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View Diary: Autism,Ultrasound And Whales (25 comments)

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  •  I'm suspicious of this claim. (5+ / 0-)

    It sounds just as confident as the claims that vaccinations caused autism.

    I knew a lot of people in the late 90s who did not vaccinate their kids because of the autism risk and now we all have to get booster shots because whooping cough is back with a vengeance in California.

    "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

    by voracious on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:44:50 AM PDT

    •  The site in the first link includes that as as (0+ / 0-)

      "alternate hypothesis". Right...

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:58:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  my suspicion is that the diarist (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, tharu1, skohayes, ER Doc

      is trying to draw attention to the whale problem by headlining autism.  

      and all the gods know that autism doesn't need any more fake link bullshit.

      i am concerned both as a rescue ranger, reading my shift for community spotlight; and as a mom of a son with autism.  

      Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

      by jlms qkw on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:02:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's actually a bit of disturbing early work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, hubcap

      on the potential link. The mechanism for the brain development issues that might be affected by ultrasounds has been theorized, the increased energy levels and frequency of ultrasounds has correlated directly with the appearance of autism disorders, and it looks like countries with different patterns of pregnancy care but similar patterns of ultrasound use have seen the same rises in autism rates.

      A doctor friend of mine mentioned the research to me awhile back and so I've been clued into the news about recent findings. The connection won't explain autism in general---it's always been a function of human brain development---but it might turn out to explain the sudden rise in rates. Which would be astonishingly tragic, of course.

      •  Part of the problem is that there is a real (4+ / 0-)

        difference between a rise in the rate of autism and a rise in the diagnosis of autism. My take, so far, is that most of the increase is due to diagnosis, rather than increasing levels of autism, and that a lot of cases are from sloppy diagnosis.

        I am, btw, quite prepared to change that opinion, but I want another 10 years of solid data and a much better definition of what's actually being diagnosed, dammit.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:15:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I've read, the nature of what ultrasound (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          does to the developing brain actually might explain the breadth of effects that have been diagnosed. They had a hard time initially figuring out what to look at, but there's now a theory that involves something called minicolumns which affect series of connections rather than individual neuron connections. Because there are so many potential variations across series, the diagnostic effects are really wide.

          Having said that, I'm with you on the idea that the breadth of diagnosis---and sloppiness--is probably a part of the issue as well.

        •  I would believe it. (4+ / 0-)

          In our case, the 16 year old got diagnosed with Aspberger's, his mother said, "Oh! THAT's why I can't stand florescent lights, prefer books to people, and don't like casual touch!" and the entire family looked at his grandfather and said, "OH! That explains SO MUCH!" of his solitary weird rudeness and social ignorance.

          We're all still who we were, we just now have a word for it.

          When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

          by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:53:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Juvenile Whales Lose Contact (0+ / 0-)

        The whales I referred to in my ( admittedly) poorly written diary are the ones that have lost, or never developed the ability to communicate with their pod. Whales, like humans have very highly developed "social skills" which for both humans and whales are a necessary survival  skill.

        If the part of the brain that contains the resources for "social skills" is  damaged in whales, they become separated from their family and beach themselves, or just starve to death.

        It is true that the level of ultrasounds does not approach the level of Naval Sonar blasts, however those sonar waves reach far out beyond the area of the tests and impact pregnant whales who are well outside the range of immediate damage.

        The only studies that have ever been done are over 20 years old and indicated an increase in left-handedness in children whose Mothers had ultrasounds. THOSE studies were done when ultrasounds were only used in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. There have been NO studies or research or statistical analysis done of children whose mothers had ultrasound done in the 1st trimester.

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