Thursday, February 10, 2011

Autism - A Scary Increase In A Mystery Disorder

Ten years ago, the word autism was just beginning to make waves in the health and education fields of study. Many people across the country were not familiar with its meaning or any characteristics of its disorder, and had likely not even heard the word at all. Twenty years ago, most people in general had not even heard of the word autism, much less knew anything about it. Today, the situation is much different. A recent television ad sponsored by autism researchers reveals that the number of diagnosed cases of autism in the United States has increased by 600% in the last twenty years. This alarming increase has caught the attention of research facilities across the nation in an effort to identify the causes of this disorder and hopefully discover a number of possible cures to protect our children.

Now the 600% increase is not totally representative of actual cases diagnosed. We have to consider the change in how doctors diagnose the disorder, how, why, and when children are referred to a specialist, age of diagnosis, and public perception and awareness, into this percentage increase. With those items combined however, there is still a scary increase in reported cases. So why is this happening? A number of factors have been identified in the past few years as possible causes and links to the disease. For instance, women who are pregnant are discouraged from consuming large amounts of fish and seafood as these foods are loaded with Mercury, which has recently been identified as a possible link to autism. Additionally, things like diet, digestive health, and your body s ability to deal with vitamins, minerals, and vaccines have all been linked to possible causes.

Unfortunately, these are all only possible causes and the exact reason why children develop autism is still as yet unidentified. The most recent breakthrough in linking why some children develop the disorder and others do not is tracking genetics. It appears that children who are relatives of family members suffering from the disorder are far more likely to develop symptoms than those who do not have family members with the disorder. These data strongly suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to the condition.

On the bright side, the outlook for autistic patients today is much greater than it was for those who had the disorder just a decade ago, where many of these cases placed children in medical institutions for study and control. Autism is now not a mental death sentence, and a number of therapies and medications available today have been shown effective in dealing with facets of the condition. While the effectiveness of these treatments do depend on the severity of the disorder in the diagnosed patient, options are available. Research will continue to be conducted on the various forms of autism for years to come. It is likely that specific preventative actions will be linked to alleviating the disorder while a variety of therapies and medications will still be tested and promoted through the dedication of scientists committed to finding the cure.

KJ Kerner is a freelance writer with a broad range of knowledge and interests. She helps online clients in a number of businesses. If you're shopping for the Best Air Purifier, you'll love this resource. Read about the Air Purifier No Filter option and whether it will work for your home.

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