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Author Topic: Is autism caused by bacteria?  (Read 4426 times)

Offline bizerl

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Is autism caused by bacteria?
« on: 30/08/2012 03:03:02 »
I refer to a tv news report which discussed a case of autism that was effectively treated with antibiotics (and returned as soon as the antibiotics were stopped). The idea is that a particular gut bacteria which is resistent to most regular antibiotics, causes a toxin in the brain which presents as an autism spectrum disorder. When a child is treated with regular antibiotics, it can favour these resistant bacteria and they then grow numerous enough to have an effect.

Unfortunately I didn't see the show - I heard it second hand. Just wondering if anyone had heard of this link between gut bacteria and autism.

I've heard of the flawed link between immunisations and autism, but not this.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #1 on: 30/08/2012 06:00:26 »
Most interesting.
I think that the film (or parts of it) might be an older film that has been bouncing around. 

Here is a 5 minute You-Tube blurb that sounds interesting about the bacteria and Autism.  Part 3/4 of the Autism Enigma.


It sounds like an interesting approach.

Here was an earlier discussion about C-Section and different intestinal flora causing long-term issues such as asthma.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=44585.0

I'm also seeing notes that there may be an association with C-Sections (or difficult childbirth) and Autism.

If Clostridium difficile (C-difficile) is recognized as "normal" gut flora in the autistic children, then it would be extremely difficult to eradicate it.  I.E.  one could treat it with antibiotics, and it might just come back.

Now, if I ever have children, perhaps one should consider home birth.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #2 on: 30/08/2012 06:09:28 »
I refer to a tv news report which discussed a case of autism that was effectively treated with antibiotics (and returned as soon as the antibiotics were stopped).

If this is the case it does not prove that the neurological disorder is caused by bacteria as medicines can have side-effects.
If there was an improvement it could be via a side-effect, e.g. an antibiotic called dapsone is used to treat inflammation not caused by bacteria (e.g. caused by autoimmunity).

Increased rates of diagnosis do not necessarily mean increased incidence of a disease.

The incidence of the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder in some (deprived) parts of the UK has skyrocketed in recent years, but this is partially due to Government-issue doctors (NHS) being under pressure to label children with behavioural problems as having ADD even when they don’t have it , as this is considered a cost-effective strategy from the viewpoint of their employers, (the state).

Theoretically giving little Jimmy generic Ritalin for his fictional ADD lowers the odds of him being expelled from school, becoming unemployed, and graduating to prison  (the latter two costing the state around £10K-£40K pa per person). So if dosing him with pills which cost hundreds pounds a year could keep him out of the dole queue and out of jail which cost many thousands per year it would be well worth the government expenditure.

Now the bad news, this strategy doesn’t work, Ritalin it doesn’t stop him from re-enacting the verbal-physical abuse and exploitation he has experienced at the hands of his “carers”, and as Ritalin is similar to amphetamine (speed), little Jimmy has effectively been supplied with a drug-dealer starter-kit which will hasten his progression to jail rather than hinder it.
« Last Edit: 30/08/2012 07:30:50 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #3 on: 30/08/2012 19:18:58 »
This
" it doesn’t stop him from re-enacting the verbal-physical abuse and exploitation he has experienced at the hands of his “carers”"
is an interesting slander of a lot of people.
Can you back it up?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #4 on: 30/08/2012 21:34:52 »
This
" it doesn’t stop him from re-enacting the verbal-physical abuse and exploitation he has experienced at the hands of his “carers”"
is an interesting slander of a lot of people.
Can you back it up?

In all the cases of children diagnosed with ADD I've encountered their "carers" have been aggressive, bullying, foul-mouthed, negligent, full-time substance-abusers. I'm not saying there is no such thing ADD, but IMO the majority of those diagnosed with it in the UK don’t have it.

Here are a few links to support what I have said previously ...

That government-issue generic-ritalin can be a drug-dealer starter-kit ...
Quote
Teens Abusing And Selling Ritalin for High
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=125327&page=1

Would you stop taking and sell a medicine which you found beneficial ?
If someone does not benefit from taking ritalin that would support my assertion that some diagnosed with ADD don’t actually have the condition. The extreme variations in ritalin prescribing across the UK also support my assertion.

That the parents of children diagnosed with ADD can be abusive / exploitative ...
Quote
Parents sell children's Ritalin to drug users ...
Parents of children prescribed methylphenidate for ADHD were selling it to supplement their benefit ...
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3537014

IMO a parent selling their child’s prescribed medication counts as child abuse.   

   Again I’m not saying their is no such thing ADD, but IMO the majority of those diagnosed with it in the UK don’t have it. They do have have behavioural problems but they are learned from their  primary “carers”: when little Jimmy is routinely tormenting smaller children for emotional gratification, stealing, abusing/dealing drugs, compulsively uttering threats and obscenities, he, like all children, is simply re-enacting his home-life, not exhibiting signs of ADD.

   The sadistic behaviour of the little Jimmys I have encountered will typically include torturing and killing animals, he will be friendless and a pyromaniac, i.e. he’s got ASPD which is due to the negligent-abusive behaviour of his primary carers during his formative years, not ADD which is innate.
     People with ADD are not obsessed with cruelty and criminal behaviour, people with ASPD are. The “treatment” for ASPD in a child is to reform / replace the primary carer responsible, which is astonishingly expensive. ADD is a much cheaper diagnosis, so the UK government employees try drugging little Jimmy first in the name of economy, even though he doesn’t actually have ADD.
« Last Edit: 30/08/2012 22:15:42 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #5 on: 30/08/2012 22:13:00 »
"In all the cases of children diagnosed with ADD I've encountered their "carers" have been aggressive, bullying, foul-mouthed, negligent, full-time substance-abusers. "
Interesting.
I know of just one case and the parents (my brother and his wife) don't tick any of those boxes.
Mind you - I could be misjudging them. If that's the case how come their other kid is fine.
(Oh, and BTW, I have seen the effect of ritalin in this case and it is clearly a pronounced benefit.)


Also, bad prescribing indicates bad doctors as much as bad parents.

Still, at least we both agree about this "IMO a parent selling their child’s prescribed medication counts as child abuse.  "
« Last Edit: 30/08/2012 22:14:37 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #6 on: 30/08/2012 22:36:09 »
... bad prescribing indicates bad doctors ...

In the UK the government-issue (NHS) doctors work for a monopoly so are under unusually high pressure to act in the interests of their employer : to do whatever appears to minimize the cost to the state, even wilful misdiagnosis, ( the monopoly also enables them to get away with this malpractice ).

However some of the over-prescribing could be due to doctors being suckered by their street-wise patients ...
Quote
... some even go to their doctors and fake symptoms in order to get prescriptions for Ritalin that they subsequently misuse themselves, and even sell
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=125327&page=1
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #7 on: 31/08/2012 02:59:53 »
I think ADD is getting a bit off topic....  but a brief comment on the question of reporting bias.

50 years ago, there may not have been an ADD diagnosis.  There were just bullies and rambunctious children.

Now there is a movement to diagnose, define, and treat (medicate) children.  I have no doubt that some children are helped with ADD medication, and perhaps can learn better in school with the ADD control.  And, likely it was far under-diagnosed 50 years ago, and some of those children would also have been helped by Ritalin.

Anyway, it is likely that the past incidence of ADD was far under-diagnosed, and the current incidence may be over-diagnosed.  And, thus it would be difficult to determine long-term trends.

Autism may be different.  At least the severe cases of Autism were likely picked up earlier.  However, if one lumps in "Autistic Spectrum Disorders"..  perhaps it is being more rigorously diagnosed now, with some of the higher functioning autistic spectrum individuals being passed off as nerds earlier.

It is also quite possible that some cultures such as the Amish might under-diagnose mental disorders making cross-comparisons difficult.

Anyway, when you watch the film clip that I linked above, they related propionic acid to Autism through Animal studies, and then stated that some of the Clostridium bacteria can produce and release  propionic acid based on the diet.

So, it is not just relating the gut to the brain, but actually proposing a possible mechanism for the two to be related. 

Somewhat of a reporting bias or not, the link between Clostridium and propionic acid and Autism would seem to warrant further study.  And, as noted in my other link, it is quite possible that how births are being dealt with in the hospital could be related to gut flora which could in turn be related to the autism.

There likely is also a genetic predisposition or other factors that makes some individuals more susceptible than other individuals.
 

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Re: Is autism caused by bacteria?
« Reply #7 on: 31/08/2012 02:59:53 »

 

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