Well­ness Arti­cles

Autism on the Rise

Sev­eral sto­ries appeared in the gen­eral press on a report released by the U.S. cen­tres for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) show­ing that the rate of Autism is much higher than pre­vi­ously thought. The CDC report shows that the rate of Autism is now as high as 1 in 150 chil­dren. This is quite a rise when you con­sider that just two decades ago, the U.S. gov­ern­ment esti­mated no more than one in 10,000 chil­dren had autism. One story appear­ing in the Feb­ru­ary 9, 2007 issue of USA Today, noted that this was the most com­plete study on this sub­ject to date.

The CDC study looked at infor­ma­tion from mul­ti­ple states on 8 year old chil­dren who were diag­nosed as hav­ing an autism spec­trum dis­or­der (ASD). This cat­e­gory of dis­or­ders includes sev­eral con­di­tions includ­ing the diag­no­sis of “autism” itself. The USA Today arti­cle also brought up the con­tro­versy that sug­gests that thimerosal, a mercury-​based preser­v­a­tive that was used in infant vac­cines up until six years ago may be a major fac­tor with this prob­lem. The debate on the issue con­tin­ues as some med­ical author­i­ties still claim there is no con­nec­tion between the rise in Autism and vaccinations.

Ann Brasher, vice pres­i­dent of the National Autism Asso­ci­a­tion (NAA) noted in a Feb­ru­ary 10, 2007 inter­view in Med­ical News Today, that there has not been enough research on the cause of Autism. She com­mented, “This lat­est study under­scores the need for this type of research to take top pri­or­ity. Per­haps this time, the CDC’s own num­bers will finally drive the point home that this is an emer­gency and should be treated as such.” Brasher con­tin­ued, “The one in 150 chil­dren they counted need research that can help them recover and reach their full poten­tial in life. Time is of the essence.”

NAA board chair Claire Both­well also com­mented, “This agency has yet to answer the ques­tion, ‘Why are so many chil­dren sick?’ If this were an epi­demic of prac­ti­cally any other dis­ease among the chil­dren of this coun­try, they would have long since inves­ti­gated how it could have hap­pened and made earnest attempts to find treat­ments.” She also noted, “After this lat­est study, the CDC can­not con­tinue to sweep unpop­u­lar fac­tors in this epi­demic under the rug, includ­ing vac­cines and thimerosal. The future of a size­able por­tion of an entire gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren is at risk. With­out effec­tive treat­ments, tax­pay­ers will soon bear the bur­den of care, esti­mated at over $3 mil­lion per individual.”

Ran­dom Article

The Octo­ber 07, 2005 British Times Online, reports that a study com­mis­sioned by the Prince of Wales showed that the British health­care system

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