November 5, 2008

Autism’s Missing Puzzle Piece?

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While many are pointing the finger at vaccines, scientists and researchers are still looking at the genetic connection with autism.

According to The Vancouver Sun,

A gene that helps the brain make connections may underlie a significant number of autism cases, researchers in the United States reported on Tuesday.

Disruptions in the gene, called contactin 4, stop the gene from working properly and appear to stop the brain from making proper networks, the researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

These disruptions, in which the child has either three copies of the gene or just one copy when two copies is normal, could account for up to 2.5 percent of autism cases, said Dr. Eli Hatchwell of Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York, who led the study.

“That is a significant number,” said Hatchwell.

I realize 2.5% doesn’t sound like very much.  I also realize that it will take a much larger number to grab the attention of those who think otherwise about genetics and their connection with autism.

But something has to be said for genetics.  Some “credit” has to be thrown its way.

After all, if it were the vaccines then every child who’s ever been vaccinated would be autistic.  Not just every child in the U.S., but every child in the world.

Let me stress this again, I am not saying that vaccines cannot be considered as a trigger in many of the autism cases.

What I am saying is the cause is much deeper than that.

Technological advances have changed this world in so many ways that the blinders have to be removed.   People have to see that there’s more to autism than just vaccines.

I’m sure not every woman opted for the no-fish-consumption during her pregnancy.

I’m sure not every woman had her silver fillings removed before she became pregnant.

I’m sure not every woman stopped cleaning her home/car with toxic chemicals before she became pregnant.

I’m sure not every woman did away with the bulk of the plastic goods in her home before she became pregnant.

Contactin 4 is involved in the development of axons, which are the long strings that connect one neuron to another. Other

disruptions of this gene are known to cause developmental delay and mental retardation.

“The genetic mutation is present at birth”, Hatchwell said.

I’m not saying that this study proves anything, but it’s a stepping stone.

We need to rid ourselves of the paranoia that now surrounds vaccines, because that energy could be best spent elsewhere…

Like finding the “cause”; not the blame.

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