Rise Of Autism Claims Not Legitimate, Says New Penn State Study

A new study on autism from Penn State University says that the recent claims of a rise in the disease from the years 2000 to 2010 aren’t accurate.

The only reason there has been a stated rise in the numbers for autism is because of a reclassification of persons with other intellectual disorders, state the authors of the autism study.

Scientists behind the study at Penn State University studied the data of increased numbers of those children identified as having autism between the years of 200 and 2010. In 2000, the numbers of children in the United States with autism numbered 93,624, and the number of children with autism in 2010 numbered 419,647.

Certainly, to the naked eye, a more than quadruple jump in the number of cases in autism in the United States would be something to be extremely concerned about. However, the researchers at Penn State University claim that’s just not the case.

According to the autism study, published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, the increase in the total numbers of autism cases is a result of the reclassification of such common comorbid features such as intellectual disability into — and under — the fold of the overall classification of autism.

However, the authors of the autism study don’t deny that there has been some increase in autism, just not at a level that has been purported by many autism extremists. The lead author of the autism study, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and anthropology Santhosh Girirajan, explained the findings.

“For quite some time, researchers have been struggling to sort disorders into categories based on observable clinical features, but it gets complicated with autism because every individual can show a different combination of features. Every patient is different and must be treated as such. Standardized diagnostic measures incorporating detailed genetic analysis and periodic follow-up should be taken into account in future studies of autism prevalence.”

In short, autism is an extremely difficult disease to diagnose, and symptoms exhibited may be the result of one or more other, non-autism related diseases or disorders. As such, disorders that may have nothing to do with autism often are classified as such by health care providers.

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