autism rate continues to go up

Discussion in 'Health Care' started by kazenatsu, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2020/us-autism-rates-up-10-percent-in-new-cdc-report.html

    Since 2000, the prevalence rate has nearly tripled, from 0.67 to 1.85 percent.

    I don't think you can say this is simply due to increased rate of diagnosis, because that's what they were saying in 2000.

    This is often a life-long disabling condition. Imagine for example Alzheimer's but it happening to children, if that helps put it in some perspective.

    My personal theory, I think the types of jobs required to live a middle class existence and support a family are becoming increasingly intellectual and require intense focus for long periods of time. Think about all those computer programmers in the Bay Area and Seattle. These genes appear to confer a benefit to succeed in certain type of jobs, but can also cause devastating problems in other situations.
    This is analogous to Sickle Cell Anemia in Africa, where the same gene that can offer resistance to malaria can also result in a fatal disease in some children.
    The same type of personality that succeeds as a computer programmer is also the type of mind an autistic person has.

    That is, natural selection evolutionary pressures within the economy are driving this, with an increased prevalence of the type of genes that can lead to disastrous consequences.

    I predict we will only continue to see the rate go up, in the near future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  2. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    Alzheimers disease is nothing like autism. Further, there is not a "one size fits all" for how it manifests in those with it.
     
  3. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    @kazenatsu I have a much simple hypothesis, it's much more likely for a woman who get their children late to get autistic children, and the age at which people get children is older and older. Potentially chemicals could play a role as well.

    Furthermore it's truly more and more difficult for autistic people to adapt to social pressure, and so they become more likely to get diagnosed.
     
  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I have a different theory. I think maybe people with the type of genes more likely to show up as autism in their offspring are less likely to have children earlier on.
    (Think about personality, and those who do not have as easy success in the dating game)

    That is, having children later on is an effect, rather than a cause.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  5. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's a good hypothesis !

    On a practical manner, I remain more doubftull. I'im a high functionning autist, and tend to be able to spot other autistic people, I'm not the only one in that case. I suspect light autism among some women, and they tended rather to settle quite early in their life, liking the security of a family. However, I'm not able to make a generalization of those observed cases.
    For autistic men, yes it's much more difficult, and they tend to settle later.
     
  6. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably slighly autistic, unsociable, but high achieving in spite of being from a poor family, got a degree in maths and did well in my career, financial controller/director, and retired early with a pile of cash.

    I don't see it as negative; if the others got on and did what's necessary instead of sitting around emoting with each other the world would be a better place.

    Maybe not being autistic is the problem....
     
  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That was my point. Genes that confer mild autism-type personality can confer a natural election/evolutionary advantage in today's high-pressure economy.
    However, these same genes also have the potential to confer severe autism, which is obviously horribly debilitating.

    There haven't been any studies on this, but I believe parents with the "autism"-like personality (in a successful sort of way) have a far higher prevalence of having children with autism (the debilitating type of autism).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  8. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any children so I can't help with your theory. My father was much the same as I am, so that doesn't support your theory - but wouldn't disprove it either. It would need a proper study to see if it works.
     
  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I have a neighbor who has two boys and they both have fairly severe autism, although the younger one is much worse than the older one.

    The father seems kind of quirky and seems like he kind of has the autism-type personality, although I would say he definitely does not have autism.

    He is a white man from New Jersey, and the mother of the two children was an Asian Vietnamese woman who left them. The father has many unexplained health issues, such as having hypohidrosis, where the sweat glands in his body do not function due to damage to the autonomic nervous system. He also has mild ALS.

    This seems to indicate there is a genetic component.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 1:50 AM

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