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Asperger Syndrome Tied To Low Cortisol Levels 156

Posted by timothy
from the years-of-single-minded-study dept.
caffiend666 writes "According to a Health Day article, low levels of a stress hormone may be responsible for the obsession with routine and dislike for new experiences common in children with a certain type of autism. 'This study suggests that children with AS may not adjust normally to the challenge of a new environment on waking,' study researcher David Jessop, from the University of Bristol, said in the news release. 'This may affect the way they subsequently engage with the world around them.'"
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Asperger Syndrome Tied To Low Cortisol Levels

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  • WHAT? (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:42PM (#27434439) Homepage Journal
    Wait, What?! They can cure my Asperger's?! I DONT WANT THEM TO! I like everything the way it is! LEAVE ME ALONE! AHHHHHHHHHH
    • Re:WHAT? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:14PM (#27434989)
      As I understand it, there is a fear that if Asperger/Autism get cured that we will have a problem finding people that excel in mathematics.

      On a more personal note, while I have not been tested for it, there has been a suspicion among my family and doctors that I have Asperger's Syndrome. This thread's parent mocks, but I would not want to be "cured" if I indeed have it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mabhatter654 (561290)

        but how much MORE effective would you be if you could talk to real people like you talk to slashdotters? How much more could you contribute if you could function in "management" type discussions... that we all avoid to live in mom's basement.

        • Re:WHAT? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2009 @03:28PM (#27436061)

          but how much MORE effective would you be if you could talk to real people like you talk to slashdotters?

          More effective in what regard? More effective in deciding whether my current blouse is of the right color to go with my jeans? More effective at promoting myself at the waterhole? More effective in speaking 25 languages fluently? Face it, they teach the same in economics class: spending more effort on activities that are not part of your core business will always be to the detriment of said core business.

          Besides, the way I see it, Asperger's syndrome is not a lack of vocal skills but a lack of a sense of "urgency" when it comes to smalltalk (without the capital). That has both pros and cons, and I'm happy with it. But then again, I'm also a big proponent of sociodiversity (the way things are going, maybe one of the last), so me considering myself "perfectly sane" isn't really much of a measure.

          How much more could you contribute if you could function in "management" type discussions..

          Not. We already have too much people that are incapable of producing something of value.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by shambalagoon (714768)

            I find it odd that several people are saying that they would prefer not to be cured. Likely the "cure" is actually an ongoing treatment of adding cortisol to the system. One could TRY this out for a short period to see if they like being in that state of mind better. If they find they lose more than they gain, they could stop the treatment and return to the Asperger's state.

            I recently experienced an Addisonian Crisis, in which my cortisol levels dropped very low. It was a nightmarish state to be in, and I c

        • by smithmc (451373) *

          but how much MORE effective would you be if you could talk to real people like you talk to slashdotters? How much more could you contribute if you could function in "management" type discussions... that we all avoid to live in mom's basement.

          But what if "gaining" that "ability" also meant losing the analytical/logical skills that may come with the Asperger's/autism-spectrum? Then you'd have nothing to contribute in those management meetings, except more hot air...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by edittard (805475)

        In other words, "I've got X" (where X is something that basically makes you a 'tard) but I'm brilliant because 1% of brilliant people possibly have X.

        Well I'm left handed!

      • As I understand it, there is a fear that if Asperger/Autism get cured that we will have a problem finding people that excel in mathematics.

        [citation needed]

        Sorry to be blunt, but this sounds like rubbish to me.

        • by smithmc (451373) *

          As I understand it, there is a fear that if Asperger/Autism get cured that we will have a problem finding people that excel in mathematics.

          [citation needed]

          Sorry to be blunt, but this sounds like rubbish to me.

          Hmm. Do you excel in math, by any chance?

      • To cure or not to cure?

        ``This thread's parent mocks, but I would not want to be "cured" if I indeed have it.''

        That's where my mind immediately went, as soon as someone mentioned "treatment" and "long term remission of symptoms" in an earlier posting.

        Just because someone removes or suppresses the root cause of you not learning social skills some 20 years after the window when supposedly normal people learn how to interact with each other without running little simulations of each other in their heads doesn't

        • when supposedly normal people learn how to interact with each other without running little simulations of each other in their heads

          Are you suggesting there's something wrong with doing that?

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Same here.

        On the other hand, I think that if it were cured, competence be damned, I might be able to relate and interact with people sociably. IE, I'd be able to be employable.

    • by tverbeek (457094)
      I'm allergic to cortisol, you insensitive clod!
    • Re:WHAT? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Saxophonist (937341) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:24PM (#27435169)

      Parent's comment, while appearing funny, has more than a grain of truth.

      I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and while it certainly comes with some challenges, I wouldn't change the fact that I have it. I wouldn't want to give up the quirks and abilities that have been a part of me my whole life. A quote [blogspot.com] seems appropriate here:

      "Not everyone on the autism spectrum wants to be cured." -- Sigourney Weaver

      (Note: I have nothing to do with the linked blog.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Suppose you fall in love with and marry someone else on the autism spectrum. Suppose there's a significant chance of your kids having severe autism of the locked-in variety. It might be nice to have a nice treatment or cure in the toolbox.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yttrstein (891553)
        I understand that you don't want to give up the quirks and abilities that have been part of you your whole life, but I have another question for you:

        Would you be willing to give up the label "Aspergers"?
      • by smithmc (451373) *

        "Not everyone on the autism spectrum wants to be cured." -- Sigourney Weaver

        But I'll bet that some of them do. Shouldn't they have that option if they want it?

    • ...i mean, how neurotypical...

  • So ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aaron_Pike (528044) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:44PM (#27434471) Homepage
    ... to prevent AS in my own children I should make their infancy more stressful? Like run them through mazes with electrodes along the wrong routes or something?
  • I read the article, but it didn't go much into the implications of this finding. Does this mean a Cortisol injection would help? Or do you need a drug to stimulate the adrenal gland? Or is it more complicated than this?

    • Re:Article (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:53PM (#27434627) Homepage Journal

      FTFA:

      If these Asperger symptoms are caused primarily by stress, caregivers could learn to steer children away from situations that would add to anxiety, the researchers said.

       
      But as a diagnosed asperger's sufferer myself, NONONONONONONONO! This is EXACTLY the type of wrong response we've been getting all along to this disease. No, you don't "steer the children away" from situations, you train them to find other ways to deal with the situation. And you work on research to find other ways to increase Cortisol production.
       
      I think it would help mightily if the researchers on High Functioning Autism, actually had High Functioning Autism themselves. Then maybe we'd have suggestions that would really help in the real world.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        This is one of those cases where modern treatments don't seem to be as effective as the older, sink or swim method: Man up. Got Aspergers? Great for you. Suffer your knocks until you learn to cope with it. It leads to getting a lot of knocks, but it also ends with a lot more mature and competent individual. Their method of learning and coping may be different from other kids... but they NEED to learn and cope. Life is about handling stress, not avoiding it.

        It's odd the amount of geeks that seem ea
        • Well, as somebody with an actual diagnosed condition, I've got to agree with you- but only halfway. I was eager to get my diagnosis because it shut my mother up from diagnosing me herself with (insert mental disability of the week) for the first 30 years of my life. It also gave me a good reason to be more comfortable with the friends I do have and the friendships I've been able to make. And it's given me new coping skills that have mitigated my stranger behavior, somewhat.

          But yes, life is about HANDLING

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            Well, yes, an accurate diagnosis is far better than the alternative. Knowledge by itself is never bad.

            However, regardless of your condition, at some point you will need a job. You will need to converse with strangers. You will need to introduce yourself to a girl. You will need to handle a bullying arrogant SOB. And so on, and so on. Starting an independent life is stressful, sometimes far more stressful for someone with Aspergers, but they will be better off having done it. Shielding a child from
        • by tool462 (677306)

          To the mods that marked this "Flamebait":

          What are you thinking? Disagreeing with the status quo is not flamebait. It's how grown-ups have discussions. Life would get pretty boring if everybody just patted each others' backs all day long, and there would certainly be no progress. Flamebait is just that: emotional bait to get others to flame it. The parent post is nothing of the sort. It's well thought out and well written, and even includes a nice disclaimer at the end to smooth ruffled feathers. And

        • Re:Article (Score:5, Insightful)

          by try_anything (880404) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @05:02PM (#27437279)

          It's odd the amount of geeks that seem eager to be diagnosed with Aspergers... as if that excuses their perceived failings, allows them to blame it on a condition they have no control over... or perhaps it simply is a badge of being a 'true' geek.

          Even worse, the popularity of Asperger's as a self-diagnosis among geeks prevents them from getting a better grasp on their problems. Many other causes can produce similar symptoms, and even when a diagnosis of Asperger's is accurate, it isn't the last word on a person's mental health. An Aspie can have other psychological problems.

          For instance, I had long thought I might be an Aspie, and when I ended up in therapy, I waited to see if my therapist mentioned it. (On my first visit, I spotted a couple of books about Asperger's on her bookshelf, so I figured she would be a good check on my self-diagnosis.) After several visits she did mention that my description of my childhood experiences sounded like I could have Asperger's, and she knew an authority on Asperger's who could screen me. At the time, my health insurance wouldn't cover the screening (a couple thousand bucks,) so I basically asked, is the screening worth it? She said it would be interesting to have a more expert opinion on whether it was really Asperger's, but:

          1. My current level of functioning didn't support a diagnosis, so the diagnosis would be retrospective.
          2. My problems were at most indirectly related to Asperger's, in that I was deeply formed by my early social difficulties, whatever caused them.
          3. Asperger's would be one factor among several traumatic influences in my childhood.
          4. There was no particular question about my current condition that would be cleared up by a diagnosis of Asperger's.
          5. All in all, the course of my therapy would be minimally affected by a diagnosis of Asperger's.

          This from a therapist who had books about Asperger's on her shelf and who suggested I get screened for it without any prompting on my part. Clearly she was interested in Asperger's and knowledgable about it. She just didn't think it was that important for my further development.

          Contrast that with the many geeks who (without any professional diagnosis) use Asperger's to wholly define their past experience and future potential.

          • I once thought I had a mild case of Aspergers myself... I'm quite intelligent, frequently intensely focus on a few interests to the exclusion of others, have firm routines and rituals that I don't like becoming upset, and mostly importantly, I feel completely socially inept and have a constant prevalence of "fight or flight" instinct.

            The single biggest issue that affects me compared to "normal people" in my age range (I'm 32), is that I never grew out of the intense shyness, have a hard time relating to
            • I know of Avoidant Personality Disorder and know I fit the diagnostic criteria, but aside from reading a few overviews I haven't researched it at all. I may have dismissed it prematurely, but it seemed like an arbitrary category that didn't carry any guidance for understanding or treating the condition. That probably reflects my bias: it seems to me that many psychiatric classifications are intuitive and convenient, but not supported by any theoretical or clinical justification. They're just invented to

      • And you work on research to find other ways to increase Cortisol production.

        Rather than cortisol deficient. Perhaps "normal" levels simply cause particular anxiety.

         

    • by Thelasko (1196535)

      Does this mean a Cortisol injection would help?

      Perhaps low cortisol levels are another symptom. Correlation does not imply causation.

  • by Samschnooks (1415697) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:55PM (#27434657)
    I get 5 or sometimes 15???

    Anyway....

    I never see these studies that say they weed out child abuse. I know for a fact (sorry no cites or sites and I'm relying on personal experience here ... ) that child abuse will result in the same symptoms as Asperger's. That's what I'm wondering. You have one crowd who's looking for a biological reason and another who's looking for a behavioral.

    I don't know what to say. We're complex and any studies like this needs to be taken with a grain of salt or two.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Saxophonist (937341)

      There is some correlation between child abuse and Borderline Personality Disorder [mhsanctuary.com], which can have some similarities in outward symptoms to autism spectrum disorders. Could that be what you are seeing? Perhaps not, but it might be worth considering.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by greg_barton (5551) *

      I never see these studies that say they weed out child abuse.

      But this study leads credence to links with child abuse. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Abuse is a stress inducer. Right there is a good place to start. Maybe a cause of Asperger is cortisol resistence (as opposed to a lack of cortisol) brought on by excessive stress, either chronic or at critical points in brain development.

      Biological and behavioral causes are intertwined. Research is not a zero sum game. (Though research funding can seem to

    • by yttrstein (891553)
      " I know for a fact (sorry no cites or sites and I'm relying on personal experience here ... ) "

      Then you do not know it for a fact, and your anecdote is precisely as valuable as any number of misinterpretations of statistical data that we see in the mainstream media every single day.

      I know what to say:

      Could we please lock the media out of the laboratories?
    • by Raenex (947668)

      I have 5 mod points that I won't use here.

      So fucking what? I hate when people use this stupid gimmick to get modded up. Damn the moderators are so easily gamed.

  • WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:55PM (#27434659) Homepage

    I thought Asperger's was usually linked to anti-social techies, but working in the IT business is damn stressful.

    How can this every be correct?

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tiger4 (840741) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:06PM (#27434837)

      You think it is a coincidence your coworkers usually work in dank and dimly lit cubicles with no human contact? That they startle whenever anyone approaches? That they always bitch about the poor conditions at the rare and always uncomfortably awkward staff meetings, but no one ever actually attempts to change it? You're seeing it *EVERY DAY*

      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:27PM (#27435213)
        They're just in the "zone" in their "cave" - http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2007/11/11/the_nerd_handbook.html [randsinrepose.com]
        I like BSing with my coworkers as much as the next guy but lets be honest: people being social = less work getting done.
        • by gknoy (899301)

          As I don't have mod points, I'd like to thank you for linking that. It was a very interesting read -- I may even try talking to my wife about some of it.

          • You are very welcome. Ever since I came across it a few days ago I've been trying to get the word out. It's really helped me understand more about myself. I also think it's a useful tool for helping our significant others understand us a bit better. :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by RockWolf (806901)

          They're just in the "zone" in their "cave" - http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2007/11/11/the_nerd_handbook.html [randsinrepose.com] I like BSing with my coworkers as much as the next guy but lets be honest: people being social = less work getting done.

          I have mod-points, but I'd rather post.

          I'd like to echo the sibling post and say thanks for linking - I came across that article maybe 2 months ago, and it -perfectly- mirrors my working environment and habits.

          However, your off-the-cuff comment regarding productivity seem

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        You think it is a coincidence your coworkers usually work in dank and dimly lit cubicles with no human contact?

        I always assumed it was because they were vampires.... Also explains the lack of sleeping, the pale skin, and the tendency towards being mostly carnivorous.

  • So, the logical followup question TFA doesn't address, is do cortisol injections or pills on waking produce a change in the symptoms? In other words, is the cortisol level a cause of the differences in behavior / thought processes, a result of them, or is there a common underlying cause?
    • If it's a logical followup question and wasn't addressed directly, that usually means they're asking the same question and haven't designed and implemented the experiments to determine those answers yet.

    • by Thelasko (1196535)

      So, the logical followup question TFA doesn't address, is do cortisol injections or pills on waking produce a change in the symptoms?

      It's like those game shows that don't tell you the answer until after the commercial. If they told you the answer, how would the researchers expect to get another round of funding?

  • by shrubya (570356) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:27PM (#27435223) Homepage Journal

    If I'm reading them correctly, the studies being quoted (BTW, here's one of them [sciencedirect.com] if you have ScienceDirect) are NOT saying that Asperger's can be cured or prevented by altering a child's exposure to stress. They're saying Asperger's brains have a different neurochemical reaction to sudden changes than ordinary brains do.

    1: This may (or may not) point toward changing how Asperger's kids are trained to deal with stress.
    2: More interesting to me, this may point to targeted pharmaceuticals able to provide long-term remission.
    3: This may just be a side effect of Asperger's, and the actual cause is somewhere else entirely.

  • Prednisone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by e1618978 (598967) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:30PM (#27435257)
    Is Cortisol related to Prednisone? 40 mg of Prednisone made me *feel* Autistic - I couldn't look at people when they were talking, it was too overstimulating to see their lips move while I listened to their voice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They are related. After about a week on Prednisone your body is unable to produce Cortisol on its own. This is the reason that patients are weened off of it so slowly.

      I posted earlier (as anon there too); I am suspected of having Asperger's. I do have Crohn's Disease and have spent a great deal of my life on Prednisone (so much of it that I had osteoporosis by 18 years old). I've had Asperger's symptoms my entire life, but only began treatment for Crohn's when I was diagnosed with it at 12. Reading th
    • Re:Prednisone (Score:5, Informative)

      by w0mprat (1317953) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:42PM (#27435443)
      Prednisone is a artificial corticosteroid, and corticosteroids are the family of adrenal drugs, corsitol included. So it's plausible since I understand this drug is used to supress immune system and adrenal function?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Atrox666 (957601)
      I don't know this seems like the opposite to my experience. I get no real stimulus from people talking other than irritation. It's like the buzzing of an insect. I have to force myself to fulfil the minimum requrements of human interaction and it never feels like it's worth it. Even getting laid usually is more trouble than it's worth. That being said I wouldn't want to be "cured" as stunted abilities were compensated for by other abilities that were enhanced. My life's work depends on those enhanced abili
    • by danger42 (302987)

      A common behavior of people with autism is actually to focus on the mouth and lips. They find making eye contact very difficult.

  • by tylersoze (789256) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @02:51PM (#27435557)

    Hmm, I always thought it was contagious and this was how it was contracted:

    http://i.somethingawful.com/u/elpintogrande/july07/aspergersdefinition.gif [somethingawful.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...does this ever fit.

    Anecdotally--

    He is on a medication but boy is that first 15 minutes after waking up every morning freaking difficult.

    I can relate to him usually quite well as I'm sure I'm somewhere on the A.S.D. line (never diagnosed though).

    It is my job in the morning, every morning, to attempt to calmly wake him up and get his one pill into his system ASAP so he can get his routine started. ... not that the rest of the day is a cakewalk.

    • There is a lot of self-diagnosis going around in this thread. Your son is the only one I'm fairly sure really does have an autism spectrum disorder of any sort.

      It really needs to be put out there: Asperger's is not a blanket diagnosis for all forms of geekiness and social dysfunction. Even though it is a high-functioning form of autism, it is still autism.

      Geeky misfits who self-diagnose as AS do neither themselves nor people who really have AS any favors. It's become a trendy "disease", like so many of the

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Beve Jates (1393457)

        Meh, it is a spectrum disorder. Probably a large percentage of the entire population is on there somewhere.

        Funny, people with AS are the ones more likely to not want other people to have it because they feel they are special and want it to stay that way. It is an aspie trait. Also if anyone is going to correctly self diagnose it would probably be someone with AS.

        Personally, if I could get rid of it I would. Although there are benefits, they do not outweigh the drawbacks... not by a long shot. I want to be

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @03:06PM (#27435773) Journal

    In my view (and I have many AS traits), Asperger's Syndrome is not a bad thing - AS people are more creative, more courageous and morally/ethically more daring than the average (so-called neurotypical) person. AS people are disproportionately more responsible for human advancements. They're also very honest (mostly not capable of lying and conversely, naively trusting that everybody else is like them, unable to lie).

    We need more aspies, not less.

    • by try_anything (880404) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @04:11PM (#27436607)

      As someone who manifested many Asperger's symptoms as a child, I remember thinking all the time, "It would be obviously better if everyone did X, but they don't, because they're stupid." And you know what? None of my insights did anybody a damn bit of good. Aspies are great at pushing forward some fields (such as computing,) but they fail badly at fields that require influencing other people. RMS is only a partial exception to this.

      One example: Aspies are more ethically daring basically because they don't recognize a lot of the small-scale pain they cause. It's easy for them to see the social big picture because they don't see the social small picture. They don't hesitate to call for large changes because they don't understand the cost of the social and cultural disruption that large changes cause, or they dismiss them as irrelevant. Calling for change doesn't make it happen. You need people who can make changes happen by hacking the culture. For instance, Ghandi came up with a theory of nonviolent resistance that meshed perfectly with Hindu culture, while at the same time making it open to all Indians. Then Martin Luther King, Jr. adapted ideas from Ghandi and elsewhere to a completely different cultural context.

      An Aspie in MLK's place would have said, "Look, these Indian guys totally kicked ass with this approach, and I know we're black and Christian but we just need to forget about that because this stuff FUCKING WORKS. I mean, this is so OBVIOUS and I can't believe you guys are getting hung up on the fact that these ideas seem a little alien. They make perfect sense in a Hindu context, and if you're interested in that I can recommend some scriptures. If you're not going to bother understanding it, then just SHUT THE HELL UP and let the smart people talk. What the hell is wrong with you fucking dickhead morons? I give up. I can't make it any more obvious than I already have. Why don't you just go and play basketball and be cool and have sex and all that stuff that's so much more important than the FREEDOM OF OUR RACE. Idiots."

      Aspie-type people make valuable contributions to society (and I have to believe this or I'd just off myself) but Aspies are impotent in the face of many important problems. Sometimes the right guy for the job is someone who is really unattractive from a geeky point of view -- like a slick, charismatic, self-aggrandizing, womanizing minister.

      • by speedtux (1307149)

        but they fail badly at fields that require influencing other people

        Yes, you can choose to become a manipulator of people, and you can become quite successful that way. Many people respond well to feel-good stories, demagoguery, fear, etc. If you're really good, you might become a Madoff or a Ted Bundy.

        Just because you can be successful that way doesn't make it right. Many of us hope that human society can become more rational and prefer to view and interact with the world that way even though it's obviou

      • Sometimes the right guy for the job is someone who is really unattractive from a geeky point of view -- like a slick, charismatic, self-aggrandizing, womanizing minister.

        You have just described a psychopath. Yes, they are usually very succesful in politics, but that success is only for their very own power and material benefit - psychopaths in leading positions regularly and without ecception leave loss, misery and devastation behind them.

        They are the exact opposite of aspies: they will lie while looking you straight in the eyes, and you won't ever notice. They are master manipulators, extremely charismatic and very succesful with women - but again, they will only use and a

        • You have just described a psychopath. Yes, they are usually very succesful in politics, but that success is only for their very own power and material benefit - psychopaths in leading positions regularly and without ecception leave loss, misery and devastation behind them.

          Be that as it may, I was describing Martin Luther King, Jr. Whatever loss, misery, and devastation he left behind him in his personal life, I think he comes off pretty well if you take a larger view.

          • by Magada (741361)

            Does he? Witness the race riots that followed his death, the Black Panthers, Malcolm X and the disgusting frauds that came in his wake and purported to carry on his teachings while bilking the oppressors and the oppressed alike.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Got any kind of citation for that? 'Cause it sounds just like the bullshit the ADHD camp of the "neurodiversity" movement (AKA the "let's impede treatment by redefining ourselves as fine!") spouts, and just about every single piece of actual evidence points in the opposite direction.

      -A person with ADHD who's sick of the "let's declare ourselves specially gifted against all evidence" movement

    • by Chmcginn (201645)
      Your essential argument is that humanity should be reduced to a social monoculture?
  • This story about spanking [newscientist.com] (and cortisol) was posted just the other day and today we have this one. Hmmmm...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rush22 (772737)
      Picture a journalist in his or her natural habitat: in an office in front of Facebook. The journalist sees a possible story (on their screen). Their natural curiosity means they want to know the story behind "robs567 says: Actually, I can't be a 'fag.' I am a female web designer, and I do not beat my kids. Despite what you granola-eating hippies say, spanking is good and, unlike typical libtards, I have the citation right here. Have some reality with your stfu." Immediately the journalist is on move, and
  • Other Cortisol Links (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caffiend666 (598633) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @04:16PM (#27436683) Homepage

    Looking around, Cortisol is one of those good/bad things.

    http://www.south-florida-personal-trainer.com/stress.html [south-flor...rainer.com] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortisol [wikipedia.org]

    Looks like it's mostly understood on a physical level with only a little understood about it's neurological impacts. Physically, it sounds like it tells your body to 'break down and rebuild'. A little bit of cortisol, it works like growth hormone. A lot of cortisol, your body ends up useless mush. I can imagine no cortisol means your body is basically incapable of new things; Wikipedia lists low-cortisol impacts like Addison's_disease, Hypoglycemia , and learning impairment. Sounds like the researchers are taking a physical effect and applying it mentally as well.

  • Low cortisol levels are probably being caused by something else -- enzyme deficiency, some unknown pollutant, genetic defect, etc. This root cause is what leads to Aspergers. As usual the researchers say it's all in your head and it's all the fault of the way the parents treated their children. What they really need to do is look further into the cortisol production mechanism in the body and see if that is damaged by something in Asperger sufferers.

    • by GeekZilla (398185)

      "Low Cortisol is the effect not the cause." Whoops! You are correct. My post was incorrectly assuming low-cortisol as the cause. I really do need to read more carefully.

      Does this mean my implying that spanking could help those with AS was ass-backwards?

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