Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by hixxy, Dec 2, 2017.
I'm not quite sure what to make of this study. Its just that there were so few participants (five). They were of varying ages, and all they had in common was they'd been labelled as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I feel like ASD is unlikely to be One Thing. And while this might not be a huge problem if you're looking at a population of 100, it would seem to be huge for a sample of 5.
Also, no controls are measured. The values they obtained were just compared to those obtained in other studies of different conditions. I'd wouldn't be surprised if aluminium values vary hugely with age, for starters. And I'd expect the values you get vary enormously from lab to lab.
It could turn out to be important, but we just need to wait till there's more evidence available.
I'd add too that even if it turns out that aluminium levels are abnormally high in people with ASD, that doesn't necessarily mean people should throw out their pots and pans. Aluminium levels have been known to be high in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's for decades, and most researchers now believe that this is an effect of the degeneration, not the cause.
the thing I find difficult about this (apart from the poor methodology and extremely misleading conclusions) is why would aluminium be a problem in the first place?
Aluminium is one of the most abundant elements on earth (alongside silica). It makes up the earth we walk upon everywhere on the planet. It makes sense that things like lead or other relatively rarer and less abundant metals might be a problem in terms of toxicity, but aluminium ...it's akin to saying that nitrogen is a problem. I suspect that this is based on people thinking that environmental aluminium means one thing to some and another to some others.n I certainly wouldn't start offending everyone's senses by dumping your underarm deodorant based on this very scrappy piece of work.
This is classic crappy science, poor premise, poor experimental design and no 'so what' at the end...I suspect that this is a paper to self promote some pretty dull scientists who care more about having their name on a paper rather than to actually be bothered to further scientific knowledge.
Obviously completely anecdotal, but in the Camelford area we do seem to have higher rates of autism than other areas. The water poisoning incident was about 25 years ago.
Yes, and I think postmortems showed high levels of aluminium in some Camelford victims. But this is also a feature of some degenerative diseases, so may not be causal. And there was a lot going on in Camelford, and the aluminium wasn't the worst of it (there was lead and copper poisoning too).
And as you say, anecdotal is tricky. These observations were based on a couple of cases (dementia cases, occurring decades after the event), and you'd need to see how common those events were in neighbouring areas to get a real idea of whether there's a real causal link.
Sulfation affects metal processing - if you have a problems with sulfite/ sulfate then , depending on enzymes/ genes and pathways affected metal accumulation can happen.
It may be dose dependent -add in a few additional environmental inputs and systems can' t cope .
Our family carry the heamachromatosis gene- my aunt has it. There are some papers which have found links not only to iron but also to lead for those with this gene. Tends to happen later in life, but my aunt does not have heamochromatosis - gene is not activated - but does have lead accumulation
Yes but " metal" is a broad term. I don't think conflating heavy metals with other lighter metallic elements (such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and aluminium) is very helpful. They just aren't all groupable that way in terms of how the body uses and processes them. I see a lot of sites adding aluminium to lead, cadmium etc ...it just isn't a heavy toxic metal and these sites are highly misleading.
I moved to the area a few years after the water poisoning incident but there were still some odd things going on. The water ran brown on Sundays because they were flushing the pipes for example
It's an area of extreme deprivation, poverty, high unemployment, alcohol and substance abuse rates which will likely also effect health outcomes.
I worked in a small primary school with around 80 pupils for a few years; there were 3 children on the spectrum, 2 of which were siblings. A Speech and Language Therapist friend who assesses and supports children with ASD across Cornwall has often remarked on the high numbers in the Camelford area.
It's a real shame no attempts have been made to collect data after the incident, but I suspect the local GPs will see patterns in the community.
Mr S lived here at the time; he says some people's hair turned green, some had vomiting and nausea and a lot of people tried faking illness in the hope of claiming compensation.
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