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campylobacter : autism   13

When Gut Bacteria Change Brain Function
Some of the most intriguing work has been done on autism. For decades, doctors, parents, and researchers have noted that about three-quarters of people with autism also have some gastrointestinal abnormality, like digestive issues, food allergies, or gluten sensitivity. This recognition led scientists to examine potential connections between gut microbes and autism; several recent studies have found that autistic people’s microbiome differs significantly from control groups. The California Institute of Technology microbiologist Sarkis Mazmanian has focused on a common species called Bacteroides fragilis, which is seen in smaller quantities in some children with autism. In a paper published two years ago in the journal Cell, Mazmanian and several colleagues fed B. fragilis from humans to mice with symptoms similar to autism. The treatment altered the makeup of the animals’ microbiome, and more importantly, improved their behavior: They became less anxious, communicated more with other mice, and showed less repetitive behavior.

Exactly how the microbes interact with the illness—whether as a trigger or as a shield—remains mostly a mystery. But Mazmanian and his colleagues have identified one possible link: a chemical called 4-ethylphenylsulphate, or 4EPS, which seems to be produced by gut bacteria. They’ve found that mice with symptoms of autism have blood levels of 4EPS more than 40 times higher than other mice. The link between 4EPS levels and the brain isn’t clear, but when the animals were injected with the compound, they developed autism-like symptoms.

Some subjects were fed 5.5 grams of a powdered carbohydrate known as galactooligosaccharide, or GOS, while others were given a placebo. Previous studies in mice by the same scientists had shown that this carb fostered growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria; the mice with more of these microbes also had increased levels of several neurotransmitters that affect anxiety, including one called brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

In this experiment, subjects who ingested GOS showed lower levels of a key stress hormone, cortisol, and in a test involving a series of words flashed quickly on a screen, the GOS group also focused more on positive information and less on negative.

Scientists have found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA, all of which play a key role in mood (many antidepressants increase levels of these same compounds). Certain organisms also affect how people metabolize these compounds, effectively regulating the amount that circulates in the blood and brain. Gut bacteria may also generate other neuroactive chemicals, including one called butyrate, that have been linked to reduced anxiety and depression. Cryan and others have also shown that some microbes can activate the vagus nerve, the main line of communication between the gut and the brain. In addition, the microbiome is intertwined with the immune system, which itself influences mood and behavior.
microbiology  nutrition  mentalHealth  autism  health 
march 2019 by campylobacter
My Kids With Autism Were the Pickiest Eaters on the Planet. Then This Show Changed Everything.
But from the signature dish challenge through every dinner service, Gordon tastes (nearly) every dish, and he demands that contestants do the same. He gives feedback on flavor and texture, and sometimes, after critiquing the presentation, even Ramsay finds that something he thought would be awful actually tastes “quite nice.” Whether he knows it or not, Gordon is mimicking the advice of my daughter’s occupational therapist: Engage food with all your senses. Look at it, smell it, and touch it before you even try to taste it. Sometimes, step one is to allow a scary food to be on your plate. This helps you demystify the food. You can identify ways in which it’s familiar to other things you’ve eaten or find senses that aren’t overwhelmed by food. My oldest will try things that are visually attractive, for example. I can slice baby carrots lengthwise and arrange them around a circle of dip like flower petals, and she adores them.
food  nutrition  childhoodDevelopment  autism  psychology 
february 2019 by campylobacter
Netflix's "Atypical" Was a Major Disappointment for Autism Representation
Which brings me to Atypical. Though the show aims to bring the topic of autism to the forefront, Netflix did not confirm whether there were concerted efforts to include autistic writers, creatives, or actors in any large roles. Onscreen representation isn’t the same as behind-the-scenes representation, especially if that camera-facing depiction is flawed. It should be noted that showrunner Robia Rashid told Teen Vogue that the show worked with a professor who worked at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment while developing the series, and Netflix confirmed to Teen Vogue that Anthony Jacques, who plays Sam’s friend in one episode, has autism. Rashid also said that several crew members have autistic family members. “We’re telling a very specific story, Sam’s story, and not trying to speak for every person on the spectrum,” she said. But while exposure is great, if the creative team does not have leadership from within the community itself, it will inevitably misrepresent it. After all, consider that the motto of the autistic community is “Nothing about us without us.” That motto should have extended to Atypical, too.
autism  representation  inclusivity  hollywood  ableism  tv 
august 2017 by campylobacter
We Need To Talk About The Domestic Abuse Of Autistic Adults
In the scientific literature, a clear correlation had been found between being autistic and an increased risk for experiencing sexual violence during adulthood; a recent small-scale study detailing the general experiences of autistic females found that 9 of 14 had been sexually abused, many of them by their partners. But I found no systematic studies specifically regarding the prevalence and causes of domestic abuse within romantic relationships. It was almost as if this paradigm simply hadn’t occurred to researchers as something to look into.
autism  rape  DomesticViolence 
july 2017 by campylobacter
write marginalized characters but don’t write about marginalization unless you experience it
i really like the advice “write marginalized characters but don’t write about marginalization unless you experience it”

absolutely i think cis people should expand their horizons and write trans characters, but they shouldn’t write stories about being trans. likewise i think allistic / NT authors should write about autistic characters! but not stories about being autistic.

represent us. absolutely. but don’t tell our stories. let us do that.

#obviously i can only speak of my own opinions and of my own experiences #but i feel like this is generally pretty solid advice and applies to about any race i have horses in
writing  representation  transgender  inclusivity  autism 
july 2016 by campylobacter
PCOS may raise autism risk for offspring
The researchers were unable to identify the exact reasons for their findings, but they hypothesize that the association between maternal PCOS and increased autism risk may be driven by increased androgen levels.

It is also possible that autism and PCOS have shared genetic factors, according to the team, and the association may also be a result of other metabolic problems that arise among women with PCOS.

The researchers say further studies are needed to replicate their findings and to determine the underlying mechanisms.
december 2015 by campylobacter
The Kids Who Beat Autism
In the last 18 months, however, two research groups have released rigorous, systematic studies, providing the best evidence yet that in fact a small but reliable subset of children really do overcome autism. The first, led by Deborah Fein, a clinical neuropsychologist who teaches at the University of Connecticut, looked at 34 young people, including B. She confirmed that all had early medical records solidly documenting autism and that they now no longer met autism’s criteria, a trajectory she called “optimal outcome.” She compared them with 44 young people who still had autism and were evaluated as “high functioning,” as well as 34 typically developing peers.
autism  ableism  neuroscience  education 
october 2015 by campylobacter
A Love Letter to My Neurotypical Husband, From Your Autistic Wife
Sara LeeAnn Pryde
5 Oct 2015

Before you, I knew in my marrow that I would never be suited for a conventional love relationship. How could a woman who exists mostly in her own inner world, so tightly controlled, ever share a life with another person — until “death do us part,” no less? Every attempt I’d ever made at normal had failed miserably. I am too complicated, too particular, too cerebral.

I am much too much of everything. But you don’t seem to mind at all.

When we received my autism diagnosis and I was surprised (but also not at all) and afraid it would change things between us, you smiled and said, “We always knew your mind was something special, sweetheart,” and I relaxed because I knew you meant it in the best possible way.
autism  mentalHealth  neuroscience  psychology 
october 2015 by campylobacter
My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About
Because for every boy with autism who manages his high school basketball team, there are 20 boys with autism who smear feces. And for every girl with autism who gets to be on the homecoming court, there are 30 girls with autism who pull out their hair and bite their arms until they bleed. And for every boy with autism who gets to go the prom, there are 50 boys with autism who hit and kick and bite and hurt other people.

This is the autism that no one talks about. This is the autism that no one wants to see.
autism  neuroscience  ableism 
september 2015 by campylobacter
Are Older Men’s Sperm Really Any Worse? | FiveThirtyEight
But the data is proprietary, and without getting my hands on it, it’s difficult to know. Our best hope of finding out how a father’s age affects his offspring may be to follow the methodology of the earlier study on paternal age and fertility: Use cases with donor eggs and compare within a family. If you have two children born to the same father via donor eggs, assuming the donor eggs do not age with the father, you could get a clear estimate of the impacts of the father’s age.

But until then, I’d say the jury is out on the relationship between paternal age and child psychiatric problems. Yes, there is some possibility that it matters. But it’s probably not necessary to run off to the sperm freezer just yet.
fertility  adhd  autism  reproductiveRights 
july 2015 by campylobacter
Gater Confessions Daniel Jackson Aspergers
"I have Asperger's and I'm extremely hesitant to even speculate on whether of not a character has a cognitive/mental condition, let alone just state outright that a character has one. I'm disappointed that people in the Stargate fandom without psychiatric qualifications don't see the harm in thinking they can diagnose characters on TV, their personal experiences aside.

"I want more representation of disabilities in media, but slapping diagnoses on characters just promotes stereotypes about those disabilities when they aren't representing the experiences of those conditions at all."
autism  Aspergers  meta  stargatesg-1  danieljackson  representation  stereotypes 
june 2015 by campylobacter

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