Home > Autism in the News > Autism in the News – Thursday, 11.04.10

Autism in the News – Thursday, 11.04.10

Making Sense of Death and Autism (The New York Times)
It’s been three years since Liane Kupferberg Carter lost her father. While time has dimmed the pain, it hasn’t really helped her explain things to her son, Mickey, who misses his grandfather. Read more.

Man faces prison for hurting girl, 8 (San Antonio, Texas)
A San Antonio man faces up to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty over the scalding of an 8-year-old girl with autism who had soiled herself. Read more.

Drug Shrinks Brain Tumors and Reduces Seizures in Children With Tuberous Sclerosis (Cincinnati, Ohio)
A drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer has now been shown to reduce a particular kind of brain tumor by at least 30 percent in patients with tuberous sclerosis—a genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on vital organs. Read more.

‘Autism Gene’ Disrupts Brain Wiring (MedPageToday)
Children carrying a gene variant associated with autism showed a unique neural circuitry pattern in a small study, which could help explain the symptoms of the condition, the authors said. Read more.

Disability awareness ‘champions’ are honored (NorthJersey.com)
On a bright autumn morning last Friday, friends and family filled the Bergen County Freeholders’ meeting room at the county offices in Hackensack to cheer the honorees at this year’s Salute to Champions Breakfast. Read more.

  1. RAJ
    November 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    The Autism Speaks headline of ‘Autism gene disrupts brain wiring’ is completly misleading

    It’s important to note that this specific CNTNAP2 genetic variation is carried by 1/3 of the entire general population as noted by the authors of the study:

    “The authors emphasized that the patterns of connectivity found in the study still fall along the spectrum of normal gene variation. “One third of the population carries this variant in its DNA,” noted Geschwind. “It’s important to remember that the gene variant alone doesn’t cause autism, it just increases risk.”

    Common genetic variants have been implicated in autism, the first was the association between the serotonin transporter genetic variant which is present in over half the general population.

    Hakonarnson reported that children with ASDs were more likely than healthy controls to have gene variants on a particular region of chromosome 5. That region is located between two genes, cadherin 9 (CDH9) and cadherin 10 (CDH10), which carry codes to produce neuronal cell-adhesion molecules.

    Hakonarnson also claimed that if this mutation could be eliminated 15% of autism cases would disappear. What he did not report in his round of media blitzes is that this common genetic variant is present in 60% of the general population and that every one of the media interviewers he made this claim to have a better than 50/50 chance of possessing this ‘autism’ genetic mutation.

    These types of studies always carry the catchy media headlines that appear almost monthly of ‘New Autism Gene Identified!’ The risk carried by common genetic variations is so tiny that the exagerated claims by the molecular geneticists always outweigh the evidence.

  2. November 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Well, at first when I saw the headline to the man killing the 8 year old I thought it might be interesting. In fact, it was stupid. The article was legit stating that the 31 year old man is jailed for hurting a 8 year girl. This is a serious issue where a man has assaulted a minor. Justice has done the right thing and sentenced the man to jail maybe for life. The man seems crazy to attack the kid in the shower giving her burns in the buttocks. Trust is a serious issue here. The man is the girls babysitter, so at times the 8 year old is alone with her babysitter. The mother was not at home so there couldn’t be a better time to attack. I would like to ask that man why would he attack her? What would he gain from attacking her? Autism is nothing to play around with, but is a problem that people should try to resolve. There was nothing positive about this article. Thank god that the girl survived, but hd severe burns.

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