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Environment as important as genes in autism, study finds
BY KATE KELLAND
LONDON Sat May 3, 2014 9:41pm BST
(Reuters) - Environmental factors are more important than previously thought in leading to autism, as big a factor as genes, according to the largest analysis to date to look at how the brain disorder runs in families.
Sven Sandin, who worked on the study at King's College London and Sweden's Karolinska institute, said it was prompted "by a very basic question which parents often ask: 'If I have a child with autism, what is the risk my next child will too?'"
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggest heritability is only half the story, with the other 50 percent explained by environmental factors such as birth complications, socio-economic status, or parental health and lifestyle.
The study also found that children with a brother or sister with autism are 10 times more likely to develop the condition, three times if they have a half-brother or sister with autism, and twice as likely if they have a cousin with autism.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon May 5, 2014, 03:00 AM (10 replies)
Obama Foodorama - Blogger
Eddie Gehman Kohan
The official site of record for White House food initiatives from nutrition policy to presidential pie.
* Live from 1600 Penn!
GREAT PHOTOS, no wonder.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 25, 2014, 01:24 PM (0 replies)
North American Journal of Medicine and Science
Vol. 6, Issue 3
ADVANCES IN AUTISM 2013
A Special Issue of NAJMS
Preface to the special issue of autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the fastest-growing complex neurodevelopment disorder, continues to rise in its prevalence, now affecting up to 1 in 50 children in the USA, and averaging 1% globally, according to the latest CDC report. More children will be diagnosed with ASD this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined in the USA. ASD costs the nation $137 billion a year and this debt is expected to increase in the next decade. Hence, ASD has become a huge healthcare burden and global threat, categorized by the CDC as a national public health crisis.
ASD is characterized by social-communication impairment, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, which cause significant disability for those affected. With its etiology still largely unknown, and its pathophysiology poorly understood, ASD currently has no universally accepted therapy. ASD is affecting more and more families; unmet services and limited resources need to be addressed urgently. Researchers, clinicians, healthcare providers, social agencies and government need to coordinate efforts to develop more effective treatments and a satisfactory continuum of care, across the lifespan. Ultimately, a cure needs to be sought for the various subtypes of ASD that exist.
The current issue of North American Journal of Medicine and Science (NAJMS) represents a continuation of our previous two special issues on autism (NAJMS Vol. 5 Issue 3 and Vol. 4 Issue 3) published in July 2012 and July 2011, respectively. In this issue, we are honored to have another panel of expert researchers and clinicians on the frontlines of ASD research and treatment to present their newest research findings and views from different perspectives.
This issue of NAJMS consists of five original research articles, two comprehensive reviews, one case report and two commentary articles, covering topics in genetics, pathogenesis, metabolic disorder biomarkers of ASD, and a clinical study, that bring into focus our newest understanding and treatment strategies.
The data presented in Dr. Mumper’s review of the medical literature, suggests that ASD may be impacted by environmental toxicants, duration of breastfeeding, gut flora composition, nutritional status, acetaminophen use, vaccine practices and use of antibiotics and/or frequency of infections. In her current general pediatric practice (Advocates for Children), she has noted a modest trend toward a lower prevalence of ASD than in her previous pediatric practice or recent prevalence estimates from the CDC.
The final commentary was written by Dr. Herbert, who presents her paper entitled “Everyday Epigenetics from Molecular Intervention to Public Health and Lifestyle Medicine.” She asserts that it may well take a grass roots epigenetic/lifestyle medicine revolution to avert the worsening health trends we are facing in the setting of a progressively more toxic and endangered planet. She posits that everyday epigenetics can inform science of what is possible so that society can respond on an appropriate scale to the magnitude of the crisis we are facing.
Xuejun Kong, MD
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
Christopher J. McDougle, MD
Guest Editor, NAJMS
Lurie Center for Autism Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Editors-in-Chief: Xuejun Kong, MD
Guest Editor: Christopher J. McDougle, MD ( http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1402 )
Published: Boston, MA, USA
Xuejun Kong, MD Harvard Medical School, Boston
Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD ￼University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
John Halamka, MD ￼Harvard Medical School, Boston
Ursula Kaiser, MD ￼Harvard Medical School, Boston
Kenneth K. Kidd, PhD ￼Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven
John Tomaszewski, MD ￼State University of New York, Buffalo
Mitchell Albert, PhD University of Massachusetts, Worcester
Robit Arora, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FACP Chicago Medical School, North Chicago
Frank Chen, MD, PhD State University of New York, Buffalo
Jason Chen, PhD University of Massachusetts, Worcester
Ke-Qin Hu, MD University of California, Irvine
Edmond Kabagambe, DVM, PhD University of Alabama, Birmingham
Tamara Kalir, MD, PhD Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
David Lee, PhD Harvard Medical School, Boston
Calvin Pan, MD Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
Yiqing Song, MD, ScD Harvard Medical School, Boston
George C. Tsokos, MD Harvard Medical School, Boston
Christopher J. McDougle, MD has been named director of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). McDougle, currently the Albert Eugene Sterne Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, will begin his new role in October. McDougle will also serve as the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor in the Field of Autism at Harvard Medical School.
The Lurie Center for Autism (formerly known as LADDERS) combines comprehensive care with advanced research to better meet the needs of autistic individuals from early childhood through adulthood. In the two years since being established by a generous gift from Nancy Lurie Marks and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, the Lurie Center has expanded to offer a range of services for adults plus a rapid diagnosis program, and a new alternative and augmentative communications clinic. A policy and advocacy program is also in place. With Dr. McDougle’s arrival, clinical experience and expertise will be harnessed to expand the Center’s research mission even further.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism and their families,” said Christopher J. McDougle, MD, incoming director of the Lurie Center for Autism. “Our goals are to provide outstanding clinical care to children, adolescents and adults with autism and related disorders; to identify underlying mechanisms that cause autism in subgroups of individuals; to develop more specific treatments targeted toward these etiologic factors; and to develop the top center in the world for these missions by collaborating with talented local and national member of the neuroscience community.”
“Dr. McDougle is an internationally-recognized expert in research and treatment for neurodevelopmental disorders that extend into adulthood, the major focus of the Lurie Center for Autism,” said Clarence Schutt, PhD, director and chief scientific officer of the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation. “He has an unusual ability to translate basic scientific and clinical observations into new therapies. In his role as Director, he will also build a teaching and physician mentoring program in the field of autism that will seed programs world-wide with the lessons learned at MGH.”
McDougle has been honored with multiple awards for excellence in teaching, as well as for research on schizophrenia and depression. McDougle has also received multiple grants for the study of autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. A graduate of Valparaiso University (’81), McDougle earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine (’86). He subsequently completed a residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine (‘90) and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center (‘95).
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of nearly $700 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, reproductive biology, regenerative medicine, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.
Look at the credentials of these editors and contributors, a gold standard for independent researchers, and the absence of pharmaceutical advertising in the journal. Original links FULLY RESTORED (as if the 404 Not Found never happened). Wonderful!
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 25, 2014, 09:49 AM (0 replies)
VIDEO: Banned Ingredients
Food Babe Vani Hari joins The Doctors and raises questions about why some U.S. foods contain chemicals that have been banned in other countries because they've been linked to health risks. She explains that some companies make alternate versions of their products without the chemicals to sell in other countries.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 06:21 PM (0 replies)
Marsh Law Firm's ChildLaw Blog
Commentary, insight and analysis on children's law, policy and current issues.
This entry was posted in Child Pornography, Child Sex Abuse, Child Trafficking and Exploitation, Children's Legal Issues, Crime Victims, Restitution on April 4, 2014 by Marsh Law Firm.
Last night NBC’s Law & Order: SVU aired an episode about the Marsh Law Firm’s effort to obtain compensation for victims of child pornography called Downloaded Child. This clip, Restitution at Last, should sound familiar to anyone who has been following our work. They even mention the Violence Against Women Act and joint and several liability. Pop culture, we have arrived!
About Marsh Law Firm
Marsh Law Firm is recognized worldwide as a premier law firm representing victims of sex abuse in schools, colleges, churches, foster care, and government and military institutions; online sexual exploitation; sexting; child pornography; child trafficking; sextortion; and revenge porn.We are among the few law firms in the country using innovative federal law approaches to help victims obtain justice nationwide.The intersection of criminal law, federal civil statutory remedies, Title IX, copyright, and criminal restitution makes this a challenging and unique area of the law requiring skilled litigators and creative thinkers. The lawyers at Marsh Law Firm have the experience and skills necessary to help victims rebuild their lives with dignity and respect.
Doyle Randall Paroline vs. Amy Unknown Supreme Court Resources
Supreme Court Decision (April 23, 2014)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 03:44 PM (0 replies)
Chock full of peer-reviewed science. Links provided (3).
“Extreme Levels” Of Herbicide Roundup Found In Food
By: Emily Cassidy, Biofuels Research Analyst
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014
A new study led by scientists from the Arctic University of Norway has detected “extreme levels” of Roundup, the agricultural herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, in genetically engineered soy.
The study, coming out in June’s issue of Food Chemistry and available online, looked at 31 different soybean plants on Iowa farms and compared the accumulation of pesticides and herbicides on plants in three categories 1) genetically engineered “Roundup Ready” soy, 2) conventionally produced (not GE) soy, and 3) soy cultivated using organic practices. They found high levels of Roundup on 70 percent of genetically engineered soy plants.
Crop scientists have genetically engineered soy to survive blasts of Roundup so farmers can spray this chemical near crops to get rid of weeds. But some so-called “super weeds” resistant to Roundup have developed. In turn, some farmers use yet more Roundup to try to kill those hardy weeds. This leads to more Roundup chemicals being found on soybeans and ultimately in the food supply.
Who says when Roundup contamination can be considered “extreme?” Monsanto itself. In 1999, the chemical giant defined an “extreme level” of the herbicide as 5.6 milligrams per kilogram of plant weight.
Astonishingly, the Norwegian scientists found a whopping 9 milligrams of Roundup per kilogram, on average. What it boils down to is this: every time we eat GE soy we are taking a dose of Roundup with it. This is alarming, because Roundup has been found to be hazardous to human health and sometimes kills human cells. The authors conclude:
“This study demonstrated that Roundup Ready -soy may have high residue levels of glyphosate … and also that different agricultural practices may result in a markedly different nutritional composition of soybeans …. Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health.”
Other research has detected Roundup residues in animals and people.
A study led by German researchers found high concentrations of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in the urine of dairy cows and humans. This study, published last January in the journal Environmental & Analytical Toxicology, concluded that “the presence of glyphosate residues in both humans and animals could haul the entire population towards numerous health hazards.”
Big Ag wants us to believe that there is no difference between GE and conventional crops, but mounting research tells us that just isn’t true.
Volume 153, 15 June 2014, Pages 207–215
Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans
T. Bøhna, b, , , M. Cuhraa, b, T. Traavika, b, M. Sandenc, J. Fagand, R. Primiceriob
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:48 AM (0 replies)
Clearly, it's fair to regard many Democrats as science denying, too, although in different ways from Republicans whenever either subscribes to "science" rather than science (the former occurring when $ is the driver behind the research, not truth).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NRDC Report: Potentially Unsafe Chemicals in Food Threaten Public Health
Gaping loophole needs to be closed
WASHINGTON (April 7, 2014)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New study finds toxic chemicals in University fan gear
HealthyStuff.org ranks university fan gear in a Toxic Tournament. Which team wins the Most Toxic Product award? Consumers decide in this study
March 19, 2014
PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: 14-Feb-2014
Harvard School of Public Health
Growing number of chemicals linked with brain disorders in children
Boston, MA – Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children—such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia—according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed.
The report will be published online February 15, 2014 in Lancet Neurology.
Published in ASRM Press Release
Highlights from Fertility and Sterility: Environmental Chemicals Harm Reproductive Health
Ob-Gyns Advocate for Policy Changes to Protect Health
September 24 , 2013
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC—Toxic chemicals in the environment harm our ability to reproduce, negatively affect pregnancies, and are associated with numerous other long-term health problems, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In a joint Committee Opinion, The College and ASRM urge ob-gyns to advocate for government policy changes to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents.
“Lawmakers should require the US Environmental Protection Agency and industry to define and estimate the dangers that aggregate exposure to harmful chemicals pose to pregnant women, infants, and children and act to protect these vulnerable populations,” said Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, president of The College.
Dr. Michael P. Wilson PhD: What The Public Can Do
from Penelope Jagessar Chaffer PLUS 3 years ago
Dr. Michael P. Wilson discusses the Baby Tooth Study as an example of public advocacy and how the general public can bring about legislation and change.
Science, potentially interfering with commerce, having little to no traction among either Democrats or Republicans (not to mention, DU). Explain it.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Apr 14, 2014, 01:40 PM (0 replies)
Original Investigation | April 09, 2014
Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Neurobiological Subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Evidence From Brain Imaging
Suzanne Goh, MD1; Zhengchao Dong, PhD1,3; Yudong Zhang, PhD1,2; Salvatore DiMauro, MD3; Bradley S. Peterson, MD1
1Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
2New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York
3Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 09, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.179
Link from Twitter by Generation Rescue.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Apr 13, 2014, 10:39 AM (0 replies)
Penelope Jagessar Chaffer
April Inspirational Woman
Penelope is the award-winning filmmaker of Toxic Baby and an author for Toxipedia.
As a filmmaker, I have the opportunity to tell stories with a unique cinematic voice. Being able to bring a visual and audio perspective together to explore aspects of our twenty-first century life is one of the greatest joys in my life. As an environmentalist and feminist, it is a huge honor that I can tell a story about my life.
In 2004, I became pregnant with my first child. Like many mothers to be, I invested many, many hours researching pregnancy and preparing for my baby. I had taken some steps to reduce toxic chemicals in my home and to what I was exposed, so I was shocked and dismayed to find out that the toxic chemical problem actually affected EVERY product and item I brought into my home, I put on and in my body, and that children were the most vulnerable. At a friend’s child’s first birthday party, I discovered that the most commonly used preservative in baby care products mimicked estrogen and had been found in breast cancer tumors. It was a breast cancer survivor with a young daughter who was sharing the information that she had and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I went home and immediately jumped on the internet. Within seconds I found the research study and emailed the scientists who authored the study. Within a day, my life would irrevocably change. I found out that parabens were just the tip of the iceberg, and I kept saying to myself “I can’t believe I don’t know anything about this!! Why don’t I know anything about this?!” This question became Toxic Baby, which looks at how chemicals in the environment affect the health and development of babies and children and what we can do to address this situation, told through the lens of the mountain of research and studies that have been done.
It’s taken almost ten years to bring Toxic Baby to life. It’s been a long and hard journey to bring this science to life and were it not for the love, support, and encouragement of my female friends and relatives, I would not have gone the distance. This community of women coming together echoes the wonderful work of Women’s Voices for the Earth, whose incredible work allows us to harmonize our voices to produce great change and great advocacy for inner and outer environments.
Penelope is running a Kickstarter campaign to turn Toxic Baby into the world’s first interactive documentary app for the iPad. Please consider supporting and sharing.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 12, 2014, 10:02 AM (4 replies)
White House's first pollinator #garden designed to support #bees, monarch #butterflies & other pollinators
Sylvia Fallon’s Blog
Pollinators find a home at the White House
Posted April 7, 2014
This past week Michelle Obama held her sixth annual White House garden planting. Each year the first lady has welcomed kids from local schools to help her plant fruits and vegetables and talk about healthy eating. This year Michelle Obama expanded her garden to include the White House’s first pollinator garden designed to support bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
This is an exciting new development and provides a great opportunity to talk about the ‘food’ that pollinators themselves depend on – as well as the important role they play in our own food production. The White House has kept bees on their grounds for several years now, but this is the first time that they have specifically planted native, flowering plants to provide good sources of pollen and nectar for these and other native bees.
Additionally, the new pollinator garden hosts at least two different species of milkweed – the plant that monarch butterflies are dependent on for reproducing. Monarchs have been in decline across the country in large part due to the extensive loss of milkweed in agriculture from the use of the herbicide glyphosate (also known as Round Up) in connection with Round Up resistant crops. Planting milkweed in our gardens and schoolyards is one of the best things that we can all do to help the monarch butterflies come back.
Organizations like Monarch Watch (which NRDC has partnered with to plant milkweed) provides milkweed plants to schools, businesses and the general public for planting what they call “monarch waystations”- areas that can support monarch reproduction along the butterflies’ amazing migration from Mexico to Canada and back. In February, President Obama announced a commitment with the leaders of Mexico and Canada to work together to help preserve the monarchs’ migration. So it’s a great first step to see the White House itself become a waystation for monarchs by planting milkweed in their first ever pollinator garden!
To help NRDC and Monarch Watch plant milkweed in other locations click here. You can also join NRDC in telling EPA to impose restrictions on the use of herbicides that are eliminating milkweed by clicking here.
And see Michelle Obama discuss the White House’s new pollinator garden here:
EPA Petition link (please see original article)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 12, 2014, 08:49 AM (14 replies)