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Have you explored/researched the broad autism phenotype thoroughly?
Yes 43%  43%  [ 10 ]
No 57%  57%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 23

B19
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17 Dec 2014, 3:40 am

I've noticed a schism starting up in the research community recently, which will most probably snowball or die out: there is a small relatively new (during the past 5 years) group of very well established researchers now saying that the existing paradigm of ASD as a neurological disorder is back to front: the doubters have done studies which surprisingly suggest that altered neurology is an effect, more than a cause, of a whole-of-body micro-cellular dysfunction that takes place in every cell in every part of the body. In a nutshell, the body is affecting the brain, not the other way around, because of DNA differences that are inherited. (I have hugely oversimplified this). It will be fascinating to see what unfolds in the next 10 years re this. The jury will be out for a long time.



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17 Dec 2014, 4:56 am

There is no way to diagnose the dearly departed, I suppose. However, my father who died in September of 1988 at the age of sixty-two was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. My older brother who committed suicide when he was eighteen and I was sixteen back in 1971 would have been a stereotype of a type aspie - totally withdrawn - paced and talked to himself constantly and lived in his own world and was into astronomy and designing plans for spaceships since he was about eleven years old. But of course at that time the diagnoses of Asperger syndrome or HFA or other more mild forms of autism did not exist. My mother who died at age of seventy-five in 1997 - I suspect as I look back upon it had some form of autism. So, I guess I was genetically set up.


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17 Dec 2014, 8:49 am

B19 wrote:
I've noticed a schism starting up in the research community recently, which will most probably snowball or die out: there is a small relatively new (during the past 5 years) group of very well established researchers now saying that the existing paradigm of ASD as a neurological disorder is back to front: the doubters have done studies which surprisingly suggest that altered neurology is an effect, more than a cause, of a whole-of-body micro-cellular dysfunction that takes place in every cell in every part of the body. In a nutshell, the body is affecting the brain, not the other way around, because of DNA differences that are inherited. (I have hugely oversimplified this). It will be fascinating to see what unfolds in the next 10 years re this. The jury will be out for a long time.


I don't get this. It sounds like you are saying the new paradigm is just a very basic understanding of genetics in general and behavioral genetics in particular. I think you must have oversimplified in a way that leaves out something important. How would this "doubter" position differ from that of an existing paradigm person who thinks that miscoded calcium channels play a key role? It seems a GxE perspective is necessary no matter what camp people are in.



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17 Dec 2014, 11:09 am

As an "idiopathic" autistic person, I am most aware that one must look at all possibilities. However, one must also consider the merit of these possibilities.

I just don't know where I got my autism from! LOL



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17 Dec 2014, 2:56 pm

I have not noticed particular schism in research community between people who work on autism using different approaches, such as brain vs. cell.
Usually, the different researchers have backgrounds have in different areas, so they apply their knowledge area when studying the common topic of autism, which is only one of their topics of study.
I work on human brain, but I made sure to meet with researchers studying autism using cellular/animal models approach.


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B19
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17 Dec 2014, 4:12 pm

Good stuff. However it pans out in 40 years' time - who knows - it's possible that what is taught now will be very different from what will be accepted then. If we look back even 30 years, the state of ASD knowledge then seems so limited to us from here; I suspect that the same cycle will repeat in the next 30, whatever it turns up, whether paradigms change or not. Hope I am here to see it.



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17 Dec 2014, 4:31 pm

My father is not diagnosed for ASD, but I think he would get a diagnosis for ASD.


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kraftiekortie
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17 Dec 2014, 6:09 pm

In autism terms, 30 years is eons. 30 years ago, autism was a much "narrower" disorder than it is today.

However, many clinicians still stick to 30-year-old notions--such as when one might say: "you can't have autism, you show too much empathy for people."



B19
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17 Dec 2014, 6:14 pm

Yes, spot on Kraftie.



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17 Dec 2014, 6:52 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
In autism terms, 30 years is eons. 30 years ago, autism was a much "narrower" disorder than it is today.

However, many clinicians still stick to 30-year-old notions--such as when one might say: "you can't have autism, you show too much empathy for people."


Sometimes I wonder if only "one sort of autism" exists,
one cause of it.
Some people say, that after changing their nutrition their symptoms lessened.
I read about monozygotic twins with autism but vey different symptoms of autism,
though the core symptoms were present, but one was inclined to very loud sound, the other one could not even bear very light sound.
Diary changes had diffrent outcomes in both.
I also wonder if when in the autism spectrum is referred to "low functioning autists" which means autistic persons with intellectual disability if in the neurotypical world people with intellectual disability are referred to as being "low functioning neurotypical", which won't be the case, as neurotypical persons do not refer to themselves as neurotypical persons.


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B19
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17 Dec 2014, 7:23 pm

I think that's a very valid avenue to keep an open mind about. There is so much we don't know. Common cause has been assumed for all parts of the spectrum for the last two decades, whatever that cause is. This may or may not be true. It is continually stated as an absolute fact, in articles, the media, everywhere. The assumption could be correct, equally, it may not be.



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17 Dec 2014, 7:36 pm

Eloa is quite right, I believe.

There are many different causes of autism, I believe.

I would bet that, one day, we might be referring to the Autisms, rather than the singular Autism. I suppose we are sort of doing that now with the term "autistic spectrum."



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17 Dec 2014, 10:53 pm

As we learn more about different causes of autism, I think that autism will narrow rather than broaden, such that disorders like Rett go off autism spectrum (already happened), then Fragile X autism-like symptoms currently diagnosed as autism being distinct from non-Fragile X autism (past few years research trending this way), then same for other genetic disorders, perhaps same idea for environmentally-induced symptomps, etc etc etc, until what is autism is caused by combinations of common genetic variants causing similar traits in general population. There will also be improvements distinguishing autism from intellectual disability and autism from neurotypical, so boundaries of autism will change at low-functioning and high-functioning ends. I think the broadening phase was the DSM-IV, and near future is refining/distinguishing phase.


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17 Dec 2014, 11:28 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
As we learn more about different causes of autism, I think that autism will narrow rather than broaden, such that disorders like Rett go off autism spectrum (already happened), then Fragile X autism-like symptoms currently diagnosed as autism being distinct from non-Fragile X autism (past few years research trending this way), then same for other genetic disorders, perhaps same idea for environmentally-induced symptomps, etc etc etc, until what is autism is caused by combinations of common genetic variants causing similar traits in general population. There will also be improvements distinguishing autism from intellectual disability and autism from neurotypical, so boundaries of autism will change at low-functioning and high-functioning ends. I think the broadening phase was the DSM-IV, and near future is refining/distinguishing phase.


I also think autism will narrow, and conditions that present like autism will become known and others more distinguished. No idea how long that will take to happen though.


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17 Dec 2014, 11:48 pm

There was study about prevalence of BAP in families of HFA vs. LFA children, and finding of higher prevalence for HFA, likely inherited genetic variants contributing to BAP and HFA. In LFA, the rate of de novo mutations (new mutations in children not found in parents) is higher than both HFA and NT, which are the same on this measure.

Estimates of prevalence of "complex autism", referring to autism-like symptoms accompanied by varied neuro/non-neuro symptoms and possibly distinct symptoms specific to genetic disorder like Rett, are 20% of autism spectrum, and it is this group (more like many small subgroups) that may be distinguished first.


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