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Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the social-eaters dept.

Medicine 163

ananyo writes "A rare, hereditary form of autism has been found — and it may be treatable with protein supplements. Genome sequencing of six children with autism has revealed mutations in a gene that stops several essential amino acids being depleted. Mice lacking this gene developed neurological problems related to autism that were reversed by dietary changes (abstract). According to Joseph Gleeson, a child neurologist at the University of California, San Diego, who led the study, 'This might represent the first treatable form of autism.' It is possible that some other forms of autism may also be linked to uncommon metabolic disorders — and so treatable through dietary changes, according to the scientists quoted in the piece."

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163 comments

Cure who? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256147)

How late in life can treatment begin to help? Should everyone be on an autism diet to help prevent ever even showing signs?

Re:Cure who? (0)

MoronGames (632186) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256239)

If you RTFA, you'll see that all of the children affect are of middle eastern descent, and have parents who are 1st cousins. There isn't much hope for any other autistic children, I don't think.

Re:Cure who? (4, Informative)

greensoap (566467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256369)

If you RTFA, you'll see that all of the children they identified had those characteristics because it made them easier to identify. It doesn't say only children of middle eastern descent whose parents are 1st cousins can be treated with supplementation. It says the children identified by those traits had a form of autism that is also linked with the inability to transport those amino acids. Because their bodies are not able to process those amino acids it is theorized that supplementation may assist treatment. But more than anything, if you were a parent or caregiver of an autistic child then why wouldn't you try protein/BCAA supplements? These supplements are widely studied and concerned safe as far as I have ever read. They are readily available, just go to your local GNC. Or any supplement website.

Re:Cure who? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256451)

So if it's easily identified in children of parents that are first cousins... maybe we should just let them know they shouldn't get their family pregnant.

Re:Cure who? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256653)

That is true, ask the fuckin' Chinks. Those littledick elven motherfuckers are inbreeding because they're dumping all of their baby girls in dumpsters and forced to marry thier cousins.

Actually, all autistics should be rounded up and executed. this [cbs8.com] woman had the right idea. Having autistic offspring will trigger a mother's proper instinct to kill unviable offspring. And rightly so, for the disabled are a burden upon society.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Cure who? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256665)

Non-autistics should be killed. THey are unable to cope with normal social behavior.

Re:Cure who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257227)

You'd feel right at home in nazi germany.

But since time travel isn't an option, you probably have to search the neo nazi community for friends.

Re:Cure who? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257373)

By that logic, your anti-social behaviour and lack of empathy are an equally big burden to society. Die in a fire, please.

Re:Cure who? (2)

KMnO4 (684253) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258765)

I guess you missed: The researchers found that the supplements restore the children's blood levels of amino acids to normal. As for their autism symptoms, Gleeson says, the “patients did not get any worse and their parents say they got better, but it’s anecdotal”. Doesn't sound promising. Since normal brain development is a process that starts in utero, these amino acids are something that might require treatment to start immediately after birth to have any effect at all. Somehow with all the folk experimentation that's gone on with autistic kids, which is not always a bad thing, I'd be very surprised if every possible combination of amino-acids hasn't already been tried out there by someone. Anyhow, moral of the story: don't marry your cousins, or anyone else you may be closely related to.

Re:Cure who? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258919)

Oh, great advice... now we get a bunch of inbred kids with single parents! Next time tell them not to make babies with their family members.

Re:Cure who? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259845)

And if it turns out that autism as a whole is effected by diet, is anyone here REALLY gonna be surprised? i mean you can test newborns and find plastic in their blood, everything we eat is artificial, pumped full of hormones and preservatives and wrapped in leaking plastic, is it any wonder we have so many problems?

Every time I see an article like this all I can do is think of my great grandma, who lived to 102 while eating everything cooked in pure lard and who made her sweet tea so strong you could see two teaspoons of sugar in the bottom of the thing. But everything she ate was fresh, the pigs and chickens were grown by her, so were the vegetables, and what beef she ate came from a local farmer who would swap her part of a cow for some pork. I seriously doubt that woman had even a teaspoonful of artificial anything in her entire life!

And while I know anecdotes are just that, I can't help but compare that little town where I grew up to the way things are now, now everyone I know has allergies, everyone I know is fighting off a bug here and a bug there, and damned near everyone is on meds. Then I didn't know of anybody that was taking more than an aspirin for a headache and if somebody got sick enough to need the doc it was the talk of the town because that almost never happened.

So I have to wonder like how in the 50s they had "radiation is your friend" if people 50 years from now are gonna look back and go "WTF were they thinking?" when it comes to us and what we put in our bodies.

Dietary interventions for autism (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256321)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/autism-research-discovery_b_794967.html [huffingtonpost.com]
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/neurological-conditions/autism/ [vitamindcouncil.org]

It sounds from those two sources like many cases of autism could be prevented by higher vitamin D levels of pregnant women and better diet, but in the first few years of life after birth, some aspects of autism can be reversed with vitamin D supplements and good diet. How far and for how many kids is still an open question.

Also of general interest on eating healthier:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/food-industry_b_1559920.html [huffingtonpost.com]
https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx [drfuhrman.com]

Re:Dietary interventions for autism (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257243)

The Huffington Post is not exactly known for being a reliable source. Dr. Furnham is just an ordinary MD, not a researcher, who likes to write diet books. The Vitamin D Council might be a bit biased in writing how Vitamin D can help autism.

Hope it is all true, despite the sources being sketchy.

No disrespect intended.

Hope it is all true.

Re:Dietary interventions for autism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259095)

The Huffington Post is not exactly known for being a reliable source.

Seconded. They were notorious for running anti-vax scare pieces YEARS after a vaccination-autism link was thoroughly discredited.

Re:Cure who? (1)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258039)

Exactly. By the time that symptoms are showing it is too late. You can't 'cure' Autism once the developmental damage is done.

Re:Cure who? (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259709)

Exactly. By the time that symptoms are showing it is too late. You can't 'cure' Autism once the developmental damage is done.

Anyway, autistics provide a useful social and economic function. Someone has to do computer programming, and at least this way it's voluntary.

From animal models (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260089)

Nobody knows yet if this will treat autism in humans. A major problem for developing autism therapy is that there are no validated animal models (although there are quite a few candidates). The problem is, what constitutes autism in an animal? The most troubling symptoms of autism in humans relate to social-emotional behaviors that have no strong correlates in animals. So what we have in terms of "autistic behavior" in animals are things along the lines of "does the 'autistic' mouse sniff the other mouse less than normal?" But it turns out that mouse social behavior is pretty fragile: all sorts of genetic and pharmacological manipulations screw up mouse social behavior, and chances are that they are not all valid models of autism.

Now, an animal model does not have to be exactly like a human to be useful. The key question is, does a manipulation that normalizes the "autistic" animal behavior also improve the core symptoms of autism in humans? This is an area that is very much in its infancy, so nobody really knows.

Part of the problem is that we don't know what is really wrong in autism. There are clear neurochemical differences, but we don't yet know if these are a cause of the behavioral deficits in autism. One possibility is that the damage in autism occurs very early, even before birth. The brain is just miswired, and there is nothing much that can be done about it after symptoms emerge. In this case, an intervention would have to be very early, perhaps even in utero, to work. Another possibility is that the fundamental wiring of the brain is OK (on a gross level, there is no evidence of major damage, although there is evidence for subtle changes in what neurons are where), but that the signaling between neurons is off in some way that can be correctable, in which case there might be some dietary, pharmacological, or gene therapy manipulation that could bring function closer to what we think of as normal.

And of course, there are likely multiple types of autism (probably caused by different mutations), so some forms might be treatable late, while others might not.

It's an autism vaccine! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256151)

n/t

Sources of BCAA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256167)

Red meat is highest in BCAAs. Dairy products also are good protein sources and contain high amounts of BCAAs. Some healthy choices in dairy include low-fat or nonfat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, frozen yogurt, sour cream and low-fat cheeses. MayoClinic.com recommends reducing the amount of saturated fats in your diet.
Additional dairy options include butter, cheese, cream, crème fraiche, eggnog, ghee and half-and-half. Some dairy products, such as ice cream, contain whey protein, which is loaded with BCAAs

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/286637-foods-high-in-branched-chain-amino-acids/#ixzz25kJBtIEO

Re:Sources of BCAA (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256303)

Dairy also contains casein, which many believe to be problematic for AS individuals.

Re:Sources of BCAA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256591)

Which "many" believe this? The anti-vaccine crowd?

Re:Sources of BCAA (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257267)

Most Americans, Canadians and Many Europeans eat large amounts of those foods, yet autism is still a problem in those countries. Something doesn't fit.

Your URL is to a web site article authored by a photojournalist. No credentials related to health, medicine or nutrition beyond being a personal trainer.

The article doesn't mention autism at all.

Re:Sources of BCAA (1)

Sollord (888521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258861)

Autism likely isn't a single cause or disease it's probably multiple causes showing similar effects to different degrees and I wouldn't be shocked to learn a large portion is related to our modern diet and lifestyle and it's interaction with long standing genetic mutations that were less pronounced because we were outside, far more active, and ate different food in different quantities in the past like how we didn't consume as much artificial/modified foods like HFCS or hell we never used to consume as much sugar in general as we do now but that a different larger issue.

IN the end all sorts of things could be mingling to cause the larger amounts of autistic children we see today but people always like simple problems and answers where its just one thing causing the problem which is highly unlikely. Besides autism is begin badly abused as a diagnosis for every child not perfectly normal these days as any introvert child is now basically considered autistic to a degree and any adult introvert would of probably been labeled autistic if they were growing up today.

Re:Sources of BCAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259809)

Besides autism is begin badly abused as a diagnosis for every child not perfectly normal these days as any introvert child is now basically considered autistic to a degree and any adult introvert would of probably been labeled autistic if they were growing up today.

Well said. The term "on the autistic spectrum" is used so widely as to be as meaningless as the even more ludicrous "ADHD." I know several kids who would just have been called disruptive, annoying or plain badly behaved when I was at school. Nowadays they've got some medical condition because obviously the little snowflakes can't be just little arseholes.

I feel sorry for the kids who do have an actual medical condition, as they get lumped together under the same label of "irritating self-centred git".

Posted anonymously to circumvent the inevitable slashdot "I'm a self diagnosed Aspie" crowd.

Re:Sources of BCAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258967)

TFA says that this form not all forms of autism come from a deficiency of branched-chain amino acids, GP's article while written by a photojournalist is well cited and shows what foods have high amounts of BCAA.

Re:Sources of BCAA (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259037)

Well, that certainly supports my theory that vegetarians aren't quite right in the head.

Re:Sources of BCAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41259689)

Well, that certainly supports my theory that vegetarians aren't quite right in the head.

Even Albert Einstein?

Amazing! (2)

kiriath (2670145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256189)

Any potential treatment is lightyears beyond what is available currently. This is awesome news!

Re:Amazing! (-1, Troll)

kid_wonder (21480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256233)

Any potential treatment is lightyears beyond what is available currently. This is awesome news!

uh, just don't get vaccinated. duh. pretty simple.

Re:Amazing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256329)

Yeah, for many its too late, they got their "free shots", red meat, bacon, butter, a few cigarettes and a statin do wonders for me :-)

I was always weird, starting in the 1980's when I was taken away from my family and indoctrinated in State controlled schools, and also born really premature, since then vitamins helped me a lot as well as the things I mentioned above, being on the Atkins diet made me feel like a trillion bucks too, !

I am just socially award, however I excel in business, I just need pussy, and ass, you know and TNA which is why I am posting on slash dot instead of being a real man and posting this on Craigslist :-)

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256283)

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episode/autism-enigma.html [www.cbc.ca]

Probably blocked outside of Canada, but you can probably get the video elsewhere.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/12/david-suzuki-presents-the-autism-enigma-on-the-nature-of-things.html [ageofautism.com]

Basically, oral antibiotics in young kids end up screwing up their gut bacteria balance, permanently. The bacteria that end up more dominant end up causing autism symptoms.

First research on this is over 10 years old. Now some groups are starting to looking at it once more, but nothing was done in those 10 years. So why no one noticed it? Kind of reminds me of why the link between bacteria and ulcers was deemed impossible for years.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256307)

This is complete bullshit. Everyone KNOWS that "supplements" are complete witch craft and junk science, the Great Slashdot Pundits say so... Health through SCIENCE and PHARMACEUTICALS is the only way!

Re:Amazing! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256547)

Behavioral treatments are wildly effective - about 40-50% of kids who receive quality intervention are indistinguishable from their peers after 2-3 years. It's a shame that we allow Jenny McCarthy and other anti-vax wingnuts to dominate the conversation.

After proline, now branched amnio acids (5, Informative)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256245)

We already knew about some forms of autism where a genetic disposition causes the lack of dipeptyl-peptidase IV, the enzyme responsible for breaking proline bonds during digestion. Proline needs a very special enzyme because the amine is tertiary, while it is secondary on other amino acids.

Gluten and casein contain sequences with a lot of proline, and this class of autists never digest them completely. They are left with short proline-rich peptides known as gliadomorphine and caseomorphine. As the name suggests, theses peptides are able to bind morphine receptors in the brain. And for this class of autism, symptoms disapear with a diet without casein and gluten.

And now we have autists with another genetic disposition related to protein digestion, this time with valine, leucine and isoleucine not being digested, and missing in the brain because they are essential amino acids. I wonder if we are going to discover more autism forms as being protein digestion issues

Re:After proline, now branched amnio acids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258077)

Interesting. I'll do some googling, but do you have any bibliographic info? I have been on a high protein diet since 18 as I noticed though experimentation and copious note taking that I was vastly more productive on a high-protein diet. Part of that diet has been heavy supplementation of BCAAs before and after exertion.

Just curious to see how the research is leaning, and what the spectrum of cases might look like.

Thanks!

Feed them meat, you hippies! (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256261)

I'm raising little Joey here on a vegan macrobiotic diet. Did I also mention he has autism, peanut allergies, and fibromyalgia?

Re:Feed them meat, you hippies! (3, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256365)

I knew it!
People who don't eat meat are weird.
(Brought to you by the American beef council)

In related news:
Cannibalistic ancestors [nationalgeographic.com] help against prion diseases.
(Brought to you by the American flesh council)

Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat veggi (4, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256375)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=vitamin-d-and-autism [scientificamerican.com]
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/ [richardlouv.com]

BTW, eating more veggies can help with the some of the disease you mentioned:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/Other.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
"Fibromyalgia is a disease highlighted by discomfort, pain and tenderness all over the body. The cause is unknown. Typical treatments involve pain medication and anti-depressants used to aid sleep. Better sleep has been shown to be of benefit.
    I have been utilizing a high antioxidant, acrlyamide-free diet for many years with marked success. Acrylamides are toxic substances produced by baking and frying carbohydrates. The diet-style I recommend for fibromylagia patients is rich in natural plant foods especially organic berries and green vegetables and restricted in animal products and baked grains. Vegetable soups and steamed vegetables are encouraged. Fibromyalgia patients routinely get well, and they get well quickly.
    Studies in the medical literature support this method of treatment.[ii] Though the researchers do not seem to have the experience and understanding of why what they are doing works, the effects are dramatic.
    Similar to the nutritional treatment of most diseases, it is not one photochemical compound or the removal of one toxic habit that works; it is the symphonic combination of removing multiple nutritional stresses along with the addition of multiple beneficial nutritional compounds that results in consistent and sustained results. The high intake of polyphenolic compounds such as quercetin, myricetin and kaempherol, and the high intake of lignans and bioflavonoids are just a few of the hundreds of nutrients with unpronounceable names that can only be obtained in large amounts from a diet rich in natural plant foods."

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (-1, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256421)

Oh fucking Christ. This is what happens when you let them have the internet on the commune. And you wonder why people vote Republican.

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256609)

Nice bigotry, atypical of the left these days.

That's nice (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256587)

I can buy a loaf of bread for a dollar. Off sale. Off sale 6 ounces of berries is $4.00. Not a lot of options there unless you're very, very wealthy...

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257419)

You can buy a 6 seedlings for 3 dollars, water is essentially free.

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258095)

Try frozen...

We eat frozen blue and staw berries by the ton... not expensive at all when frozen. Heat 1 cup in 1100w microwave for 30s before adding to 2 cups of homemade greek style yogurt. 30g protein, and $2 cost per meal.

Re:That's nice (1)

famebait (450028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258233)

For the sake of argument accepting the premise that baked/fried carbs is the bugaboo: it is not expensisve at all to replace bread with boiled/steamed rice or potatoes. Impractical, maybe, but a lot of the world do eat rice as we do bread, so it can't be that bad.

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (4, Informative)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256605)

BTW, eating more veggies can help with the some of the disease you mentioned:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/Other.aspx [drfuhrman.com]

The only study (one study) quoted from that Timecubey article of yours is in

BMC Complement Altern Med 2001

I don't have access to the study (unless I brain farted and couldn't find the free access link) and the hell if I'm paying money to get a paper from a third-rate journal, but I can tell you what I can find from the abstract.

The study was conducted on 32 people; 15 were switched to a vegan diet, and 18 were kept on their preexisting omnivorous diet. The groups differed from one-another at the beginning of the study in terms of pain and urine sodium, which is a significant red flag considering that many of they tout are directly related to one or the other. There is no comparison to other diets. There is no comparison to healthier omnivorous diets. The abstract states that many of the patients in the study were overweight, implying that the preexisting diets in many cases may have been unhealthy in general and that generally improving the quality of the diets may have been more important than the fact the new diet was vegan.

And hell, that's just what I got from the abstract. At best this is one of those "more research is required" papers, it's certainly not enough to suggest that such a radical dietary switch is a reasonable treatment plan. Moreover, it's so oddly specific in switching from an omnivorous over to a raw vegan diet, and being published in an alt-med journal, that it sounds like it was intended to be (as the article you quoted did) treated as more than it is. And the alt-med crowd (pretends to) wonder why people call them pseudoscientists.

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256691)

(I meant "many of the benefits they tout", and left out that urine sodium levels also dropped by a full 2/3, further implying that the original diets were quite unhealthy in general. I can only hope the actual paper ends with a "More research is needed" line, since all the abstract has to conclude with is "It can be concluded that vegan diet had beneficial effects")

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256765)

(I also know that 15 + 18 = 33)

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256623)

Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, acts like a duck....

"Fibromyalgia patients routinely get well, and they get well quickly."

OK, Dr. Fuhrman, care to do some even observational studies? Case controls? Publish said studies in some sort of reputable journal?

(BTW, I certainly would not advocate a diet high in acrylamides, that's why all lab personnel are told never to eat their sequencing gels when they're finished with the experiment.)

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258555)

For some reason there is little discussion on actually a balanced diet.
Instead of proposing a prohibition of some sort of food, try to encourage the right portion percentage in your diet. Americans tend to eat too much meat. But meat isn't bad but it needs to be in the right portion, it shouldn't be our main meal but a side dish. We should eat more vegetables, but we should also take in grains and starch... We tend to eat to much salt and sugar, but we don't need to cut it out of our diet.

For the most part vegans don't seem to suffer the health effects of obesity, but they suffer other health effects from not having a proper diet. I mean if you look at many long time vegans they look years older then their peers. (I could be due to all natural drugs err ummm "inhaled herbs" use too, or just a life of being a judgmental prick building up the negativity in their body)

Re:Let them play outdoors in the sun! & Eat ve (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259881)

Vegetable soups and steamed vegetables are encouraged. Fibromyalgia patients routinely get well, and they get well quickly.

If I was told I faced a future diet of vegetable soups and steamed vegetables I'd pretty soon change my ways too.

Re:Feed them meat, you hippies! (1)

eulernet (1132389) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257979)

I also recommend you a sattvic diet:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sattvic_diet [wikipedia.org]

But be careful with gluten, which is present in all forms of wheat, and used in vegan recipes.
I believe that our body can only absorb a given amount of gluten in our lifetime.
I'm gluten intolerant, and removing gluten from my food tremendously improved my life, by curing my IBS.
There is a correlation between IBS and Emotional Intelligence.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19575489 [nih.gov]

Re:Feed them meat, you hippies! (3, Funny)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259977)

I'm gluten intolerant, and removing gluten from my food tremendously improved my life

Well, yes, it would wouldn't it? That's like saying that someone who would die of anaphylactic shock if stung by a bee has improved their quality of life remarkably by avoiding getting stung by bees.

Re:Feed them meat, you hippies! (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259859)

I'm raising little Joey here on a vegan macrobiotic diet. Did I also mention he has autism, peanut allergies, and fibromyalgia?

I think it would be a trivially simple thing to show a correlation between autism and vegetarianism wouldn't it? If it existed.

Can it also cure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256269)

...the autism caused by vaccinations?

Re:Can it also cure (4, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256287)

No, you need the autism vaccine for that.

Re:Can it also cure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257425)

Now that we know this, the next logical step is to find how vaccines cause protein deficiency (*ducks*)

Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled children. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256327)

Why is this even an issue. Just like kids "diagnosed" with add, autism is just a buzz word people use when they need to make some money and do a fundraiser or lazy parents have spoiled children that beg for attention and the parents unwilling to take responsibility just label the kid autistic.

I guess autism is just the most current trend to be on since Ive been hearing about it a lot lately. If its not that then its all about breast cancer, as if breast cancer is somehow the most palatable and socially friendly form of cancer to publicly make sure people know you are against while everyother form of cancer isnt trendy enough for a stupid bracelete or pink license plate.

Just spank your kids and teach them some discipline and watch the so called "autism" go away.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257353)

Huh? Have you ever met autistic child? I guess not.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (4, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257499)

Well hello there, nice to meet you.

I'm autistic -- yup, a very real high-functioning autist complete with medical diagnosis and jazz. You know, based on science and medicine and modern psychology and not wish-washy nonsense like bloodletting.

Allow me to confront you on this, because I feel like everyone needs to hear this from someone who has it. I find it terribly inhumane and malicious of you to spread this sort of attitude. Because that was the consensus, for a long time. A century ago, I would have been put in a mental hospital. And a lot of good people have fought long and hard to show the world we are people. Living, breathing people.

For one, you advocate corporal punishment, so I must conclude that you are grossly uneducated on the matter about which you speak. The APA (undoubtedly more qualified than you on this subject), abhors it, and you're free to read their research should you disagree. And that's in "normal" children.

Perhaps you weren't aware, Mr. Anon, that Isaac Newton had Asperger's Syndrome, which falls into the category of ASD. And I should not have to mention Temple Grandin, who had to fight against a system hellbent on doing on just what you said to succeed and paved the way for the rest of us.

---

Don't speak so ignorantly. You don't know what it's like to always feel uncomfortable around people. You don't know what it's like being unable to communicate; your thoughts being constantly misinterpreted by those around you. Working as hard as you can and still failing at some of the most basic abilities like writing or reading.

You're the spoiled one; spoiled in the bliss of your own ignorance, unwilling to educate yourself or to understand. Shame on you.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258633)

I agree with the sentiment of your post, but I feel you're making some errors which harm your cause:

I find it terribly inhumane and malicious of you to spread this sort of attitude.

It is trolling. Trolls want to hear you tell them how inhumane and malicious they are. You don't buy from spammers and you don't feed the trolls.

undoubtedly more qualified than you on this subject

I have come to call this "academic Top Trumps". Appeal to authority would have harmed you for the majority of history, so I wouldn't start appealing to it now. Link to evidence produced by respected authorities, sure, but make sure the argument rests in the evidence.

Isaac Newton had Asperger's Syndrome

One simply cannot perform a diagnosis based on reading the (edited) writings of some individual and third party accounts of his behaviour. Don't do it. It's not scientific and it makes a mockery of proper autism diagnoses.

You don't know what it's like to always feel uncomfortable around people.

There are a lot more people who "always feel uncomfortable around people" and who aren't autistic.

your thoughts being constantly misinterpreted by those around you.

Thoughts cannot be misinterpreted - only the expressions of those thoughts. It is more accurate to say that the autistic person has difficulty communicating effectively. Those who are not autistic can of course try to accommodate for this difficulty, but the problem is not necessarily "misinterpretation".

Autism affects day-to-day functioning on a long-term basis. It is a disability. Civilisation tries to accommodate for those with disabilities rather than mocking them or locking them away. Ultimately, the height of civilisation involves respecting everyone well-meaning who is not a 100% healthy genius.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257831)

I know you're trolling, but there are autistic kids. Really, they are. They simply do not interact with the real world. Their brain appears unable to deal with the mess of details and they obsess instead over much simpler, more ordered things.

The distinguishing abilities of a non-autistic are just one component of intelligence, so in archaic (i.e. politically incorrect terms) an autistic is just in some ways "retarded". These days we like to ignore that there are actually innately smart and less smart people because that would cast a shadow over meritocracy and make the angry, exploiting elite less justified in suggesting, "If you're poor, it's because you didn't work hard enough!" So we like to find labels to distinguish the "disabled" from the "stupid". But nature doesn't recognise these differences.

I am glad for all these labels, though, because people who are "stupid" are cruelly dismissed whereas people with another label tend to be treated with more sensitivity. I want every reason, genetic or environmental, for not being a healthy genius to be identified and labelled.

Having said this, I have no doubt that there are some misdiagnoses of autism - and I don't just mean Internet self-diagnoses. And the problem with a spectrum condition is that everyone has some aspects of it, so the "very high functioning autistic" is mostly "some guy with a few mild autistic traits". These are the guys who are both capable and often willing to be LOUD about their condition, giving a very wrong impression of what autism (in the non-mild form) actually is and how much it disables a person. It would be like an amputee who has lost one foot setting up expectations wrt/ a quadruple amputee who has no limbs whatever.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (1)

KublaKhan1797 (1240934) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258549)

I think you're missing a sarcasm-tag... either that or some serious education.

Re:Autism is just code for lazy and spoiled childr (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259051)

Yes brother, we must whip the demons out! To bedlam with them, followed by a Bible reading, that'll cure 'em.

Great. (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256355)

Great, so no one will know they have genetic defects. Way to pollute the gene pool.

Re:Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256387)

you're a genetic defect. FU

Re:Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256913)

More importantly, Slashdot will lose 98% of its readers will suddenly get a life.

Tangentially... (4, Interesting)

florescent_beige (608235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256361)

I have a metaphorical way of making sense of autistic behaviors. Let's say the brain has some kind of sensory input buffer. Defects in that buffer might lead the brain to be overstimulated with sensory input and become preoccupied with them. The other thing the buffer might do...and this is where it gets more metaphorical and maybe less factual...is serve as a feedback path for brain-generated inputs, to sort of test things. Like when someone says "Imagine what it feels like when..." or even when you just think about real experiences you had. I think of dreams as maybe working like that too: brain generated inputs get cycled back through the buffer to serve as virtual experiences for...whatever dreams are for. That way of thinking about it leads to a way of understanding stimming behaviours: they can be thought of as dream-related movement that we don't do during sleep dreams because of sleep paralysis.

I find having a (metaphorical and maybe not correct) mechanistic way of understanding autistic bahaviours makes it a lot easier to deal with them.

Re:Tangentially... (1)

mveloso (325617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257143)

So...austistic people are basically constantly tripping? That would explain a lot.

Re:Tangentially... (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260101)

I find having a (metaphorical and maybe not correct) mechanistic way of understanding autistic bahaviours makes it a lot easier to deal with them.

Impressively, your metaphor is actually less comprehensible than the actual autistic behaviour.

Not the first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256439)

This is great, but it's not the first dietary link and metabolic disorder with a connection to autism. Phenylketonurics have diminished or zero ability to process phenylalanine, an essential amino acid. The build up of that material in the body causes multiple deleterious effects, including autism. People with PKU cut their intake of phenylalanine and they don't suffer the effects they would have. That's been known for decades.

Re:Not the first (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257279)

Easiest way to avoid phenylalanine is to not drink diet sodas. They're full of the stuff.

As a father of a child with Autism... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256499)

I'm still not of the belief this is something that needs to be "cured". It isn't a cancer; my son is highly functional and gifted in certain aspects. People just need to learn to accept "different".

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256573)

My son has Autism as well as intelecutal disability and epilepsy, I would very much like to see it cured. There are ranges and differnet underlying causes. I think that in some of the more moderate cases it may well be with in the range of normal (Unix admin) behavior and curing it would be akin to trying to cure someone from organizational skills.

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260155)

I think that in some of the more moderate cases it may well be with in the range of normal (Unix admin) behavior

I think we call it Asperger's here. Luckily, it's easy to self-diagnose:

Inability to talk to other human beings, except about computers? CHECK.

Inability to talk to females about anything? CHECK.

Diregard for tedious social conventions like washing? CHECK.

Profound certainty in one's own uniquely superior intellect? CHECK.

Tendency to write "Microsoft" as "M$"? CHECK.

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256599)

Plus I hear they really clean up at the blackjack table.

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257035)

My daughter just learned her son-- my grandson-- may never learn to read. I *very much* want a cure. I don't understand your reasoning at all.

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (4, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257295)

I have worked with many children with Ausitm.

Not the gentle, "my kid is a bit different and doesnt learn well" type, the "this child will spend
life in a wheelchair, with a head brace, except when 2-3 adults are physically helping them,
is likely to die from swallowing their own tongue/vomit/saliva, and if not could possibly live until
a good solid 15 years old, they cannot communicate in any way with those around then except
in the very most basic anger/peaceful/other level, and fights for basic existance" type
- I can assure you they would like a cure.

Count yourself lucky if your child is not in that group, and dont talk such rubbish.

Re:As a father of a child with Autism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258907)

So since the kids you know are very different than his son, his wordlview and experience are rubbish? I appreciate his honesty and openness, and willingness to accept his child. Given that it's a spectrum of disorders, not a single disorder, his perspective is valid. There are lots of things that have been classified as disorders that should not be "cured", like homosexuality, left-handedness, etc.

Remember, here's no such thing as autism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256541)

...it's just a collection of behaviors occurring in the typical population at a low frequency that are unfortunately clustered in an individual. Treating "autism" isn't possible, treating the symptoms of autism are (and that's what this study is reporting).

I am a high-level autist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256743)

Being autistic, there are some limitations in my world from the viewpoint of other people. In my view, they are limited more than I am. I can understand what people are talking about even when I can't directly relate to it through personal experience or don't give the emotional response that others might give. I, however, can see past what they're talking about in ways that they cannot because of the limitations that they have in having information filtered out that I still receive. Yes, it can be an overload at times and there are situations that I don't deal well in (like crowded rooms, loud environments, or very bright environments), but I find that my particular form of autism is a huge benefit to me. I can conceptualize things that most people can't imagine exist. I can find solutions to problems from disparate sources that other people don't see as relevant to each other.
If I had a "cure" available to me, I would refuse it. Why should I give up my giftings just to be like everybody else? Why can't I simply be accepted as me, just how I am?

Re:I am a high-level autist (3, Insightful)

bgat (123664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41256993)

If I had a "cure" available to me, I would refuse it. Why should I give up my giftings just to be like everybody else? Why can't I simply be accepted as me, just how I am?

Because you aren't the presentation that such a cure would be appropriate for. But since autism is a spectrum disorder, and still a fairly general diagnosis at that, your specific presentation doesn't generalize to the affected population. Heck, we don't even define that population very concisely yet.

I'm glad you see your condition as a positive one, and I sincerely hope that those around you also view your condition positively (and I use the term "condition" here with some hesitation, only because I don't know a better term and truly don't mean to be pejorative). But I know kids with the diagnosis who I'm not sure share your feeling---if they are even that aware. And their caregivers are greatly affected by their condition as well. Even something that just significantly improves their condition, without curing it, would improve everyone's lives immensely.

And at the rate of increase of Autism-related diagnoses without anything resembling a cure on the horizon, we don't have to continue much farther before society as a whole must plan for accommodations. Many children with the diagnosis will need intensive, life-long supervision. Think Alzheimers, but over many, many more years.

Re:I am a high-level autist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257377)

Try the protein supplements for a month or two. If you don't like it, stop taking the supplements, now with a better understanding of how other people feel.

Re:I am a high-level autist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257443)

Sure, but you're not just any Anonymous Coward. You're Temple Grandin.

Re:I am a high-level autist (2)

goldgin (1218596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257489)

I think I have the same kind of autism myself. I used to believe this was a gift that made me different in a good way but I didn't know of my condition. Now that I have a son with the same behavior as me, not only have I discovered the cause but I have learned a lot about myself and the "other" disadvantages, the ones you don't seem to have discovered yet, judging from your post. The main disadvantage is the difficulty for your parents to raise you. You see, you lack the ability to give back what you probably think of "meaningless, pretentious, excessive sentiment", in other words love. You feel love, I know this now, but you don't express it, along with several responses to other feelings. Unfortunately, this confuses neurotypical people AND autistics, including your mother, who has spend her whole life wondering why her son isn't happy. If there was a diet that helped my son give my wife more love, I would try it, first myself, then him.

Re:I am a high-level autist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41260183)

You make a great number of assumptions. It sounds like you're trying to project your feelings on the subject onto everybody affected. This is wrong. You know nothing of my parentage, you spouse, my children, my situation, or me as an individual.

It seems that you know nothing about being autistic or raising children that are (I am and have two out of my five children with the same "form" of autism as myself). My wife and family understand how each of us expresses our feelings in different ways, with our without autism. For those of us with autism (at least my "form" of it), the display of feelings is deeply complex, but isn't it the same for "everybody else"? I express love; so do my children. Those who know us can see, understand, and appreciate how we show love. Lack of ebullience in emotional display doesn't mean lack of emotional display. You might do well to do some research into love languages to further understand this.

To one of your points: I do see, and you are wrong. I do not lack the ability to give back emotionally or express feelings. I do not think of love or any love-related actions or feelings as "meaningless, pretentious, or excessive sentiment". I feel love, give back love, and openly express love; so do my children. If you truly believe that what you wrote of in your post are qualifiers for people with autism, you truly don't understand the nature of autism and clearly need to quit believing everything that you see on TV.

Hopefully your parents and spouse are wiser people than you.

Re:I am a high-level autist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258247)

I agree, and there are many like us. I assume all those in the "spectrum" are this way... this is why I always call BS on the spectrum thing. There are similarities yes, but one is a disease and one is just evolution. The way I see it is like if superhearing evolved but in some people it made a fly's wings sound like a chainsaw in your ear so it becomes a disability...would regular "highly-functioning" superhearing people be in "the spectrum" of whatever they want to call it? of course not. They say we are bad at non-verbal communication and yet when we get together, our problems of choosing the wrong word or turn of phrase causes no problems because of the super-charged non-verbal communication that we pick up, so finely tuned that we can tell intonation and the other persons complete emotional state just based on word choice and puntuation in a text. Even one of only a few words... because the pattern stands out as naturally as most people would see furled eyebrows and naturally know what that means.
my 2 cents

Re:I am a high-level autist (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41259091)

I agree completely. I had very bad social problems as a kid but I've sort of adapted to "act" like everyone else. It's like training a robot to act human. Enough effort into it results in a somewhat working system of logical responses. Once a person is capable of realizing that there's a way they're supposed to act, they can train themselves to act that way. That's the border between completely autistic people and ASD type people. Autistic ones do not realize that they're supposed to be acting a certain way. And similar to you, I'm unbelievably good at programming. Like unnaturally good. So that works for me :-D

There are many causes and many treatments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41256943)

Taking omega 3 fish oil did wonders for me to the point where I am effectively post-autistic in the eyes of others.

Re:There are many causes and many treatments (0)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#41257137)

Take enough fish oil and the turds just slide out.
This whole article is stupid and so is your comment and now I'm mad at myself for wasting my time.
As for you AC eat a damn fish. Fishing is relaxing and maybe it will do you some good. Fish oil also cures AC syndrome I hear.

Re:There are many causes and many treatments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257901)

Take enough fish oil and the turds just slide out.

Brilliant! That deserves a +5 funny/insightful.

Secretin: a cautionary tale (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year and a half ago | (#41260227)

Autism is considered a developmental disorder. But people on the autism spectrum don't necessarily stop developing. In clinical trials, typically something like a third of the patients in the placebo group show significant improvement. Many parents of children with autism are constantly trying one "treatment" or another, and when their child happens to show improvement, they credit whatever they tried last. They tell other parents, and it becomes a fad. And there are always doctors willing to offer the latest fad treatment--at a price.

There is a gastrointestinal peptide called secretin. It regulates bicarbonate secretion in the intestines. Three autistic kids were each given a single injection of secretin (they also had GI problems, which seem to be common in autism, although nobody is completely sure whether it is part of the disorder) and it was widely reported that their autistic behavior improved dramatically. There was a huge secretin fad. Over a thousand kids were treated with secretin. The company that made it couldn't keep up with the demand. Eventually, the controlled studies were done: the secretin group got better; so did the placebo group. No difference. The experimenters couldn't believe it. There were more studies: higher doses, more injections, secretin from different species. I even found one study that put it in an ointment and smeared it on the skin. None of them worked better than placebo. As a result of the secretin fad, we now know a great deal about secretin and autism--and what we know is that it doesn't work.

Fortunately, it seems like secretin is pretty much harmless. But a lot of "autism treatments" are not. There are still kids being treated with chelating agents, based on a long-debunked notion that autism has something to do with mercury poisoning. But chelating agents have serious risk of side effects, and can be dangerous if misused, and their have been some very bad consequences.

What about a VACCINE against autism???! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257293)

I hear so many new and novel vaccines are in the works, vaccines against depression, against anxiety, against
obesity, against cancer, against crime, against drug addiction etc.etc. is there anyone working on a vaccine against
autism??

Try CBD drops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41257913)

Most people are in the dark ages when it comes to cannabis and rare forms of Autism.

Why cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41258477)

I was diagnosed with Asperger and though some problems I have with the world may be linked to it, I strongly object to any implication of an illness or a state of health that needs to be treated or cured.

cb

Ironic (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41258635)

Wouldn't it be ironic to find out all theses parents and their modern fad diets of all organic/vegetarian/whatever... are whats causing their children to be autistic and not the very "chemicals" they are trying to avoid.
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