could asperger's be caused by brain surgery?

Page 1 of 2 [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

BLK95TA
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 121

14 Feb 2010, 2:00 pm

When i wass 6 months old (born in july 1979) I had brain surgery because i had fluid on the brain. at that time they installed a shunt. Then in 1981/82 when i was 2 or 3 years old i had more surgery where they extended tubes for the shunt. I have a scar on the left side of my head, optical nerve damage to my eyes and nystagmus (even with todays technology i can't get contacts to correct me better than 20/30, glasses would be 20/40 and i have worn one or the other since i was 4) as well as balance issues. I drive but lord help me if a cop ever thought i was drunk. i couldn't pass a FST test to save my life. i don't drink though so i could always just ask for a breath test,

anyway back to the original question

i was talking to my dad earlier about getting an official AS diagnosis and he said something kind of interesting. he said he wondered if the surgeries i had 30 years ago could have caused it.

does anyone here have any brain surgery in their medical history?



Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,775
Location: Ohio, USA

14 Feb 2010, 2:06 pm

None for me. I kind of doubt it could happen, though, because Asperger's affects every area of the brain; and when you have the inevitable damage that results from brain surgery, it tends to be very localized, affecting one specific thing.

BTW, said "inevitable damage" was probably minor and you have long ago learned to compensate; you were so young when you had the surgery that your brain most likely assigned other neurons to do what the ones you lost used to do. Besides, installing a shunt doesn't even involve cutting into the brain itself, so it really was probably very minor indeed. There could've been some effects from the increased pressure that forced them to install the shunt in the first place, though; but the known effects of this sort of injury don't match AS.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


BLK95TA
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 121

14 Feb 2010, 2:07 pm

Callista wrote:
None for me. I kind of doubt it could happen, though, because Asperger's affects every area of the brain; and when you have the inevitable damage that results from brain surgery, it tends to be very localized, affecting one specific thing.

BTW, said "inevitable damage" was probably minor and you have long ago learned to compensate; you were so young when you had the surgery that your brain most likely assigned other neurons to do what the ones you lost used to do. Besides, installing a shunt doesn't even involve cutting into the brain itself, so it really was probably very minor indeed. There could've been some effects from the increased pressure that forced them to install the shunt in the first place, though; but the known effects of this sort of injury don't match AS.


hmm. i guess i was just looking for an explination for the AS. i am not officially diagnosed yet but the 2 or 3 tests i've taken including one i found on this site all point to AS.



Roxas_XIII
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jan 2007
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,217
Location: Laramie, WY

14 Feb 2010, 2:16 pm

So far the current theories for the cause of autism spectrum disorders is that it's a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors in early development. I doubt that it's caused by something like brain surgery, for the reasons Callista mentioned as well as the fact that I'm full-blown Aspie and yet I've never had brain surgery in my life.

Still, I'm not worried so much now about what caused me to have Aspergers, I mean it's not like I can change it now, and I'm pretty much used to being who I am. I tend to focus more on playing the cards I'm dealt, rather than wishing for a better hand.


_________________
"Yeah, so this one time, I tried playing poker with tarot cards... got a full house, and about four people died." ~ Unknown comedian

Happy New Year from WP's resident fortune-teller! May the cards be ever in your favor.


OddDuckNash99
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,562

14 Feb 2010, 2:29 pm

How long did you have hydrocephalus before you got the shunt implanted? Because if you had it from birth until 6 months, brain damage easily could have occurred. The brain is a very delicate thing. It does not take much to throw it out of balance. Did you have any actual birth trauma when you were born? Lack of oxygen in any way or some sort of fetal distress very well could have contributed to your AS. If you don't have any incidence of AS in your family other than yourself, I would say that your early brain troubles very well could have affected your development. If i affected your vision, it is highly plausible that it affected other areas.

I feel the emphasis on genetic causes of ASDs is hurting research's searches for ASDs' causes. There are too many instances of people with an ASD who have no genetic background. I am one of those people. I am the only person in my entire family with an ASD, and I also am one of only three left-handed people. The other two are cousins of my mother. I strongly believe in the testosterone theory, and I feel that my AS and left-handedness were caused by excess testosterone in the womb. Are you left-handed? If you are and you're one of the few in your family, that alone points to possible brain malformity.
-OddDuckNash99-


_________________
Helinger: Now, what do you see, John?
Nash: Recognition...
Helinger: Well, try seeing accomplishment!
Nash: Is there a difference?


Last edited by OddDuckNash99 on 14 Feb 2010, 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BLK95TA
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 121

14 Feb 2010, 2:38 pm

OddDuckNash99 wrote:
How long did you have hydrocephalus before you got the shunt implanted? Because if you had it from birth until 6 months, brain damage easily could have occurred. The brain is a very delicate thing. It does not take much to throw it out of balance. Did you have any actual birth trauma when you were born? Lack of oxygen in any way or some sort of fetal distress very well could have contributed to your AS. If you don't have any incidence of AS in your family other than yourself, I would say that your early brain troubles very well could have affected your development. If i affected your vision, it is highly plausible that it affected other areas.
-OddDuckNash99-


I did have low platelet count when i was born. i don't know if that would be related to anything, but i remember my parents saying (my mom died in 07 at age 60) that when they drilled the hole in the side of my head to start the surgery that fluid shot out, so there was definately a lot of pressure in there. I don't really know if anyone in my family has had AS or not but i myself just found out about AS a few weeks ago and all of the unofficial tests i have had say i have it. I figure the next step would be getting an official diag. I have always wondered why i don't seem to fit in society, why i have trouble with jobs, why i had lots of trouble in school getting along with others, why i was harassed/teased all throughout grade school and high school and even in college. I suppose it's possible i have not only AS but also some residual effects of the brain surgery like the fact that i can't really do a lot of heavy lifting because of my balance (i have to lock my legs and lift with my back, i can't realy bend down at the knees to pick up heavy items)

I always had a bit of a limp and would be made fun of for that and i never was able to deal with it well which if i have AS would be a good reason why.

as for being left handed, i'm not but then again i am, lol. I can drive with either hand and most of the time do drive with my left hand and my right resting on the gear shift, but i wear a watch on my left hand and usually eat with my right. I have a friend who's brother suspects that my friend might also have AS (after i told him what i suspect about myself and how much we seem to have in common) and he is left handed while everyone else in his family is right handed though.

interestingly enough, this friend and i went to the same high school and were both social outcasts there.



Friskeygirl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,865

14 Feb 2010, 3:26 pm

I have never heard of brain surgery causing any form of autism, I have always assumed it was entirely genetic, I don't believe environmental causes for this condition since it seems to run in family's.



lotuspuppy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 995
Location: On a journey to the center of the mind

14 Feb 2010, 4:19 pm

That's something I have wondered myself. I've been diagnosed with AS at a very early age, but had a tumor removed when I was 12. The tumor was in my cerebellum, so only my motor functions were immediately impacted. Still, I wonder if I had something from birth that altered my neurology, and this tumor was part of it.

It'd be interesting if someone prepared a study correlating neurological trauma with autism, though I haven't the slightest idea how to do such a study.



OddDuckNash99
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,562

14 Feb 2010, 4:37 pm

Friskeygirl wrote:
I have always assumed it was entirely genetic, I don't believe environmental causes for this condition since it seems to run in family's.

There is no such thing as an entirely genetic neuropsychiatric disorder. Autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are the more genetic neuropsych disorders, but environment still plays a large role in the development of each of these disorders. Once again, I come from a family where there is not another person other than myself who has an ASD. Thus, genetics cannot be the whole answer.

lotuspuppy- To do the study you're suggesting, the best way would be a longitudinal study. Take a group of children who were born with neurological trauma and see how many develop autism later on. If there is a significant number of autistics, there would be a significant correlation (just correlation, not cause) between neurological trauma and autism.
-OddDuckNash99-


_________________
Helinger: Now, what do you see, John?
Nash: Recognition...
Helinger: Well, try seeing accomplishment!
Nash: Is there a difference?


x_amount_of_words
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 May 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,359
Location: Spokane, Washington

14 Feb 2010, 5:10 pm

It could have caused damage to the brain that resulted in AS symptoms. But it's not very likely. AS normally becomes noticeable at age 3.


_________________
theamazingjunkie.flavors.me


Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,647

14 Feb 2010, 5:40 pm

OddDuckNash99 wrote:
Friskeygirl wrote:
I have always assumed it was entirely genetic, I don't believe environmental causes for this condition since it seems to run in family's.

There is no such thing as an entirely genetic neuropsychiatric disorder. Autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are the more genetic neuropsych disorders, but environment still plays a large role in the development of each of these disorders. Once again, I come from a family where there is not another person other than myself who has an ASD. Thus, genetics cannot be the whole answer.


I've known a large family in which four daughters out of five ( all adults living in different states), along with their mother, were diagnosed Bipolar. Though I've never heard of schizophrenia being passed from one generation to another (the one person I know with that disorder was diagnosed only after a severe unidentified drug overdose). Just because no one else in the family has ever been diagnosed with an ASD doesn't mean it isn't in the ol' family tree. AS in particular can easily go undiagnosed if one has never heard of it and isn't looking out for it. And while I know of at least two other instances of AS in my family (one of which was never diagnosed, as they passed away before any of us had ever heard of it), I know of absolutely no environmental factors which could have contributed, unless you believe that vaccine malarky, but even that wouldn't account for my grandmother, who went to school before there were vaccines.

I also don't consider AS to be a 'psychiatric disorder' (although it can contribute to depression and anxiety, which are), but it is definitely a neurological one.

Look! Two hairs, where once t'was one! :wink:



BLK95TA
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 121

14 Feb 2010, 5:46 pm

x_amount_of_words wrote:
It could have caused damage to the brain that resulted in AS symptoms. But it's not very likely. AS normally becomes noticeable at age 3.


well i'm old enough that they didn't check for AS back then. I'm pretty sure i have it and that it was just never diagnosed by a dr.



pensieve
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,204
Location: Sydney, Australia

14 Feb 2010, 8:06 pm

Executive dysfunction and ADHD are sometimes caused by brain damage, so I am going with the theory that brain damage caused AS symptoms. Or even if you didn't have any brain surgery you still could have AS.


_________________
My band photography blog - http://lostthroughthelens.wordpress.com/
My personal blog - http://helptheywantmetosocialise.wordpress.com/


Apple_in_my_Eye
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 May 2008
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,420
Location: in my brain

14 Feb 2010, 8:17 pm

Mild brain injuries can cause a lot of autistic-like symptoms, like hyperacuasis and executive functioning problems.

OTOH you just might coincidentally have AS and hydrocephalus at the same time. I think people (doctors & parents included) like to blame all of a person's difficulties on pre-existing things. People love a grand-unified-theory. I'd bet a lot of people with a brain injuries and such have unrelated problems written off inappropriately.



Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,775
Location: Ohio, USA

14 Feb 2010, 10:08 pm

OddDuckNash99 wrote:
I feel the emphasis on genetic causes of ASDs is hurting research's searches for ASDs' causes. There are too many instances of people with an ASD who have no genetic background. I am one of those people. I am the only person in my entire family with an ASD, and I also am one of only three left-handed people. The other two are cousins of my mother. I strongly believe in the testosterone theory, and I feel that my AS and left-handedness were caused by excess testosterone in the womb. Are you left-handed? If you are and you're one of the few in your family, that alone points to possible brain malformity.
-OddDuckNash99-
Hey, just needed to mention that "genetic" doesn't always mean "inheritable"; it can also mean de novo mutations--that is, a mutation that pops up for the first time in a person, not inherited from his/her parents. We've found a few such that are found more commonly among autistic people, but none of them account for more than a few percent of cases.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


OddDuckNash99
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,562

15 Feb 2010, 2:39 am

Willard, schizophrenia has about a 48% concordance rate in identical twins, which is highly indicative that it is a strongly inheritable disorder. There were even a set of identical quadruplet girls from Germany, all of whom had a form of schizophrenia. I consider ASDs to be a neuropsychiatric disorder. They are listed in the DSM, the psychiatric "bible" of sorts. ASDs are not a "mental illness" in the way most people think of the word, but I don't like to use "neurological disorder", either, to separate out ASDs from the "mental illnesses." All of the "mental illnesses", from OCD to schizophrenia, have just as much of a neurobiological base as ASDs do, and since they're all classified in the psychiatric DSM, I prefer the term "neuropsychiatric disorders."

Callista, I realize that mutations can be the case, but I was strictly referring to inheritable ASDs for the word "genetic." But I appreciate your clarification.
-OddDuckNash99-


_________________
Helinger: Now, what do you see, John?
Nash: Recognition...
Helinger: Well, try seeing accomplishment!
Nash: Is there a difference?