Here are my comments on the article.Rod Everson wrote:Hi Elsie,elsiep wrote:
Link didn't work and couldn't find Cannell's paper, unfortunately, but I have read Michael Holick's review paper in the NEJM http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra070553. Haven't been able to access the pdf for a while now, but it's worth looking out for if you can't get access via the NEJM website.
I think a more likely explanation for vitamin D3 deficiency is a change in lifestyle in the developed world over the past few decades - we spend less time outdoors than our predecessors did. Children certainly spend less time outdoors, although hats and suncream wouldn't help either.
I don't subscribe to the 'autism epidemic' idea personally, though I'm open to persuasion. Many children diagnosed with autism now simply wouldn't have been considered autistic between the 1940s and 1980s.
First, I apologize, but I lost track of this thread and didn't realize you'd commented on the inoperable link at my site to Dr. Cannell's paper. I fixed it, so you should be able to get to it now. In fact, here's a direct link to his page. (When you get there you have to click the additional link under his picture.)
I wouldn't dispute that there's a correlation between serum 25(OH)D levels and autistic characteristics but a correlation doesn't tell you anything except that there's a correlation.Autism Introduction
There is mounting evidence that low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels during pregnancy and early life are associated with increased risk of developing autism.
The ultraviolet-B (UVB)-vitamin D-autism hypothesis was originally proposed by John Cannell1 2. Evidence in support of this hypothesis includes increased prevalence of autism with increasing latitude, excess birth rate for autism in spring, low serum 25(OH)D levels for those with autism, increased risk of autism for those with darker skin, increased risk for autism born to mothers likely to have low serum 25(OH)D levels due to darker skin, increased risk of autism associated with preeclampsia,
I couldn't figure out why the author referred to Williams' syndrome here.and diametrically opposed social behaviors of those with Williams syndrome.
Autism was first defined using a strongly Freudian model both by Kanner and by Wing and Gould and still is, in the DSM - social interaction, communication and behavioural flexibility are highly salient in the Freudian/psychiatric framework. Social interaction, communication and behavioural flexibility are also difficult constructs to operationalise. They are useful broad terms for groups of behaviours but it's challenging to say what behaviours fall into which category. If you have problems following a conversation because of auditory processing problems, your social interaction and communication will be impaired. If your speed of processing information is slower, or you've been repeatedly bullied your social interaction and communication will be impaired etc etc but not because of some fundamental impairment of social interaction or communication.
Social interaction, communication and behavioural flexibility are each so complex that almost anything can impair them. The pattern of social behaviours in people with autistic characteristics cannot be diametrically opposed to those with Williams syndrome because both sets of people show considerably variability in different aspects of social behaviour and not all those aspects are different.
Indeed they might, but this is entirely speculative. It also overlooks the possibility that there might be many other reasons why DNA or brain development might vary.The mechanisms whereby high serum 25(OH)D level increase the risk of autism may include protection against DNA damage of spermatocytes and ova prior to conception, impacts on fetal brain development, and reduction of oxidative stress.
I wouldn't disagree with that in principle, although it would be nice to see some data on the numbers. Given that vitamin D taken orally doesn't follow the same metabolic pathway as vitamin D made in the skin.To reduce the risk of autism, pregnant and nursing women should consider keeping serum 25(OH)D levels above 40-50 ng/mL, which would keep serum vitamin D levels high enough for the fetus/infant, and making sure their infants and children maintain adequate serum 25(OH)D levels.
Autism is a set of behavioural characteristics. Those behavioural characteristics are associated with a wide range of genetic and metabolic disorders and with infective agents. It is highly likely that the 'autism' has resulted from the genetic, metabolic or infective disorder.Autism is a disease that affects both the brain and the body.
“Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities characterized by atypical development in socialization, communication, and behavior. ASDs typically are apparent before age 3 years, with associated impairments affecting multiple areas of a person's life. Because no biologic marker exists for ASDs, identification is made by professionals who evaluate a child's developmental progress to identify the presence of developmental disorders…..In 2006, on average, approximately 1% or one child in every 110 in the 11 ADDM sites was classified as having an ASD” 3
And not so recent. They were noted by Leo Kanner and by Wing and Gould, but because autism is classified as a 'mental' disorder and because children with such conditions don't always develop autistic characteristics they were ignored for decades especially by - dare I say it? - psychiatrists.“Recent clinical studies have revealed a high prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms, inflammation, and dysfunction in children with autism. Mild to moderate degrees of inflammation were found in both the upper and lower intestinal tract. In addition, decreased sulfation capacity of the liver, pathologic intestinal permeability, increased secretory response to intravenous secretin injection, and decreased digestive enzyme activities were reported in many children with autism. Treatment of digestive problems appears to have positive effects on autistic behavior4.”
Now I will read the paper.