Tag Archives: Diagnosis

Researchers find Uncommon Bacteria in Digestive System of Children with Autism

Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University have found that an uncommon bacterium exists in the walls of intestines of children with autism, but not those who do not have autism.The study, led by Brent Williams, tested 23 tissue biopsy samples from children with autism and found that a large portion (12 of the 23) contained the bacteria belonging to the group Sutterella. Even so, the bacteria are generally uncommon, not being found in any of the tissue samples from  children without autism.

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Autism Causes: Another Suspect Eliminated

One of the many potential causes of autism, smoking during pregnancy, has been ruled out after a large population-based study in Sweden.“We found no evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders,” said study leader Dr. Brian Lee, an assistant professor at Drexel University and an epidemiologist at Drexel’s School of Public Health, in collaboration with researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the University of Bristol (Bristol, UK).

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Autism Epidemic: Fact or Fiction?

There are questions over a possible autism epidemic given that the number of children diagnosed in the United States is twenty times higher than it was a generation ago. About one percent of all children are affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Scientists are striving to determine an explanation for the spike in diagnoses. While there have been several red herrings, the search for an environmental explanation has so far been fruitless.

Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropologist at George Washington University who has studied autism across the world, believes that what some are calling an epidemic is really an “epidemic of discovery.”  Grinker suggests that the percentage of people with autism has always been the same, but previously went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

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The Difference Between Autism and Social Anxiety

A quick google search reveals that there are many people trawling web forums wanting to find out if there is a difference between high functioning autism and social anxiety.  Some sites list it as one of their most frequently asked questions and the answer is always the same: autism and social anxiety are two very different things.

It is easy to understand why the two are often confused as they have many symptoms in common.  People with these conditions can be shy, avoid eye contact, be awkward in social situations and have bad communication skills.

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