Comments for Autism News Beat https://autism-news-beat.com An evidence-based resource for journalists Fri, 11 Dec 2009 17:06:49 -0700 https://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 Comment on AAP launches Healthychildren.org by autblog https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/619/comment-page-1#comment-6852 autblog Fri, 11 Dec 2009 17:06:49 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=619#comment-6852 Fixed. Thanks! Fixed. Thanks!

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Comment on AAP launches Healthychildren.org by Ivar TJ https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/619/comment-page-1#comment-6849 Ivar TJ Fri, 11 Dec 2009 12:01:26 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=619#comment-6849 … and there is no nofollow-tag on the link to Whale.to! … and there is no nofollow-tag on the link to Whale.to!

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Comment on AAP launches Healthychildren.org by Autism Blog - AAP launches HealthyChildren.Org « Left Brain/Right Brain https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/619/comment-page-1#comment-6847 Autism Blog - AAP launches HealthyChildren.Org « Left Brain/Right Brain Fri, 11 Dec 2009 06:03:28 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=619#comment-6847 [...] AutismNewsBeat has blogged it as AAP launches Healthychildren.org. [...] [...] AutismNewsBeat has blogged it as AAP launches Healthychildren.org. [...]

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Comment on Olmsted Lied, People Laughed:The “Amish Anomaly” hoax by Sullivan https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/580/comment-page-1#comment-6845 Sullivan Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:33:51 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=580#comment-6845 <i>If they ever carry out an exhaustive state-of-the-art prevalence study of autism among the Amish, I predict they will find autism is considerably more common there than normal.</i> Two sources I have contacted indicate the rate of non-idiopathic autism it is indeed lower. These are nonscientific surveys, one very nonscientific. They also note that the vaccination rate has increased dramatically in the last 15 years, with no concurrent increase in autism. If they ever carry out an exhaustive state-of-the-art prevalence study of autism among the Amish, I predict they will find autism is considerably more common there than normal.

Two sources I have contacted indicate the rate of non-idiopathic autism it is indeed lower. These are nonscientific surveys, one very nonscientific. They also note that the vaccination rate has increased dramatically in the last 15 years, with no concurrent increase in autism.

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Comment on AAP launches Healthychildren.org by Sullivan https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/619/comment-page-1#comment-6844 Sullivan Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:19:21 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=619#comment-6844 Dude! You have a link to Whale.to but not to the healthy children website. Put one in! It's a nice site. There are a few things I would tweak, but it is still a "beta" site after all. Dude! You have a link to Whale.to but not to the healthy children website. Put one in!

It’s a nice site. There are a few things I would tweak, but it is still a “beta” site after all.

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Comment on Olmsted Lied, People Laughed:The “Amish Anomaly” hoax by Prometheus https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/580/comment-page-1#comment-6829 Prometheus Tue, 08 Dec 2009 20:06:10 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=580#comment-6829 I think it is important to note that it <i>is</i> possible that the Amish (and Mennonites) have a lower prevalence of autism - for the very same reason that they have a higher-than-average incidence of genetic disorders. The Amish and Mennonites (especially the "Old Order" Amish and Mennonites) have a higher-then-average incidence of genetic disorders because of a high level of inbreeding. I don't mean the <i>Deliverance</i> sort of marry-your-cousin inbreeding (although that may also occur), but the sort of inbreeding that occurs when a small population doesn't marry outside of their group (and those that do move away from the group) and few (or no) "outsiders" join the group. This describes the Amish and Mennonites pretty well and has been going on for over a century and a half. In <i>any</i> small inbred population, the genetic diversity drops over time because of the tendency to "lose" alleles for each gene through genetic drift. Eventually, this can lead to deleterious alleles ("bad mutations") becoming more prevalent. This greatly increases the chance that two parents will each have a copy of the defective allele, which in turn greatly increases the chance of their children having two copies (and thus manifesting the genetic disorder). But, there is a "flip" side to genetic drift in a small, inbreeding population. The prevalence of a deleterious gene can also <i>decrease</i> (or even go to zero), leading to <i>lower-than-average</i> incidence of a particular genetic disorder. Thus, it is <i>possible</i> that the Amish (and Mennonites) have <i>lost</i> some of the susceptibility alleles for autism. Unfortunately, we have <i>no</i> good data on the prevalence of autism among the Amish - Mr. Olmsted's half-hearted attempts notwithstanding. But, even if we <i>did</i> find that the Amish have a lower prevalence of autism, it <i>would not</i> necessarily have <i>anything</i> to do with vaccination. In fact, the <i>most</i> likely cause would be genetic drift and the loss of "autism alleles". This brings up the larger problem of studying groups that don't vaccinate. In the case of the Amish, we'd also have to confront the fact that they are not genetically similar to the general population. By this, I <i>don't</i> mean that they are "mutants" (<i>ala</i> "X-Men") or that they aren't human, just that they have a drastically different genetic diversity (and allelic distribution) than the rest of the country. Also, if you compare the Amish to the rest of the country in respect to autism, why would you settle on <i>vaccines</i> as the main difference - as Mr. Olmsted implies? Why not look at their television viewing habits (very different from the general population), their exposure to plastics or their mental stress levels? Why would <i>vaccination</i> - arguably the practice the Amish share most with the rest of the country - be your focus? Unless, of course, you had an agenda. Prometheus I think it is important to note that it is possible that the Amish (and Mennonites) have a lower prevalence of autism – for the very same reason that they have a higher-than-average incidence of genetic disorders.

The Amish and Mennonites (especially the “Old Order” Amish and Mennonites) have a higher-then-average incidence of genetic disorders because of a high level of inbreeding.

I don’t mean the Deliverance sort of marry-your-cousin inbreeding (although that may also occur), but the sort of inbreeding that occurs when a small population doesn’t marry outside of their group (and those that do move away from the group) and few (or no) “outsiders” join the group. This describes the Amish and Mennonites pretty well and has been going on for over a century and a half.

In any small inbred population, the genetic diversity drops over time because of the tendency to “lose” alleles for each gene through genetic drift. Eventually, this can lead to deleterious alleles (”bad mutations”) becoming more prevalent. This greatly increases the chance that two parents will each have a copy of the defective allele, which in turn greatly increases the chance of their children having two copies (and thus manifesting the genetic disorder).

But, there is a “flip” side to genetic drift in a small, inbreeding population. The prevalence of a deleterious gene can also decrease (or even go to zero), leading to lower-than-average incidence of a particular genetic disorder. Thus, it is possible that the Amish (and Mennonites) have lost some of the susceptibility alleles for autism.

Unfortunately, we have no good data on the prevalence of autism among the Amish – Mr. Olmsted’s half-hearted attempts notwithstanding. But, even if we did find that the Amish have a lower prevalence of autism, it would not necessarily have anything to do with vaccination. In fact, the most likely cause would be genetic drift and the loss of “autism alleles”.

This brings up the larger problem of studying groups that don’t vaccinate. In the case of the Amish, we’d also have to confront the fact that they are not genetically similar to the general population. By this, I don’t mean that they are “mutants” (ala “X-Men”) or that they aren’t human, just that they have a drastically different genetic diversity (and allelic distribution) than the rest of the country.

Also, if you compare the Amish to the rest of the country in respect to autism, why would you settle on vaccines as the main difference – as Mr. Olmsted implies? Why not look at their television viewing habits (very different from the general population), their exposure to plastics or their mental stress levels? Why would vaccination – arguably the practice the Amish share most with the rest of the country – be your focus?

Unless, of course, you had an agenda.

Prometheus

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Comment on Michael Specter on The Daily Show by Michael Specter gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack upside the head. | MNH Kids Camp.com – Ideas & Advice on Child Autism https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/603/comment-page-1#comment-6815 Michael Specter gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack upside the head. | MNH Kids Camp.com – Ideas & Advice on Child Autism Sun, 06 Dec 2009 00:36:18 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=603#comment-6815 [...] says Autism News Beat. Check out his post, and check out the video [...] [...] says Autism News Beat. Check out his post, and check out the video [...]

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Comment on Olmsted Lied, People Laughed:The “Amish Anomaly” hoax by Ivar TJ https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/580/comment-page-1#comment-6814 Ivar TJ Sat, 05 Dec 2009 22:36:17 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=580#comment-6814 This fails to interest me enough for me to figure out which posts by Olmsted this fuss derives from, but I’ve noticed it said several places that Olmsted never actually claimed that the Amish don’t vaccinate—but that he chose study the group because they allegedly vaccinate to a lesser degree. This fails to interest me enough for me to figure out which posts by Olmsted this fuss derives from, but I’ve noticed it said several places that Olmsted never actually claimed that the Amish don’t vaccinate—but that he chose study the group because they allegedly vaccinate to a lesser degree.

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Comment on Michael Specter on The Daily Show by Sullivan https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/603/comment-page-1#comment-6812 Sullivan Sat, 05 Dec 2009 07:37:06 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=603#comment-6812 Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I've written a short piece pointing people to your post. It was good to see the actual clip. I've read some interpretations that were, shall we say, incorrect? Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I’ve written a short piece pointing people to your post.

It was good to see the actual clip. I’ve read some interpretations that were, shall we say, incorrect?

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Comment on Michael Specter on The Daily Show by Autism Blog - Michael Specter gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack upside the head. « Left Brain/Right Brain https://autism-news-beat.com/archives/603/comment-page-1#comment-6811 Autism Blog - Michael Specter gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack upside the head. « Left Brain/Right Brain Sat, 05 Dec 2009 07:30:45 +0000 https://autism-news-beat.com/?p=603#comment-6811 [...] says Autism News Beat. Check out his post, and check out the video [...] [...] says Autism News Beat. Check out his post, and check out the video [...]

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