Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Evidence That Autism Caused by Genetic and Environmental Factors

One more piece...
Earlier today an article was published entitled "Environment, not just genetics, at play in autism".  The article discusses two different studies which were recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry which both found various environmental risk factors which could result in a child being born with autism.

In one of the studies, a significant risk was identified if the mother took a specific anti-depressant during pregnancy.  In the other, it was determined that fraternal twins were at a much higher risk of developing autism than children who have a sibling with autism.  This is not meant to suggest that genetics isn't a significant role however.  In fact, Clara Lajonchere, a co-author of one of the studies as well as the vice president of clinical programs for Autism Speaks stated that "[i]t has been well-established that genetic factors contribute to risk for autism".

Rather than dismissing the genetic component, these new studies are merely suggesting there might be a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors that lead to autism.  Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health was quoted as saying "[w]hat is becoming clear, he said, is that the [environmental] exposure is likely occurring before childbirth."

Therefore the authors of these studies are examining things such as chemical exposure, to infections, to genetics however since the data has suggested the triggers are occurring before childbirth, it would be rather difficult to blame autism upon vaccines which are given after childbirth.

Read the full story here:  http://news.yahoo.com/environment-not-just-genetics-play-autism-211331709.html

And here are the studies:
Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism
Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online July 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.76
Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders
Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online July 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.73

So while we have more and more studies piling up which continue to identify various risk factors that may contribute to autism, we continue to have a total of zero studies which have identified vaccines as one of those risk factors.  Unless of course you count the now-retracted and fraudulent Wakefield study (which technically isn't even a published study since it has been pulled due to the numerous ethical and scientific issues with the 'study').

We also need to note that in some cases these studies are financed by insurance companies (the antidepressant study above was financed by Kaiser Permanente), therefore these organizations have nothing to gain by hiding the true cause of autism.  In fact, an insurance company would obviously benefit financially if such a root cause could be identified as it would decrease the amount of payouts and therefore improve the bottom line of the insurer.

The only question remaining is, how many more studies will it take before an antivaxxer like Mr. Hubbs admits that vaccines are not the root cause of autism?  Put another way, how many more times will the scientific and medical community release a study which make Mr. Hubbs and his fellow antivaxxers look foolish? 

Time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated and comments from obvious sockpuppet accounts as well as spam accounts that do not add anything of value to the discussion will not be published.