Ultrasound & the Unborn Child

#1
I know a couple who had a baby 2 years ago. I have observed this child over that time span and if I had to bet, I would think that this poor kid is autistic to some degree. Right now, no one in the couple's immediate family is saying anything but I can't help but think that behind closed doors it is a topic of conversation. In confidence, some of these people told me they have reached the same conclusion as I, something is not right. To be fair, I'm basing my opinion on a comparison between this child and three other couples who have children roughly the same age. It's blatantly obvious that the child I'm referring to, is light years behind, especially in language skills. I really don't know if it's too early in a child's development to say whether one has autism or not. 

Anyways, the mother of the child I'm referring to here had an ultrasound performed once a week during her pregnancy. Don't ask me how I know this but let's just say she had free access to ultrasound equipment during gestation period. Naturally I couldn't help myself and I started to read up on it. Researchers appear, despite the Jenny McCarthy's of the world, to have enough data on their hands to at least formulate a consensus that ultrasound has a more than good chance of being a probable cause for autism. One article stated that because parents want to know the sex of the unborn child that the vibrations are focused on the genitals more often than not and 1 in 10 babies are being born with genital defects. Another article stated that ultrasound vibrations raise the unborn's body temperature and in particular the bones, including the skull, to a significantly higher temperature. Not only that but a skull for instance would continue to heat the developing brain and tissue well after the ultrasound has ended.

Scary stuff. If I'm the parents I wouldn't want to read the research papers. If this child has autism as a result of repeated ultrasounds then they and any others connected to her use of the equipment are going to have to live with the fact they are probably to blame. Once a week seems way too many and I've also read where it should only begin after the first trimester. What are the chances that ultrasound frequency rates are a contributing factor?
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#2
May require a genetic inclination that would be triggered by an external stressor like ultrasound. Or performing the latter to an above normal degree is the very result of a doctor suspecting that something is wrong beforehand, thus a mere correlation rather than it being the actual cause.

We're just standing-room only spectators of yet another combatant performance transpiring on the playing field of biomedicine and its intradepartmental politics. In this vast area of research, there's an unavoidable methodological enslavement to the idea that the generalizations abstracted from studies can really take into account the unique factors of each individual's hereditary, physiological and chemical make-up (how they will respond positively or negatively to _X_).



https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2016/0...-need-know

Daniel Coury (pediatrician), medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network: Thank you for your question. You may be referring to the news headlines that followed a recent study [below] about ultrasound and autism symptoms.

It’s unfortunate that splashy headlines often fail to put scientific findings in context. The new study found an association between ultrasound in a woman’s first trimester and the severity of autism symptoms in children who have a genetic predisposition to the disorder. The context that’s so important here is one of “correlation versus causation.” Two things – such as ultrasound in the first trimester and autism – can have a tendency to occur together (correlation) without one necessarily causing the other (causation).

In the wake of those recent headlines, experts have pointed out that a doctor ordering an ultrasound might be doing so because of concern about a medical condition that could affect the baby’s development. So the common denominator here may be a health problem during pregnancy – not necessarily the ultrasound itself.

Researchers have been studying ultrasound during pregnancy for more than 30 years. In that time, they’ve not found any consistent evidence of health risks associated with the procedure – in either the baby or the mother. However, it’s true that doctors are ordering prenatal ultrasound exams more frequently in recent years. More concerning to me, we’re now seeing them being done in routine pregnancies – when there is no known medical concern....




Autism severity linked to genetics, ultrasound, data analysis finds
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20...152140.htm

RELEASE: For children with autism and a class of genetic disorders, exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to increased autism severity, according to a study by researchers at UW Medicine, UW Bothell and Seattle Children's Research Institute.

The study published Sept. 1 in Autism Research studied the variability of symptoms among kids with autism, not what causes autism. What they found is that exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester is linked to increased autism symptom severity. The greatest link is among kids with certain genetic variations associated with autism; 7 percent of the children in the study had those variations.

FDA guidelines currently recommend that diagnostic ultrasound only be used for medical necessity.

"I believe the implications of our results are to bolster the FDA guidelines," said corresponding author Pierre Mourad, a UW professor of neurological surgery in Seattle and of engineering & mathematics in Bothell who specializes in translational research on ultrasound and the brain.

Mourad said their results are about the first trimester of pregnancy. Data looking at the effect of ultrasound on the second and third trimester showed no link, he said.

The researchers used data from the Simons Simplex Collection autism genetic repository funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The data was derived from 2,644 families among 12 research sites across the United States.

"There has been a real struggle in why there are so many kids with autism," said lead author Sara Webb, UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences. "Where does this disorder develop from? How do kids get autism? And the second question is why are kids with autism so different from each other? This study really looks at the second question. Within kids with autism, what are some of the factors that may result in a child having a good outcome or higher IQ or better language or less severity versus a child who maybe takes more of a hit and continues to struggle throughout their lifespan?"

Webb said the research team approached their work based on a three-part model explaining variability in kids with autism. The first is a genetic vulnerability to the disorder. Second, is an outside stressor. And the third implies that the outside stressor has to impinge on a kid at a certain time.

Webb said a number of outside stressors have been proposed and investigated in autism. This study looked at only one of them -- ultrasound.

As a mother of two, Webb said given what she knows now, she would not have ultrasound in the first trimester unless there is a medical necessity and that includes knowing how far along the pregnancy is.

"If we can figure out this information in any other way, I would go with that," she said. "It's always worth considering that when we do medical procedures, there are great benefits but also risk."

Earlier study

In an earlier study, Mourad and co-authors Webb, Abbi McClintic (UW Medicine researcher in neurological surgery) and Bryan King, now a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, published a paper in Autism Research in 2014 that showed ultrasound exposure in-utero caused mice to exhibit autistic-like symptoms.

Mourad said he and King wanted to study the issue further. They brought together a team with a wide range of autism experience. King, formerly with UW Medicine, had conducted several clinical trials with children with autism. Webb works in developing biomarkers in kids with autism. Raphael Bernier, UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, works with the Simon sample. Michelle Garrison, UW Medicine researcher with Seattle Children's Research Institute specializes in statistics and epidemiology.

Mourad said he and his colleagues now intend to look more closely into links between ultrasound and autism severity, as well as the possibility -- thus far not shown -- that ultrasound exposure could contribute to autism incidence.
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#3
(Jan 8, 2017 04:58 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Anyways, the mother of the child I'm referring to here had an ultrasound performed once a week during her pregnancy. Don't ask me how I know this but let's just say she had free access to ultrasound equipment during gestation period.

How old are the parents?  I came across a study awhile back that I thought was interesting. It linked the father's age to an increased risk.

A Male ‘Biological Clock’

"Not only does fertility sharply decline as a woman enters her mid-30’s, the likelihood of birth defects — most notably down syndrome — shoots up. An infant born to a 35-year-old mother has a 1 in 100 chance of having down syndrome; that figure becomes 1 in 30 for 45-year-old mothers.

Meanwhile, men can expect to part from their virility only when they part from life itself, and often have no trouble conceiving healthy children well into their 70’s. Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old who just stepped down as CEO of his media empire, had two children in his 70’s.

In the past decade, however, researchers have found a troubling link between advanced parental age — especially paternal age —and an assortment of psychiatric disorders, a link that could burden older fathers with the same responsibility for their future child’s health as older mothers, and establish the notion of a male “biological clock.” [1]

Fathers Bequeath More Mutations as They Age

Autism risk associated with parental age and with increasing difference in age between the parents

"In conclusion, as shown in multiple geographic regions, increases in ASD was not only limited to advancing paternal or maternal age alone but also to differences parental age including younger or older similarly aged parents as well as disparately aged parents."

So, if you’re in love with an older man, perhaps Syne’s "totally respectable" cover will turn out to be totally respectable.

The hitchhiker’s guide to the future.  Big Grin

(Dec 23, 2016 04:46 AM)Syne Wrote: Totally respectable cover:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK2siEQsADk
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#4
Jeezuz, is the medical profession a giant guessing game? Since so many different things cause the same symptoms or worse then how in hell do we trust it? I have high iron counts. Been told to visit a bloodletting clinic by doctor to reduce it. There's actually a group similarly affected that gets together and has this procedure on a regular basis. It's like nothing has changed since the times when people visited the barber to have this done. 
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#5
(Jan 9, 2017 04:34 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Jeezuz, is the medical profession a giant guessing game? Since so many different things cause the same symptoms or worse then how in hell do we trust it? I have high iron counts. Been told to visit a bloodletting clinic by doctor to reduce it. There's actually a group similarly affected that gets together and has this procedure on a regular basis. It's like nothing has changed since the times when people visited the barber to have this done. 

It was one of the largest studies done, thus far, and it extended across all continents.

Geez, the ole gray pubs theory must have touched a nerve. Undecided
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#6
Quote:Geez, the ole gray pubs theory must have touched a nerve.

Seems I don't have to worry about maintaining a well manicured landing strip. More about springboard tension. Rolleyes


I'm going to assume that down the road, after more studies, that they'll figure out autism cause(s). Historically, past data is useless as things were diagnosed a little different then. Something I never see when I visit the family in question, are books. I always read my kids books, even when they were barely old enough to turn the page. Eventually my kids knew the book's (page's) words before I could read them aloud. Not sure if that helped but both my kids were able to read at a very young age and display a remarkable vocabulary too.

Still I don't think many kids have been exposed to ultrasound with the frequency the OP kid had. Isn't too much a bad thing for just about everything?
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#7
(Jan 9, 2017 04:34 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Jeezuz, is the medical profession a giant guessing game? Since so many different things cause the same symptoms or worse then how in hell do we trust it? [...] It's like nothing has changed since the times when people visited the barber to have this done. 


Along with the social and psychological sciences, biomedical research is one of the areas with a foot firmly planted in unreliable or junk science. Thanks to "publish or perish" pressures, the self-interests of industries and cultural institutions / movements providing funding for research, runaway pop-news distortions, politics, and other factors. While the "celebrated discoveries and findings" which we are most often exposed to in the physical sciences are reputed to still have a better track record or public image, the lesser known work there (constituting the majority) may be becoming slowly / similarly vulnerable as well.



Biomedical science studies are shockingly hard to reproduce
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-na...180957708/

EXCERPT: [...] over the past several years, a growing contingent of scientists has begun to question the accepted veracity of published research—even after it's cleared the hurdles of peer review and appears in widely respected journals. The problem is a pervasive inability to replicate a large proportion of the results across numerous disciplines.

In 2005, for instance, John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, used several simulations to show that scientific claims are more likely to be false than true. And this past summer Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, attempted to replicate the findings of 100 psychology studies and found that only 39 percent of the results held up under rigorous re-testing.

“There are multiple lines of evidence, both theoretical and empirical, that have begun to bring the reproducibility of a substantial segment of scientific literature into question,” says Ioannidis. “We are getting millions of papers that go nowhere.”

These preliminary findings have spawned the creation of an entirely new field called meta-research—the scientific study of science.
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#8
Quote:Along with the social and psychological sciences, biomedical research is one of the areas with a foot firmly planted in unreliable or junk science.

Been my suspicions all along. 

Quote:meta-research—the scientific study of science.

ologyology Huh
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