treatments for brain diseases.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nepsy-lapsille tasavertaiset oikeudet palveluihin

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Study On 657,461 Children Finds No Link Between Vaccines And Autism

    The largest study so far into vaccines and autism has concluded there is no link, even in children who have a higher risk of developing the disorder. In fact, the researchers found that unvaccinated children were more likely to go on to be diagnosed with autism than those who received vaccines.

    In fact, the Danish team found that the 5 percent of children in the study who had no vaccinations were 17 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those who had received vaccinations.

    “The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination,” the authors from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen conclude in their paper.

    “Parents should not skip the vaccine out of fear for autism,”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *