Here's the latest autism study just out on major news sites. It involves overproduction of synapses in the brain.
Okay, What's a synapse and how does a kid with autism get too many of them? How does this explain an epidemic of ASD among our children? How does it explain sudden regressive autism in toddlers accompanied by bowel disease?
This kind of research announcement is routine in the scientific world because it fosters a number of things officials want us to believe:
Autism is a mysterious disorder that scientists are diligently trying to figure out.
No one is alarmed about autism, just curious.
There is no urgency.
Notice the finding only "provides clues" and "the research may shed light on the roots of autism."
My favorite headline was Newsday's: Autism may be brain disorder. Seriously?
Now a new study suggests that in children with autism, something in the process goes awry, leaving an oversupply of synapses in at least some parts of the brain.
The finding provides clues to how autism develops from childhood on, and may help explain some symptoms like oversensitivity to noise or social experiences, as well as why many people with autism also have epileptic seizures....
The findings are the latest in an area of autism research that is drawing increasing interest. For years, scientists have debated whether autism is a problem of brains with too little connectivity or too much, or some combination.
'What's remarkable about the findings is that hundreds of genes have been linked to autism, but almost all of our human subjects had overactive mTOR and decreased autophagy, and all appear to have a lack of normal synaptic pruning.'
Washington Post: Researchers reverse autism symptoms in mice by paring extra synapses
Although many things have gone wrong in the autistic brain, scientists recently have been focusing on one of the most glaring: a surplus of connections, or synapses....
It is not clear if too many synapses are the main reason for autism, but many genes linked to autism play a role in synapse pruning.
Autism disorders are characterized by indifference to social engagement, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors. There is no cure or single known cause, though studies have suggested a range of potential biological and environmental starting points.
In new research that may shed light on the roots of autism, Columbia University Medical Center scientists have found children with the disorder have an oversupply of synapses in some parts of their brains, which may affect their ability to process information.
U.S. News & World Report: Kids With Autism Have Extra Brain Connections, Study Says
"This is an important finding that could lead to a novel and much-needed therapeutic strategy for autism," said Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, in a statement. He wasn't involved in the study.
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand. Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country. They use only the finest quality chemicals and equipment to prepare our patients’ compounded medications and nutritional supplements. Customizing medication and nutritional supplements for our customers allows them to achieve their unique health goals.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.