Causes of Autism Reviewed Including Genetics, Pesticides, Ultrasound and Mercury

Autism is a very complex neurodevelopmental disorder and due to this face there are many proposed theories on the causes of autism. Even though these theories can explain some cases, it’s hard come up with an exact case for this disorder. What makes autism a very special case is that there are more theories that come from a controversial angle, such as vaccinations, even though there isn’t any convincing scientific evidence to back this up.

Genetics is considered one of the most likely reasons autism occurs. It is estimated that 90% of autism is a result of genetics. As you know, genetics is a very complex science that is relatively new in our age of science. It isn’t believed that the particular genes that cause this disorder are inherited, but that they actually are a mutation.

Even though this is believed to be the best theory on the causes of autism, the actual explanation for why these mutations happen is unknown. Some scientists have theorized that it comes from environmental effects and others believe it is a chemical imbalance that causes some parts of the brain to overgrow.

This happens to be one of the prenatal environment theories. A study by the California Department of Public Health reviewed pregnant women that lived near fields that had pesticide being sprayed. The type of pesticide was organochlorine pesticides dicofol and endosulfan. The study concluded that these women were several times more likely to have an autistic child born.

There has been a lot of skepticism of this study, mainly for the reason that there just weren’t enough women involved in it. Some of the pesticides were later tested on lab rats and showed that prenatal exposure to these may contribute to an autistic child being born.

Stress is believed by some to be one of the leading causes of autism and with all the other research on the effects of stress; it seems highly probable that this could be the case. Studies both in humans and animals have shown that stress during pregnancy can actually lead to disruption in brain development.

This is one of the causes that fit into the more controversial category. There was a science related study on ultrasound waves can actually disrupt statistically small amount of neurons in neuronal migration. It is believed to be highly unlikely that this would be a cause of autism.

Toxicity From Mercury
Another suggested cause, that is gaining a lot of attention, is the amount of mercury we ingest into our bodies. The FDA actually released a report warning children and the elderly to limit the amount of intake on marine foods like tuna. There are other ways of getting too much mercury, such as living to close to a coal plant.

Studies have shown that the rates of autism actually were much higher for those people that live around mercury sources such as coal.

These are the main causes of autism and I think they deserve some attention to parents or soon to be parents. When we get right down to the facts, the medical community isn’t quite sure what causes this disorder. I think it is apparent for your health and the health of your child to consider all these characteristics.

To read the original version of this article see Early Signs of Autism. Confused Over The Conflicting Information About Autism? Discover what medical treatments are considered forerunners and what natural treatments and alternative therapies are currently being tested at Autism Symptoms

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Reasons for Referrals to Genetics Specialists in San Francisco

Genetics specialists in San Francisco help patients who have genetic disorders or are at risk for developing them. They will determine what treatment plan is appropriate and discuss possible outcomes. This article will briefly review the populations that may want to seek such advice.

Doctors that specialize in genetics (clinical geneticists) will obtain a family history and decide what tests need to be done. These tests require only a small amount of body tissue or blood in order to determine if there are any genes present that point toward a specific inherited disorder. The appropriate treatment plan will be developed and discussed with the patient(s) as well as the possible long-term outcomes if a disorder is diagnosed.

Issues and concerns that may lead to a referral can be based on a family history. This can include any members of the family who have mental retardation or an inherited birth defect, a family member who died early or had a problem that could not be diagnosed and history of early onset dementia, cancer, or cardiovascular disease. Some ethic groups are more prone to inheriting illnesses and may wish to be tested.

Children with an inherited disorder, birth defect, or who are developmentally delayed may see a genetics specialist.

Women who get pregnant after the age of 35, or have not been able to carry several pregnancies to term should also seek tests. Sometimes people who have jobs where they are exposed to radiation or chemicals, will want to be tested. A medical history of infections and medications, or the use of illegal drugs can also prompt a referral.

Couples that are close blood relatives or first cousins may seek counseling. Parents who have had a blood test or ultrasound that indicates a possible risk for a birth defect, are also candidates.

When a referral is made, the specialist will consult with the patient and perform a thorough assessment to determine if there is a genetic disease. This is done with a clinical exam, testing, and reviewing the family history. Options are then provided to the patient, as well as to their primary care physician.
Genetic councilors, while not doctors, can assist the patient and their family of treatment options available to them, and help adjust to the diagnoses.

Genetics specialists in San Francisco will work with families in a compassionate and honest manner so that informed decisions can be made. Speak with a primary care physician to see if a referral is needed.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about genetics specialist in San Francisco, please visit

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Poor Genetics And Weak Nerves

Dear Mr. Katz:

I recently purchased your book, “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!” and have tried very hard to curb my dog Honey’s aggressions, which I have now recognized as both fear and food aggression… after reading your book.

But instead of better, I fear it is getting worse.

We adopted her from the age of 2-3 months, and she was fine in the beginning. Very loving and extremely hyperactive. The hyperactivity continues, and she still jumps up at anyone coming near the house. She seems to fear tall men, especially if they have anything in their hands, like a garden rake or spade, and she backs away from strangers, even small children. She is afraid. She gets aggressive with anyone she senses is afraid of dogs, and she has gone for them, making it worse for them, of course! She becomes aggressive with anyone who passes her by when any food is around, and she will growl and snarl at them, telling them in effect that the food is hers, so hands off!

To crown it all off, she snarled and growled at me today when I went up to stroke her, which she has not done before. I have always tried to correct her, either by the leash, or we have a muzzle which we correct her with, and failing that, I will put her in her crate as a punishment. I am not a novice with a dog. Before Honey, we had the most wonderful shepherd/husky dog, who was similarly abandoned, and I never had one problem with him – he was wonderful. I have taken honey to obedience classes – She does sit and stay, also goes down when she is instructed to.

I feel that I have done everything possible to alleviate her aggression, but it doesn’t seem to work. I have two daughters who both pour love on her too, and quite frankly, I am afraid one day that she will become vicious – Can you please give me some advice, because I do not want to have to have her put down.

I have tried everything you recommend in your book, including spitting in her food, and making her wait to eat last. But I must be doing something wrong! I know mixed breeds aren’t your favorite, but please make an exception in my case. I love dogs, and hate to be beaten. I am also English, and you must know that we are softies when it comes to animals!

I await your reply in haste!



Dear Diana,

First, let me point out that I share my home with a mixed breed.

And yes… I like him. A whole lot! His name is Forbes and he is one of the most compatible dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with.

To be honest, I have a feeling that your dog’s issues are very much a result of poor genetics and weak nerves.

But before jumping to any conclusions, you must first recognize that all of the information you’ve droned on about provides me with NONE of the information I need in order to help you.

deoxyribonucleic-acid-1500076_640So… what do I need? I need to know what happens when you correct the dog? Does she continue to act aggressive? Does she stop immediately? Does she try to bite you? Does she go submissive? And once you get her to pay attention to you, what’s happened once you’ve started to create new/positive associations with the stimulus, as described in the book?

These are all of the questions you need to be asking yourself. As well as:

– Is my timing on the money? Is the dog associating my corrections with the behavior (the aggression).

– Am I being consistent? (Be honest… if the dog isn’t getting a firm correction EVERY TIME she exhibits the behavior, then it’s no wonder that you’re not getting the results you seek.)

– Are my corrections motivational? If the distraction/stimulus is more motivational than your correction, then you’ll never get any results. You’ll know that your correction is motivational when the dog stops looking at the stimulus and starts looking at you.

Please let me know. However, judging on what you’ve described I would not be surprised if this is mostly the results of poor genetics and weak nerves. And in which case, you will never be able to overcome the dog’s genetics, so the dog should either be put to sleep or confined to such a lifestyle that she only comes in contact with you and people that she does not show the aggression towards. But before you make any snap decisions I would recommend consulting with a professional who can evaluate the dog for you. It’s impossible to give an accurate assessment without seeing the mutt. Err… dog.

That’s all for now, folks!