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Medicine Science

Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements 163

ananyo writes "A rare, hereditary form of autism has been found — and it may be treatable with protein supplements. Genome sequencing of six children with autism has revealed mutations in a gene that stops several essential amino acids being depleted. Mice lacking this gene developed neurological problems related to autism that were reversed by dietary changes (abstract). According to Joseph Gleeson, a child neurologist at the University of California, San Diego, who led the study, 'This might represent the first treatable form of autism.' It is possible that some other forms of autism may also be linked to uncommon metabolic disorders — and so treatable through dietary changes, according to the scientists quoted in the piece."
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Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @12:15AM (#41256743)

    Being autistic, there are some limitations in my world from the viewpoint of other people. In my view, they are limited more than I am. I can understand what people are talking about even when I can't directly relate to it through personal experience or don't give the emotional response that others might give. I, however, can see past what they're talking about in ways that they cannot because of the limitations that they have in having information filtered out that I still receive. Yes, it can be an overload at times and there are situations that I don't deal well in (like crowded rooms, loud environments, or very bright environments), but I find that my particular form of autism is a huge benefit to me. I can conceptualize things that most people can't imagine exist. I can find solutions to problems from disparate sources that other people don't see as relevant to each other.
    If I had a "cure" available to me, I would refuse it. Why should I give up my giftings just to be like everybody else? Why can't I simply be accepted as me, just how I am?

  • by bgat ( 123664 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @01:15AM (#41256993) Homepage

    If I had a "cure" available to me, I would refuse it. Why should I give up my giftings just to be like everybody else? Why can't I simply be accepted as me, just how I am?

    Because you aren't the presentation that such a cure would be appropriate for. But since autism is a spectrum disorder, and still a fairly general diagnosis at that, your specific presentation doesn't generalize to the affected population. Heck, we don't even define that population very concisely yet.

    I'm glad you see your condition as a positive one, and I sincerely hope that those around you also view your condition positively (and I use the term "condition" here with some hesitation, only because I don't know a better term and truly don't mean to be pejorative). But I know kids with the diagnosis who I'm not sure share your feeling---if they are even that aware. And their caregivers are greatly affected by their condition as well. Even something that just significantly improves their condition, without curing it, would improve everyone's lives immensely.

    And at the rate of increase of Autism-related diagnoses without anything resembling a cure on the horizon, we don't have to continue much farther before society as a whole must plan for accommodations. Many children with the diagnosis will need intensive, life-long supervision. Think Alzheimers, but over many, many more years.

  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @02:04AM (#41257243)

    The Huffington Post is not exactly known for being a reliable source. Dr. Furnham is just an ordinary MD, not a researcher, who likes to write diet books. The Vitamin D Council might be a bit biased in writing how Vitamin D can help autism.

    Hope it is all true, despite the sources being sketchy.

    No disrespect intended.

    Hope it is all true.

  • Re:Sources of BCAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @02:08AM (#41257267)

    Most Americans, Canadians and Many Europeans eat large amounts of those foods, yet autism is still a problem in those countries. Something doesn't fit.

    Your URL is to a web site article authored by a photojournalist. No credentials related to health, medicine or nutrition beyond being a personal trainer.

    The article doesn't mention autism at all.

  • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @02:15AM (#41257295)

    I have worked with many children with Ausitm.

    Not the gentle, "my kid is a bit different and doesnt learn well" type, the "this child will spend
    life in a wheelchair, with a head brace, except when 2-3 adults are physically helping them,
    is likely to die from swallowing their own tongue/vomit/saliva, and if not could possibly live until
    a good solid 15 years old, they cannot communicate in any way with those around then except
    in the very most basic anger/peaceful/other level, and fights for basic existance" type
    - I can assure you they would like a cure.

    Count yourself lucky if your child is not in that group, and dont talk such rubbish.

  • Re:Cure who? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @02:31AM (#41257373)
    By that logic, your anti-social behaviour and lack of empathy are an equally big burden to society. Die in a fire, please.
  • by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @03:10AM (#41257499)

    Well hello there, nice to meet you.

    I'm autistic -- yup, a very real high-functioning autist complete with medical diagnosis and jazz. You know, based on science and medicine and modern psychology and not wish-washy nonsense like bloodletting.

    Allow me to confront you on this, because I feel like everyone needs to hear this from someone who has it. I find it terribly inhumane and malicious of you to spread this sort of attitude. Because that was the consensus, for a long time. A century ago, I would have been put in a mental hospital. And a lot of good people have fought long and hard to show the world we are people. Living, breathing people.

    For one, you advocate corporal punishment, so I must conclude that you are grossly uneducated on the matter about which you speak. The APA (undoubtedly more qualified than you on this subject), abhors it, and you're free to read their research should you disagree. And that's in "normal" children.

    Perhaps you weren't aware, Mr. Anon, that Isaac Newton had Asperger's Syndrome, which falls into the category of ASD. And I should not have to mention Temple Grandin, who had to fight against a system hellbent on doing on just what you said to succeed and paved the way for the rest of us.


    Don't speak so ignorantly. You don't know what it's like to always feel uncomfortable around people. You don't know what it's like being unable to communicate; your thoughts being constantly misinterpreted by those around you. Working as hard as you can and still failing at some of the most basic abilities like writing or reading.

    You're the spoiled one; spoiled in the bliss of your own ignorance, unwilling to educate yourself or to understand. Shame on you.

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @04:36AM (#41257831) Journal

    I know you're trolling, but there are autistic kids. Really, they are. They simply do not interact with the real world. Their brain appears unable to deal with the mess of details and they obsess instead over much simpler, more ordered things.

    The distinguishing abilities of a non-autistic are just one component of intelligence, so in archaic (i.e. politically incorrect terms) an autistic is just in some ways "retarded". These days we like to ignore that there are actually innately smart and less smart people because that would cast a shadow over meritocracy and make the angry, exploiting elite less justified in suggesting, "If you're poor, it's because you didn't work hard enough!" So we like to find labels to distinguish the "disabled" from the "stupid". But nature doesn't recognise these differences.

    I am glad for all these labels, though, because people who are "stupid" are cruelly dismissed whereas people with another label tend to be treated with more sensitivity. I want every reason, genetic or environmental, for not being a healthy genius to be identified and labelled.

    Having said this, I have no doubt that there are some misdiagnoses of autism - and I don't just mean Internet self-diagnoses. And the problem with a spectrum condition is that everyone has some aspects of it, so the "very high functioning autistic" is mostly "some guy with a few mild autistic traits". These are the guys who are both capable and often willing to be LOUD about their condition, giving a very wrong impression of what autism (in the non-mild form) actually is and how much it disables a person. It would be like an amputee who has lost one foot setting up expectations wrt/ a quadruple amputee who has no limbs whatever.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.