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Asperger Syndrome Tied To Low Cortisol Levels

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the years-of-single-minded-study dept.

Medicine 156

caffiend666 writes "According to a Health Day article, low levels of a stress hormone may be responsible for the obsession with routine and dislike for new experiences common in children with a certain type of autism. 'This study suggests that children with AS may not adjust normally to the challenge of a new environment on waking,' study researcher David Jessop, from the University of Bristol, said in the news release. 'This may affect the way they subsequently engage with the world around them.'"

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156 comments

FRIST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434385)

Sorry, it's my low cortisol levels. I can't help it :(

that's odd... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434401)

just last night, cmdr taco tied with a german shepherd!

WHAT? (3, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 years ago | (#27434439)

Wait, What?! They can cure my Asperger's?! I DONT WANT THEM TO! I like everything the way it is! LEAVE ME ALONE! AHHHHHHHHHH

Re:WHAT? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434503)

That's very rude..

Re:WHAT? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434989)

As I understand it, there is a fear that if Asperger/Autism get cured that we will have a problem finding people that excel in mathematics.

On a more personal note, while I have not been tested for it, there has been a suspicion among my family and doctors that I have Asperger's Syndrome. This thread's parent mocks, but I would not want to be "cured" if I indeed have it.

Re:WHAT? (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 5 years ago | (#27435479)

but how much MORE effective would you be if you could talk to real people like you talk to slashdotters? How much more could you contribute if you could function in "management" type discussions... that we all avoid to live in mom's basement.

Re:WHAT? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436061)

but how much MORE effective would you be if you could talk to real people like you talk to slashdotters?

More effective in what regard? More effective in deciding whether my current blouse is of the right color to go with my jeans? More effective at promoting myself at the waterhole? More effective in speaking 25 languages fluently? Face it, they teach the same in economics class: spending more effort on activities that are not part of your core business will always be to the detriment of said core business.

Besides, the way I see it, Asperger's syndrome is not a lack of vocal skills but a lack of a sense of "urgency" when it comes to smalltalk (without the capital). That has both pros and cons, and I'm happy with it. But then again, I'm also a big proponent of sociodiversity (the way things are going, maybe one of the last), so me considering myself "perfectly sane" isn't really much of a measure.

How much more could you contribute if you could function in "management" type discussions..

Not. We already have too much people that are incapable of producing something of value.

Re:WHAT? (1, Insightful)

edittard (805475) | about 5 years ago | (#27435489)

In other words, "I've got X" (where X is something that basically makes you a 'tard) but I'm brilliant because 1% of brilliant people possibly have X.

Well I'm left handed!

Re:WHAT? (4, Interesting)

Saxophonist (937341) | about 5 years ago | (#27435169)

Parent's comment, while appearing funny, has more than a grain of truth.

I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and while it certainly comes with some challenges, I wouldn't change the fact that I have it. I wouldn't want to give up the quirks and abilities that have been a part of me my whole life. A quote [blogspot.com] seems appropriate here:

"Not everyone on the autism spectrum wants to be cured." -- Sigourney Weaver

(Note: I have nothing to do with the linked blog.)

Re:WHAT? (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#27437189)

Suppose you fall in love with and marry someone else on the autism spectrum. Suppose there's a significant chance of your kids having severe autism of the locked-in variety. It might be nice to have a nice treatment or cure in the toolbox.

Troll syndrome. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434445)

All trolls have Aspergers. Also only people with Aspergers use Linux.

Re:Troll syndrome. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434725)

Is that why RMS's pee smells so badly? He had some aspergers as a side with dinner?

So ... (4, Funny)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | about 5 years ago | (#27434471)

... to prevent AS in my own children I should make their infancy more stressful? Like run them through mazes with electrodes along the wrong routes or something?

Re:So ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434937)

No, it dosen't have to be extreme, just don't be a wimp when it comes to discipline. And don't shelter them with a nanny, make them go to daycare and preschool and socialize. Make them do chores for their toys. And actually being there and doing stuff with them helps.

You be a wimp as a parent, then they'll end up like this [aspires-re...nships.com] guy, some whiz-kid Caltech student who resorts to eco-terrorism and then tries to blame his "Aspergers" for his being a spoiled twat born with a silver spoon in his mouth believing mommy and daddy's special little boy can still do whatever he wants. Aspergers is only an excuse for maladjusted behavior and fattening the pockets of the drug companies.

Re:So ... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | about 5 years ago | (#27435739)

You are obviously one of the people who need to be educated. Those of us with Aspergers are not 'maladjusted.' While its true he may have Asperger's, him using it as an excuse is just like someone using child abuse as an excuse. Plenty of people have gone through the same thing and did not end up maladjusted. Plus, you missed the point.

If you assume someone with Asperger's is someone who is misbehaving, you're obviously ignorant about whats going on.

I wouldn't be surprised if that guy *didn't* have Asperger's and was just using it as a cover or possibly he does have it and is still only using it as a cover. The behavior you described isn't really common to Asperger's symptoms or at best is an extremely exaggerated and stretched definition of some of the symptoms. Studies have already shown the brain in an aspie is quite different from one who's brain is normative.

Instead of assuming violence, punishment, and discipline is the answer, maybe try research and education.

Your speech betrays you, Galilean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436039)

You are obviously one of the people who need to be educated. Those of us with Aspergers are not 'maladjusted.' While its true he may have Asperger's, him using it as an excuse is just like someone using child abuse as an excuse. Plenty of people have gone through the same thing and did not end up maladjusted. Plus, you missed the point.

If you assume someone with Asperger's is someone who is misbehaving, you're obviously ignorant about whats going on.

"You are obviously one [...] who need to be educated"
"just like someone using child abuse as an excuse"
"you're obviously ignorant"

I say the above are pretty good examples of someone with Asperger's misbehaving, by not considering what effect their words have on the readers.

If we cut you slack, it's because of your handicap, not despite it.

Re:So ... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 5 years ago | (#27436081)

So is it true that folks with Aspergers have a hard time detecting subtly-presented humor, like facetious sarcasm?

Re:So ... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | about 5 years ago | (#27437419)

Usually, yes. If that was humor, well, then I probably just proved it...

Re:So ... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 5 years ago | (#27437647)

I have the feeling he thinks you replied to the (+3 Funny) post, not the (-1 Troll AC). That may mean non-Aspergers don't have an eye for finer details.

Re:So ... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 5 years ago | (#27435523)

I was raised in a Skinner box and I am perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly,perfectly fine.

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435541)

I smell sitcom... great American baby race.

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436575)

The 'experts' are idiots. Has it never occurred to them that childhood experiences are the CAUSE of so-called 'Asperger's Syndrome', and that the emotional problems a so-called 'sufferer' of this 'disease' are themselves the cause of the lower cortisol levels?

But then, the 'experts' would have to have basic human empathy and not be sociopaths, and they can't manage that.

Article (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#27434551)

I read the article, but it didn't go much into the implications of this finding. Does this mean a Cortisol injection would help? Or do you need a drug to stimulate the adrenal gland? Or is it more complicated than this?

Re:Article (5, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27434627)

FTFA:

If these Asperger symptoms are caused primarily by stress, caregivers could learn to steer children away from situations that would add to anxiety, the researchers said.

 
But as a diagnosed asperger's sufferer myself, NONONONONONONONO! This is EXACTLY the type of wrong response we've been getting all along to this disease. No, you don't "steer the children away" from situations, you train them to find other ways to deal with the situation. And you work on research to find other ways to increase Cortisol production.
 
I think it would help mightily if the researchers on High Functioning Autism, actually had High Functioning Autism themselves. Then maybe we'd have suggestions that would really help in the real world.

Re:Article (1, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#27435815)

This is one of those cases where modern treatments don't seem to be as effective as the older, sink or swim method: Man up. Got Aspergers? Great for you. Suffer your knocks until you learn to cope with it. It leads to getting a lot of knocks, but it also ends with a lot more mature and competent individual. Their method of learning and coping may be different from other kids... but they NEED to learn and cope. Life is about handling stress, not avoiding it.

It's odd the amount of geeks that seem eager to be diagnosed with Aspergers... as if that excuses their perceived failings, allows them to blame it on a condition they have no control over... or perhaps it simply is a badge of being a 'true' geek.

It occurs to me that this post seems critical of geeks; I don't mean that, it's probably my asperger's acting up. We all have flaws, but imagining that a defect is out of our control when it truly isn't, ensures that it will probably never be corrected. It stunts growth.

Re:Article (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27436393)

Well, as somebody with an actual diagnosed condition, I've got to agree with you- but only halfway. I was eager to get my diagnosis because it shut my mother up from diagnosing me herself with (insert mental disability of the week) for the first 30 years of my life. It also gave me a good reason to be more comfortable with the friends I do have and the friendships I've been able to make. And it's given me new coping skills that have mitigated my stranger behavior, somewhat.

But yes, life is about HANDLING stuff, not avoiding it.

Re:Article (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#27436605)

Well, yes, an accurate diagnosis is far better than the alternative. Knowledge by itself is never bad.

However, regardless of your condition, at some point you will need a job. You will need to converse with strangers. You will need to introduce yourself to a girl. You will need to handle a bullying arrogant SOB. And so on, and so on. Starting an independent life is stressful, sometimes far more stressful for someone with Aspergers, but they will be better off having done it. Shielding a child from stresses when they're young make it harder for them to cope with necessary stresses when they're older.

I totally agree that different people are better off with learning different ways of handling stress and coping with difficult situations. For instance, some people will never 'get' small chat with strangers, but can learn to fake it, once they intellectually understand the role it plays for many other people in society.

And about my parent post... Flamebait? Really?

Re:Article (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 5 years ago | (#27437219)

To the mods that marked this "Flamebait":

What are you thinking? Disagreeing with the status quo is not flamebait. It's how grown-ups have discussions. Life would get pretty boring if everybody just patted each others' backs all day long, and there would certainly be no progress. Flamebait is just that: emotional bait to get others to flame it. The parent post is nothing of the sort. It's well thought out and well written, and even includes a nice disclaimer at the end to smooth ruffled feathers. And most importantly, it makes a good point. There are always at least two ways to react to any kind of challenge, be it physical, mental, environmental, or other--you can let it defeat you and give up, or you can work harder to try to overcome it. I can't fault any individual for their circumstances, choices, or results. I haven't experienced what they're going through, and can't say if I would be able to do any better. But there is a serious problem if institutionally we are telling people to quit trying because it's just too hard.

Re:Article (4, Insightful)

try_anything (880404) | about 5 years ago | (#27437279)

It's odd the amount of geeks that seem eager to be diagnosed with Aspergers... as if that excuses their perceived failings, allows them to blame it on a condition they have no control over... or perhaps it simply is a badge of being a 'true' geek.

Even worse, the popularity of Asperger's as a self-diagnosis among geeks prevents them from getting a better grasp on their problems. Many other causes can produce similar symptoms, and even when a diagnosis of Asperger's is accurate, it isn't the last word on a person's mental health. An Aspie can have other psychological problems.

For instance, I had long thought I might be an Aspie, and when I ended up in therapy, I waited to see if my therapist mentioned it. (On my first visit, I spotted a couple of books about Asperger's on her bookshelf, so I figured she would be a good check on my self-diagnosis.) After several visits she did mention that my description of my childhood experiences sounded like I could have Asperger's, and she knew an authority on Asperger's who could screen me. At the time, my health insurance wouldn't cover the screening (a couple thousand bucks,) so I basically asked, is the screening worth it? She said it would be interesting to have a more expert opinion on whether it was really Asperger's, but:

  1. My current level of functioning didn't support a diagnosis, so the diagnosis would be retrospective.
  2. My problems were at most indirectly related to Asperger's, in that I was deeply formed by my early social difficulties, whatever caused them.
  3. Asperger's would be one factor among several traumatic influences in my childhood.
  4. There was no particular question about my current condition that would be cleared up by a diagnosis of Asperger's.
  5. All in all, the course of my therapy would be minimally affected by a diagnosis of Asperger's.

This from a therapist who had books about Asperger's on her shelf and who suggested I get screened for it without any prompting on my part. Clearly she was interested in Asperger's and knowledgable about it. She just didn't think it was that important for my further development.

Contrast that with the many geeks who (without any professional diagnosis) use Asperger's to wholly define their past experience and future potential.

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436033)

Average Parent: Great, is there a TV show that'll teach them that? Or maybe the school system?

A parent will do anything for peace, even at the cost of the kid's future. It just doesn't occur to them because of the needs of the moment. If the kid is calm and happy, they're doing their job. If the kid can't handle life, it's the disease's fault; nothing they could do.

Perhaps they are cortisol sensitive (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 5 years ago | (#27436791)

And you work on research to find other ways to increase Cortisol production.

Rather than cortisol deficient. Perhaps "normal" levels simply cause particular anxiety.

 

Re:Article (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 5 years ago | (#27434843)

Does this mean a Cortisol injection would help?

Perhaps low cortisol levels are another symptom. Correlation does not imply causation.

Re:Article (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#27434985)

That didn't answer the question. Basically, you just said "maybe... maybe not".

Re:Article (3, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 5 years ago | (#27435077)

Basically, you just said "maybe... maybe not".

Yup, I'm guessing that administering cortisol was beyond the scope of the experiment. We won't know the answer until someone tries it.

This is good science. It leaves the reader with more questions than it answered. That means MORE FUNDING!

Go to your hugboxes, asspies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434581)

Oh great, here come the deluded hoardes of self-diagnosed asocial nitwits who think they're so speeeeeeeshuhl just because they read about Ass Burgers Syndrome on wikipedia and decided they had some of the symptoms.

It's a "disease" whose symptoms are so broadly defined that everyone on the planet has a couple.

There's no such thing.

Re:Go to your hugboxes, asspies (2, Funny)

an unsound mind (1419599) | about 5 years ago | (#27434715)

*sigh*

And every SINGLE goddamn Aspergers-related article will result in a million awful (as in no good at it) trolls crawling out of ED pretending to hold a candle to GNAA.

Thomas is a tank engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434587)

He has six small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy cab, a short stumpy firebox and a short stumpy dome.

ITT you got aspergers because you got scared by watching Thomas the tank engine crash too much.

Asperger's is a made up disease (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27434613)

To give social misfits an excuse. 92% of all cases are self-diagnosed.

Re:Asperger's is a made up disease (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 years ago | (#27434687)

To give social misfits an excuse. 92% of all cases are self-diagnosed.

Tautologically, 0% of cases are self-diagnosed.
U Fail. LOLOLOL

I have 5 mod points that I won't use here. (4, Interesting)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27434657)

I get 5 or sometimes 15???

Anyway....

I never see these studies that say they weed out child abuse. I know for a fact (sorry no cites or sites and I'm relying on personal experience here ... ) that child abuse will result in the same symptoms as Asperger's. That's what I'm wondering. You have one crowd who's looking for a biological reason and another who's looking for a behavioral.

I don't know what to say. We're complex and any studies like this needs to be taken with a grain of salt or two.

Re:I have 5 mod points that I won't use here. (2, Informative)

Saxophonist (937341) | about 5 years ago | (#27435055)

There is some correlation between child abuse and Borderline Personality Disorder [mhsanctuary.com] , which can have some similarities in outward symptoms to autism spectrum disorders. Could that be what you are seeing? Perhaps not, but it might be worth considering.

Re:I have 5 mod points that I won't use here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435133)

Your post is much too wordy.

Just say 'correlation is not causation'. Much more succinct.

Re:I have 5 mod points that I won't use here. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27435491)

Your post is much too wordy.

Just say 'correlation is not causation'. Much more succinct.

No, I'm sorry, but that's not correct. It's like correlating eating kumquats and death in traffic accidents. No.

Re:I have 5 mod points that I won't use here. (2, Interesting)

greg_barton (5551) | about 5 years ago | (#27435533)

I never see these studies that say they weed out child abuse.

But this study leads credence to links with child abuse. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Abuse is a stress inducer. Right there is a good place to start. Maybe a cause of Asperger is cortisol resistence (as opposed to a lack of cortisol) brought on by excessive stress, either chronic or at critical points in brain development.

Biological and behavioral causes are intertwined. Research is not a zero sum game. (Though research funding can seem to be at times.)

WTF? (2, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | about 5 years ago | (#27434659)

I thought Asperger's was usually linked to anti-social techies, but working in the IT business is damn stressful.

How can this every be correct?

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | about 5 years ago | (#27434837)

You think it is a coincidence your coworkers usually work in dank and dimly lit cubicles with no human contact? That they startle whenever anyone approaches? That they always bitch about the poor conditions at the rare and always uncomfortably awkward staff meetings, but no one ever actually attempts to change it? You're seeing it *EVERY DAY*

Re:WTF? (3, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 5 years ago | (#27435213)

They're just in the "zone" in their "cave" - http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2007/11/11/the_nerd_handbook.html [randsinrepose.com]
I like BSing with my coworkers as much as the next guy but lets be honest: people being social = less work getting done.

Re:WTF? (1)

gknoy (899301) | about 5 years ago | (#27436665)

As I don't have mod points, I'd like to thank you for linking that. It was a very interesting read -- I may even try talking to my wife about some of it.

Re:WTF? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 5 years ago | (#27437065)

You are very welcome. Ever since I came across it a few days ago I've been trying to get the word out. It's really helped me understand more about myself. I also think it's a useful tool for helping our significant others understand us a bit better. :)

Re:WTF? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 5 years ago | (#27437527)

You think it is a coincidence your coworkers usually work in dank and dimly lit cubicles with no human contact?

I always assumed it was because they were vampires.... Also explains the lack of sleeping, the pale skin, and the tendency towards being mostly carnivorous.

Anxiety and cortisol? (1)

Beve Jates (1393457) | about 5 years ago | (#27434689)

Many people in the spectrum have problems with anxiety and such yet this seems to indicate they would have low levels of at least this particular stress hormone. How does that figure in to the anxiety problems?

What would happen if injected with cortisol in the morning? More anxiety or less?

I'm in the spectrum and my entire life I have never liked mornings. It's not about staying up late or not sleeping, I just feel like crap in the morning. Could that be related to the cortisol? I have problems with anxiety too.

Anyone know if there are there drugs/herbs, whatever that might help with this cortisol issue?

Re:Anxiety and cortisol? (1)

Nezer (92629) | about 5 years ago | (#27435013)

Anyone know if there are there drugs/herbs, whatever that might help with this cortisol issue?

There are doctors that are able to diagnose and recommend treatment options that would suit your needs if necessary. You seem to be jumping to the conclusion (and I maybe doing the same) that because you aren't a morning person this must mean that you have a cortisol issue and need some sort of drug to correct it. While this may, or may not, be true I doubt that even you are equipped with the knowledge to make a proper diagnosis let alone treatment plan. Certainly no one on /. that is qualified to make such an assessment will do so in this forum based on your post asking for advice. Any advice you get that says anything other than "go see your doctor" is pure garbage.

My advice, garbage and all, smoke, or better still, vaporize some weed when you get up and ease into your day. You'll like your mornings a lot more and you will just ease into your day more naturally. This will likely improve the anxiety problems you are experiencing. I've found that some of the purple medical strains do wonders for anxiety without knocking you flat on your ass for the better part of the day.

Even if you take this advice, for your own sake, talk to your doctor and let them know what is going on and what you have found that does or doesn't work. You'll need help to get to the root cause because you, having no other experiences outside of your own, only have one perspective on what is likely a very complex somatic and psychological interactions. Please, if these issues are causing you grief, get professional support involved.

Re:Anxiety and cortisol? (1)

Beve Jates (1393457) | about 5 years ago | (#27435731)

I'm not jumping to any conclusions but I'm not adverse to trying things out to see if it makes a difference. I certainly don't like the way things have been all my life and as I get older it is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with.

As far as doctors, most of them are idiots. So far I have had no success in finding one that can help me. Usually the stuff they do know I already know myself. They're not bringing much of anything to the table. For me when it comes to doctors all they end up being good for is getting tests and drugs I can't get on my own. I'm not anti-doctor, it's just that in my experience all of them so far have no idea what to do with an atypical individual such as myself.

I would be willing to try the weed route but unfortunately it's not legal here and I have too much to lose. Besides, I wouldn't know where to get it anyway (no social contacts, hmmm).

I was just reading that caffeine can increase cortisol levels. Interesting. Currently I don't take in any caffeine at all. This is mostly due to health issues like my anxiety and my families history of heart disease. Maybe I should start drinking coffee (blech).

Cortisol supplements? (1)

evanbd (210358) | about 5 years ago | (#27434691)

So, the logical followup question TFA doesn't address, is do cortisol injections or pills on waking produce a change in the symptoms? In other words, is the cortisol level a cause of the differences in behavior / thought processes, a result of them, or is there a common underlying cause?

Re:Cortisol supplements? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 5 years ago | (#27435005)

If it's a logical followup question and wasn't addressed directly, that usually means they're asking the same question and haven't designed and implemented the experiments to determine those answers yet.

Re:Cortisol supplements? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 5 years ago | (#27435179)

So, the logical followup question TFA doesn't address, is do cortisol injections or pills on waking produce a change in the symptoms?

It's like those game shows that don't tell you the answer until after the commercial. If they told you the answer, how would the researchers expect to get another round of funding?

Re:Cortisol supplements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436565)

Obviously cortisol injections couldn't have a significant effect without it being noticed before. They're pretty common.

A pure shot of tabasco... (1)

McNihil (612243) | about 5 years ago | (#27435007)

in the morning does wonders to that small cortisol problem. Have been living by it since 1991.

Re:A pure shot of tabasco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435953)

What exactly does that do? Is there something specific in Tabasco that increases cortisol?

Or is it just because it's "hot"? If it's that then Tabasco is pretty weak my friend. I would need something with a little more kick.

Re:A pure shot of tabasco... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 years ago | (#27436135)

if Tabasco doesn't give your taste buds enough of a tingle, try Sriracha Sauce; [wikipedia.org] even people who don't thing Tabasco hot have respect for it.

Re:A pure shot of tabasco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436329)

Sounds good, I'll have to try it.

I was just looking at the various Tabasco sauces and I see they have a habanero sauce which is suppose to be hotter. I hate the heat that habanero peppers generate though, it feels weird and actually not that hot for some reason. Habaneros have what I would describe as a "bite" kind of heat. It starts as nothing then burns real sharp, then back to nothing. This compared to something like a jalapeño where it feels like a more "solid" heat that lasts and lasts.

Now you got me wanting unhealthy food like pizza topped with some super-hot peppers.

Re:A pure shot of tabasco... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 years ago | (#27436103)

I bet the resulting vinegar breath works half well as a prophylactic too.

What a waste of research... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435049)

...for a fake disease.

required remark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435145)

Let me be the first to say buns on a bun rule!!

neurological, not behavioral (5, Insightful)

shrubya (570356) | about 5 years ago | (#27435223)

If I'm reading them correctly, the studies being quoted (BTW, here's one of them [sciencedirect.com] if you have ScienceDirect) are NOT saying that Asperger's can be cured or prevented by altering a child's exposure to stress. They're saying Asperger's brains have a different neurochemical reaction to sudden changes than ordinary brains do.

1: This may (or may not) point toward changing how Asperger's kids are trained to deal with stress.
2: More interesting to me, this may point to targeted pharmaceuticals able to provide long-term remission.
3: This may just be a side effect of Asperger's, and the actual cause is somewhere else entirely.

Re:neurological, not behavioral (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 5 years ago | (#27436927)

Or perhaps it's primarily our society which is fucked up. I know, I know just medicate them, it's easier.

 

Prednisone (3, Interesting)

e1618978 (598967) | about 5 years ago | (#27435257)

Is Cortisol related to Prednisone? 40 mg of Prednisone made me *feel* Autistic - I couldn't look at people when they were talking, it was too overstimulating to see their lips move while I listened to their voice.

Re:Prednisone (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435375)

They are related. After about a week on Prednisone your body is unable to produce Cortisol on its own. This is the reason that patients are weened off of it so slowly.

I posted earlier (as anon there too); I am suspected of having Asperger's. I do have Crohn's Disease and have spent a great deal of my life on Prednisone (so much of it that I had osteoporosis by 18 years old). I've had Asperger's symptoms my entire life, but only began treatment for Crohn's when I was diagnosed with it at 12. Reading this article makes me think that these things may be related.

Re:Prednisone (4, Informative)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 5 years ago | (#27435443)

Prednisone is a artificial corticosteroid, and corticosteroids are the family of adrenal drugs, corsitol included. So it's plausible since I understand this drug is used to supress immune system and adrenal function?

Re:Prednisone (2, Informative)

Atrox666 (957601) | about 5 years ago | (#27435705)

I don't know this seems like the opposite to my experience. I get no real stimulus from people talking other than irritation. It's like the buzzing of an insect. I have to force myself to fulfil the minimum requrements of human interaction and it never feels like it's worth it. Even getting laid usually is more trouble than it's worth. That being said I wouldn't want to be "cured" as stunted abilities were compensated for by other abilities that were enhanced. My life's work depends on those enhanced abilities. I would like to soften it a fair bit. "it's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" -Krishnamurti As far as the people who say it's a fake disease I can asure you that the Dis-Ease in my life is quite real. The medical reasons given however for my issues may be total crap.

Re:Prednisone (1)

danger42 (302987) | about 5 years ago | (#27435823)

A common behavior of people with autism is actually to focus on the mouth and lips. They find making eye contact very difficult.

as a parent of a 15 yo son with Aspergers... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435657)

...does this ever fit.

Anecdotally--

He is on a medication but boy is that first 15 minutes after waking up every morning freaking difficult.

I can relate to him usually quite well as I'm sure I'm somewhere on the A.S.D. line (never diagnosed though).

It is my job in the morning, every morning, to attempt to calmly wake him up and get his one pill into his system ASAP so he can get his routine started. ... not that the rest of the day is a cakewalk.

Re:as a parent of a 15 yo son with Aspergers... (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 5 years ago | (#27436543)

There is a lot of self-diagnosis going around in this thread. Your son is the only one I'm fairly sure really does have an autism spectrum disorder of any sort.

It really needs to be put out there: Asperger's is not a blanket diagnosis for all forms of geekiness and social dysfunction. Even though it is a high-functioning form of autism, it is still autism.

Geeky misfits who self-diagnose as AS do neither themselves nor people who really have AS any favors. It's become a trendy "disease", like so many of the past couple of decades, used to give a diagnostic twist to what really is just old-fashioned personality difference in most of the cases of self-diagnosis.

Re:as a parent of a 15 yo son with Aspergers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27437203)

Even though it is a high-functioning form of autism, it is still autism.

amen to that. i don't wish this on any parent.

my son is brilliant, very high functioning, and damn difficult.

it is so impossible as a parent who wants the best for their kids to separate out behavior and autism. how can a kid who acts normal 60% of the time flip out (to put it lightly) so extremely and then come back, and have no idea what he did "wrong"??

10-12 years old before we figured out he doesn't get sarcasm unless it is explained. "why the heck is that funny??" while my younger son has been getting and using sarcasm since before kindergarten. (yeah, you can bet those two get along great)

change of plans today? ha! (he is getting much better with therapy and support though i must say)

Re:as a parent of a 15 yo son with Aspergers... (2, Insightful)

Beve Jates (1393457) | about 5 years ago | (#27437963)

Meh, it is a spectrum disorder. Probably a large percentage of the entire population is on there somewhere.

Funny, people with AS are the ones more likely to not want other people to have it because they feel they are special and want it to stay that way. It is an aspie trait. Also if anyone is going to correctly self diagnose it would probably be someone with AS.

Personally, if I could get rid of it I would. Although there are benefits, they do not outweigh the drawbacks... not by a long shot. I want to be happy and live in the real world with the fake, stupid, normal people. I am tired of being a mutant, I want the cure. Put me in the Matrix... ignorance is bliss.

Self examination is not a bad thing. Whatever it is called, if you have problems then at least it is something else to look into which might lead you to a path that can help.

This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about 5 years ago | (#27435773)

In my view (and I have many AS traits), Asperger's Syndrome is not a bad thing - AS people are more creative, more courageous and morally/ethically more daring than the average (so-called neurotypical) person. AS people are disproportionately more responsible for human advancements. They're also very honest (mostly not capable of lying and conversely, naively trusting that everybody else is like them, unable to lie).

We need more aspies, not less.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27435969)

Yeah, it would be great if all of society were composed of people who can't be socialized. We definitely need more of that.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 5 years ago | (#27436163)

Aspies are very friendly, and above all, very honest. I can see a society where people are more honest than they are now - and I don't think it would be worse.

Also, aspies are outspoken and courageous, they don't hide behind masks like you do, anonymous coward.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436413)

Damn you Aspies!

I'll get you, and your little laptop too!!

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27437027)

Aspies also enjoy flights of wild generalization and sausages made out of potato.

I can see a society where everybody ate potato sausages or at least potatos - and I don't think it would be worse.

Also, aspies like to talk about potatoes, they don't insist on pretending that they have something else to talk about like you do, pseudonymous coward.

All aspies are great really. They are so honest and caring and ethical. Without them, where would the potato sausage and similar potato-starch based goods be? Their contribution to mankind is so much more than that of the "Neuro-typical", or as I like to call them "Pork-based sausage" people.

We need morspies, not lesspies.

Also: potato, potato, potato.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436335)

Uh, no. Having AS(-like) traits is one thing, but AS itself is not a net positive thing. While it is one of least damaging things within autistic syndrome spectrum ("high-functioning autism"), it is nonetheless a challenge for people who have it.
Humans are social beings, and AS is a disability especially in context of social interaction.
There is more to well-functioning social interaction than just telling the truth.

As to "famous" AS samples: most often quoten ones have been highly speculative (like Newton); and pendulum has swung to heavy over-diagnosis.

It is probably true, though, that relative high level of skills within more limited areas (mathematical, spatial) of processing has to do with brains allocating their capacity for tasks differently than for most other people's brains.
But claiming "we need more of them" is very much naive and short-sighted. We should of course do our best to make sure that everyone, including "aspies" can live to their fullest potential. That doesn't mean it would be some sort of goal.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436635)

Why? We have no evidence on what a society with a significant contingent of AS people would be like. It might be worse than what we have now, or it might be better. At the very least, it would be a very interesting experiment, if it were pulled off by an accident of nature or by the free choice of the participants.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (3, Insightful)

try_anything (880404) | about 5 years ago | (#27436607)

As someone who manifested many Asperger's symptoms as a child, I remember thinking all the time, "It would be obviously better if everyone did X, but they don't, because they're stupid." And you know what? None of my insights did anybody a damn bit of good. Aspies are great at pushing forward some fields (such as computing,) but they fail badly at fields that require influencing other people. RMS is only a partial exception to this.

One example: Aspies are more ethically daring basically because they don't recognize a lot of the small-scale pain they cause. It's easy for them to see the social big picture because they don't see the social small picture. They don't hesitate to call for large changes because they don't understand the cost of the social and cultural disruption that large changes cause, or they dismiss them as irrelevant. Calling for change doesn't make it happen. You need people who can make changes happen by hacking the culture. For instance, Ghandi came up with a theory of nonviolent resistance that meshed perfectly with Hindu culture, while at the same time making it open to all Indians. Then Martin Luther King, Jr. adapted ideas from Ghandi and elsewhere to a completely different cultural context.

An Aspie in MLK's place would have said, "Look, these Indian guys totally kicked ass with this approach, and I know we're black and Christian but we just need to forget about that because this stuff FUCKING WORKS. I mean, this is so OBVIOUS and I can't believe you guys are getting hung up on the fact that these ideas seem a little alien. They make perfect sense in a Hindu context, and if you're interested in that I can recommend some scriptures. If you're not going to bother understanding it, then just SHUT THE HELL UP and let the smart people talk. What the hell is wrong with you fucking dickhead morons? I give up. I can't make it any more obvious than I already have. Why don't you just go and play basketball and be cool and have sex and all that stuff that's so much more important than the FREEDOM OF OUR RACE. Idiots."

Aspie-type people make valuable contributions to society (and I have to believe this or I'd just off myself) but Aspies are impotent in the face of many important problems. Sometimes the right guy for the job is someone who is really unattractive from a geeky point of view -- like a slick, charismatic, self-aggrandizing, womanizing minister.

Re:This article makes it sound as if AS was bad (1)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#27437931)

but they fail badly at fields that require influencing other people

Yes, you can choose to become a manipulator of people, and you can become quite successful that way. Many people respond well to feel-good stories, demagoguery, fear, etc. If you're really good, you might become a Madoff or a Ted Bundy.

Just because you can be successful that way doesn't make it right. Many of us hope that human society can become more rational and prefer to view and interact with the world that way even though it's obviously harder.

Redundant research (1)

dschmit1 (1353767) | about 5 years ago | (#27436101)

After reading the article, and absorbing the researchers' suggestion, I would like to point out that caregivers of people with AS, and other issues, have been doing the redirection technique for quite a while now. Publish something when you have something to publish.

Other Cortisol Links (2, Interesting)

caffiend666 (598633) | about 5 years ago | (#27436683)

Looking around, Cortisol is one of those good/bad things.

http://www.south-florida-personal-trainer.com/stress.html [south-flor...rainer.com] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortisol [wikipedia.org]

Looks like it's mostly understood on a physical level with only a little understood about it's neurological impacts. Physically, it sounds like it tells your body to 'break down and rebuild'. A little bit of cortisol, it works like growth hormone. A lot of cortisol, your body ends up useless mush. I can imagine no cortisol means your body is basically incapable of new things; Wikipedia lists low-cortisol impacts like Addison's_disease, Hypoglycemia , and learning impairment. Sounds like the researchers are taking a physical effect and applying it mentally as well.

Low Cortisol is the effect not the cause. (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | about 5 years ago | (#27436743)

Low cortisol levels are probably being caused by something else -- enzyme deficiency, some unknown pollutant, genetic defect, etc. This root cause is what leads to Aspergers. As usual the researchers say it's all in your head and it's all the fault of the way the parents treated their children. What they really need to do is look further into the cortisol production mechanism in the body and see if that is damaged by something in Asperger sufferers.

Re:Low Cortisol is the effect not the cause. (1)

GeekZilla (398185) | about 5 years ago | (#27437247)

"Low Cortisol is the effect not the cause." Whoops! You are correct. My post was incorrectly assuming low-cortisol as the cause. I really do need to read more carefully.

Does this mean my implying that spanking could help those with AS was ass-backwards?

Another day, another fake Autism study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27436773)

Frankly I'm getting a bit tired of all the links to things that cause autism/asperger etc. Every day its a new thing.

So far we have:
Weather [sciam.com]
Premature Birth [webmd.com]
Environment [sciam.com]
PVC [upi.com]
MMR vaccine
Genes
Vinyl Flooring [blogspot.com]
Shampoo
(There are probably a lot more)

As a parent of a autistic boy, I'm frankly tired of these so called empirical 'studies' which quite frankly don't prove a thing. The only thing that has helped with my son is ABA. I wish the editors would stop putting each and every one of these on the front page.

Re:Another day, another fake Autism study (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#27437005)

I wish the editors would stop putting each and every one of these on the front page.

So do your part. Log in and mod them down on the firehose.

I don't know if it's possible to filter the frontpage by keyword (it should be even if it's not :) ) as well as by section.

At any rate, you are quite welcome to simply not bother reading the stories and comments about autism or Asperger's... unless you also have OCD and NEED to read every slashdot story or comment.

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