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Thread: Autism researchers shifting away from genes - Scoliosis next?

  1. #31
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  2. #32
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    Autism genes found

    By comparing the DNA of those with and without autism, researchers were able to identify several genes related to autism.
    It's almost the same story every time. Scientists find a few correlations but most of the time they don't know why a gene might relate to a specific illness. Eventually most or all of these genes turn out to be false leads. The negative followup never gets a press release. Research money is rapidly drying up for this sort of thing.

    Here is a recent story on Schizophrenia.

    NY Times, July 2008 - Gene-Hunters Find Hope and Hurdles in Schizophrenia Studies

    The search for common variants in schizophrenia, however, has not been very successful so far, though not for want of trying. There have been more than a thousand studies, implicating 3,608 genetic variants.

    But when all the data are pooled, only 24 of those variants turn out to be statistically significant, according to an analysis in the current issue of Nature Genetics by a group led by Dr. Lars Bertram of Massachusetts General Hospital.
    ...even these genome-wide association studies have had little success in finding common variants. Five such studies of schizophrenia have now been completed, and one of the largest found no common variants, Dr. Bertram said.
    3608 genes were discovered and you can bet nearly all of these got a lot of fanfare. Over time only 24 survived. New studies suggest that perhaps none survived. There might have been 3608 "we found the Schizophrenia gene!" press releases but I guarantee there weren't 3608 "Oops!" retractions.

    This article mentions that geneticists now believe Schizophrenia which hits 1% of the population might be triggered by thousands of rare deletions. I'm going to be polite and call that unlikely.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-28-2009 at 08:33 PM.

  3. #33
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    Autism genes

    concerned dad

    Boston Globe - Aug 2007 - Under suspicion
    Researchers now believe that autism can be caused by genes in combination with environmental triggers. The question is, what are those triggers?

    Dr. Martha Herbert, a Harvard neuroscientist and Massachusetts General Hospital neurologist, said a few years ago, autism researchers would be marginalized if they talked about environmental factors. But now, "any major article or proposal concerning the causes of autism is coming to be considered incomplete if it doesn't talk about a potential role of environmental factors."
    I read the ABC news article again and I don't see any mention of environment. Genetic correlations might be interesting but they don't garner the same level of respect that they did 5 or 10 years ago.

    Jan 2009 - California's Autism Increase Not Due To Better Counting, Diagnosis

    Published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology, results from the study also suggest that research should shift from genetics to the host of chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment that are likely at the root of changes in the neurodevelopment of California's children.
    "Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones. We need to even out the funding," Hertz-Picciotto said.
    That explains why the study you posted was done at all. For many years nearly 100% of Autism research dollars and with it all of the political power has gone towards genetics research. The results have been yawn inducing. Fortunately for unborn generations to come that's changing fast.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-28-2009 at 10:30 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned dad View Post
    Sorry. Dingo doesn't believe anything published in a real journal.

    but he does believe that HCMV causes autism and gliomas.

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    eeee....

    PNUTTRO

    The brain cancer link isn't proven but it's interesting.

    The Autism link is pretty well established.

    google search: cytomegalovirus autism

    From one of the links

    Up to 1% of children acquire CMV from their mothers during pregnancy with clinical illness developing in approximately 1 in 1,000 live births. Virus damage is most notable as impaired hearing, vision and/or intellectual performance. Congenital CMV is a known cause of autism.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-29-2009 at 09:00 PM.

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    Pnuttro's Backhand

    Dingo,

    It seems to me you have a good grasp that many/most published results results are false. Yet you cite some as if you just forgot that little tidbit.

    How do you decide which ones are likely true and which ones are likely false?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

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    Pnuttro's Backhand

    Pooka1

    Pnuttro's Backhand

    What is that supposed to mean?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    Pooka1

    Pnuttro's Backhand

    What is that supposed to mean?
    It's a reference to a post in another thread having nothing to do with Pnuttro.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #39
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    Autism followup

    I believe this is more information on the Autism gene that concerned dad mentioned.

    Gene variant found in 65% of autism cases

    The article does a great job of explaining the discovery and as a nonscientist it sounds like a big leap forward for Autism research. But keep the following 2 sentences in mind.

    The variant is carried by around 60 per cent of people without autism. "There are probably numerous factors that cause autism, and these have to interact with environmental factors in order to express the [autistic] phenotype," Hakonarson says.
    You could have predicted that sentence with just a simple working knowledge of both natural selection and Autism.

    Autism hits 1 in 150 children which makes it far too common to be a genetic disorder. This gene creates a susceptability to something in the environment. Perhaps it creates a susceptability to the disease process after the damage is done. Regardless of how it works you can safely assume that in most cases Autism doesn't occur without environmentally caused damage. Hopefully this genetic discovery will help scientists find that trigger or produce drugs to reverse Autism even after it's started.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-30-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    PNUTTRO

    The brain cancer link isn't proven but it's interesting.

    The Autism link is pretty well established.

    google search: cytomegalovirus autism

    From one of the links
    Your press release is from the Institute of Progressive Medicine

    Mission Statement
    To support physical, mental and spiritual betterment using the most natural, safest and most effective methods available. To employ drug or surgical therapies when judgment requires, with regard for individual circumstances and desires. To always respect each personís integrity and right to self-determinism.

    I don't know what that means, but I am not ready to go there for treatment of any kind.

    The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

  11. #41
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    Cytomegalovirus

    PNUTTRO

    The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

    Google yourself. Cytomegalovirus is associated with a wide range of brain birth defects and neurological problems including Autism.

    Fortunately scientists are working on many different vaccines to stop it. Here is a link to one. In theory I guess all of this work could be based on conjecture. Maybe you should notify these vaccine researchers about your doubts.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-30-2009 at 02:05 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    PNUTTRO

    The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

    Google yourself. Cytomegalovirus is associated with a wide range of brain birth defects and neurological problems including Autism.

    Fortunately scientists are working on many different vaccines to stop it. Here is a link to one. In theory I guess all of this work could be based on conjecture. Maybe you should notify these vaccine researchers about your doubts.
    you finally found a reference worth reading.

  13. #43
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    reference

    PNUTTRO

    you finally found a reference worth reading.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Most people get infected by cytomegalovirus as children and have few complications or even symptoms. Nearly two-thirds of women in child-bearing years have already been infected with cytomegalovirus.
    Sadly this is why a common infection can do so much damage and there is no obvious way to tell what's happening. Some infections hit nearly everyone but cause serious illness in just a few.

    If someone is genetically susceptible or has some bad timing they can end up with a lifelong, chronic illness and never know why because there is no obvious outbreak.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-30-2009 at 05:32 PM.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    Sadly this is why a common infection can do so much damage and there is no obvious way to tell what's happening. Some infections hit nearly everyone but cause serious illness in just a few.

    If someone is genetically susceptible or has some bad timing they can end up with a lifelong, chronic illness and never know why because there is no obvious outbreak.
    Okay so if we have many/most people in a population who are infected with something that produces an illness/syndrome ONLY in combination with a genetic predisposition then you can claim it isn't related to genetics, right?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

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    Correct

    Pooka1

    Okay so if we have many/most people in a population who are infected with something that produces an illness/syndrome ONLY in combination with a genetic predisposition then you can claim it isn't related to genetics, right?

    If you are saying these aren't genetic diseases you are correct.

    For example Polio might hit 1,000 kids before even 1 suffers from lifelong paralysis and deformity. This 1 child might be genetically susceptible to Polio Virus or just the disease process. Perhaps he was just unlucky. His immune system might have been low or he received a large exposure. It could be a lot of reasons.

    But in spite of any genetic weakness or susceptability a vaccine stops Polio dead in it's tracks. Thankfully it's in the history books and nobody calls Polio a genetic disease.

    Imagine how confused doctors would have been if Polio symptoms followed infection by months or even years. Researchers might have searched for Polio genes to this day. Odds are good they would have found quite a few by now.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-30-2009 at 07:18 PM.

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