News story Autism Linked to Parents' Mental Illness

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Ravenclawgurl
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05 May 2008, 6:40 pm

http://news.aol.com/health/story/ar/_a/autism-linked-to-parents-mental-illness/20080505104509990002

Autism Linked to Parents' Mental Illness
Reuters
Posted: 2008-05-05 16:37:11
Filed Under: Health News
CHICAGO (May 5) - In another sign pointing to an inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled a child's risk of being autistic.

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement.

The study of families in Sweden with children born between 1977 and 2003 involved 1,227 children diagnosed with autism. They were compared with families of nearly 31,000 children who did not have autism. Sweden's detailed health registry provides a wealth of data for such studies.

Autism, which is marked by impaired social interaction and communication, or a related disorder like Asperger's syndrome, affects an estimated one out of every 150 U.S. children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Asperger's is marked by mild social awkwardness.

No one knows what causes autism, but researchers think it is likely that several genes and possibly environmental factors contribute. Some autism advocates believe childhood vaccinations play a role, although most medical experts say it is extremely unlikely.

Which genes lie behind various mental illnesses are also poorly understood, according to the researchers, whose study appeared in the journal Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Earlier studies have shown a higher rate of psychiatric disorders in families of autistic children than in the general population," Daniels said.

The association between a child's autism and mental illness in the parent was strongest with schizophrenia, and was less powerful when the mother suffered from depression or personality disorders. There was little association between autism and parental addiction to alcohol or drugs or some other types of mental illness.

It was not clear if it was significant that having a mother, but not a father, with certain mental illnesses, raised the risk of autism.

"Establishing an association between autism and other psychiatric disorders might enable future investigators to better focus on genetic and environmental factors that might be shared among these disorders," Daniels said.


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asplanet
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05 May 2008, 6:57 pm

I think it should say if you have an autistic parents your more likely to have a child with autism. Unfortunately quite often our parents as for ourselves are damaged by being totally misunderstood from birth and treated so badly by society in general, this often leads to OCD, anxiety, depression etc...
also see my last thread on this subject, which I feel is a more accurate account:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt64919.html


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singularitymadam
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06 May 2008, 9:43 am

Because autism was previously diagnosed as schizophrenia, I'm wondering how accurate these results are. If a parent was actually autistic, but misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, this would mean that autism is inherited, not morphed from other psychiatric disorders.



LeKiwi
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06 May 2008, 1:22 pm

I'm offended on behalf of my (perfectly normal) mother!! :x


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YowlingCat
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06 May 2008, 2:53 pm

LeKiwi wrote:
I'm offended on behalf of my (perfectly normal) mother!! :x

Why? The study only said that the father or mother having schizophrenia doubled the odds of having an autistic child. (And the mother having depression or personality disorders indicated a possible relationship).

Autism can appear de novo. If your father wasn't schizophrenic, either, then perhaps this situation applies to you.



LeKiwi
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06 May 2008, 4:08 pm

I've seen this story a few times on various sites, and the way it's being written is that 'all autistics have parents with mental problems', rather than a few may have an increased risk.

I have a lot of Aspergers in my family on both sides, but neither of my parents have any mental problems of any kind, not even any history of mild depression or similarly common and mundane afflictions. So I take offense at the way it's being portrayed... hardly helpful for any parent trying to cope with their child's issues and learn to deal with them the best they can.


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YowlingCat
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06 May 2008, 4:14 pm

The article is very explicit. It does not say "that all autistics have parents with mental problems". It says precisely the opposite. Therefore, you cannot take offense at this article.



LeKiwi
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06 May 2008, 4:19 pm

Not this version in particular, just the spin I've seen various mainstream news sites and agencies putting on the same story...


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YowlingCat
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06 May 2008, 4:23 pm

Those other stories have no standing in this thread, whatsoever.



iamnotaparakeet
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06 May 2008, 4:23 pm

It is a case, but not the big picture.



LeKiwi
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06 May 2008, 4:25 pm

It's the same story with slightly different wording - surely the story itself rather than the source should be the issue, regardless of which version you read and whichever the OP posted? I mean, I saw it elsewhere and so didn't bother reading the OP's version as it's the same story in essence and probably comes from the same press release from the researchers...


But ok.


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iamnotaparakeet
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06 May 2008, 4:49 pm

LeKiwi wrote:
It's the same story with slightly different wording - surely the story itself rather than the source should be the issue, regardless of which version you read and whichever the OP posted? I mean, I saw it elsewhere and so didn't bother reading the OP's version as it's the same story in essence and probably comes from the same press release from the researchers...


But ok.


If you look for many controversial topics you will see many types of the same argument.
For example:

Actual argument or study: original research or point of contention.

Strawman arguments: above just with the wording changed and evidence taken out so as to make it look ridiculous, usually found in the opposition's material but not always.

Poor argument by amateurs: Sometimes people for a cause will take the original research of others and reword it so as not to plagiarize; this can be almost as bad or worse than a strawman and is often found on the opposition's materials because it is easier to refute (which is their goal, whether done honestly or dishonestly.)



YowlingCat
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06 May 2008, 5:17 pm

Here is the original paper:

Quote:
ABSTRACT
TOP
ABSTRACT
METHODS
RESULTS
DISCUSSION
REFERENCES

OBJECTIVE. Autism is a developmental disorder defined by impaired social interaction, communication, and behavior. Causes and correlates of autism are largely unknown, but elevated frequencies of psychiatric disorders and distinct personality traits have been reported among the family members of individuals with autism. Linkage of data from Swedish registries was used to investigate whether hospitalization for psychiatric conditions was higher among parents of children with autism compared with control subjects.

METHODS. Data sources included the Swedish Medical Birth Register (child's birth), the Swedish Multi-Generation Register (linking parents to children), and Swedish Hospital Discharge Register (hospitalization records). Children born between 1977 and 2003 who had a hospitalization record indicating autism before 10 years of age (n = 1227) were matched with 30 693 control subjects from the Swedish Medical Birth Register by gender, year of birth, and hospital. Parent diagnoses were based on an inpatient hospital diagnostic evaluation and included schizophrenia, other nonaffective psychoses, affective disorders, neurotic and personality disorders and other nonpsychotic disorders, alcohol and drug addiction and abuse, and autism. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for child's age, gender, hospital of birth, parents’ age, country of birth and socioeconomic status, and diagnosis of a mental disorder in the other parent.

RESULTS. Parents of children with autism were more likely to have been hospitalized for a mental disorder than parents of control subjects. Schizophrenia was more common among case mothers and fathers compared with respective control parents. Depression and personality disorders were more common among case mothers but not fathers.

CONCLUSIONS. This large population study supports the potential for familial aggregation of psychiatric conditions that may provide leads for future investigations of heritable forms of autism.

Complete Paper



Last edited by YowlingCat on 06 May 2008, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

asplanet
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06 May 2008, 5:28 pm

LeKiwi wrote:
Not this version in particular, just the spin I've seen various mainstream news sites and agencies putting on the same story...


I do not agree with the articles your talking about are different to this one, and agree as "iamnotaparakeet" implies a bad take on original story done by amateurs, seem to be confused themselves and confusing others or just trying to give us a bad name, would not be the first time.

Maybe a lot of people on the autism spectrum do suffer from various "mental disorders" but I put this down to we are often not allowed to be ourselves from birth, damaged by society and as adults we tend to keep a lot to ourselves from fear of others labeling us or crazy or some think because they do not understand us.


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Last edited by asplanet on 06 May 2008, 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

asplanet
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06 May 2008, 5:33 pm

Sorry error trying to edit last post :D


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Last edited by asplanet on 06 May 2008, 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LeKiwi
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06 May 2008, 5:34 pm

It's talking about our parents, not us, having mental disorders.


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