Saturday, October 7, 2006

Medicine: News Roundup

The CDC is funding the biggest ever study of autism, including 2700 kids, to try to hash out genetic and environmental aspects of the disorder. But conspiracy theory dumbasses still abound:

But some parents of autistic children say the CDC — which promotes childhood vaccinations — is not interested in fully exploring vaccinations as a potential cause.

“We don’t want the CDC to do anything. We don’t trust them,” said Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association.
Also on the autism front, Risperdal now has FDA approval for treatment of aggression and other positive symptoms in autism. Atypical antipsychotics have been used for years off-label for such indications, but now physicians and insurance companies will feel legally obligated to choose risperidone over quetiapine or other atypicals, which are probably just as effective.

Unsurprisingly, Children with ADHD use significantly more health services 2 years before and 2 years after they are diagnosed compared with children without ADHD. Even less surprising:
Despite similar insurance status, Asian American, African American and Hispanic American children had $221 lower total average costs per year related to ADHD than white American children did. They also had lower ADHD-related pharmacy costs than white American children.

"Lower use of medications among ethnic minorities may be explained in part by cultural differences in the acceptance of ADHD diagnoses and treatment," the authors suggest.
People with IBS are much more likely to have depression, migraines, and fibromyalgia. Grumpy physicians would probably say that whiny people have whiny people diseases. Sparky says those physicians should be drug out and shot in the back yard. Even so, this study furthers theories that a single sort of neurobiological error might account for these, and several other, disorders. I would be that epilepsy and bipolar disorder would also be found to be elevated, but that's my neurobiological conspiracy theory.
Compared with non-IBS patients, those with the condition were 60 percent more likely to also have any one of the three disorders, the report indicates. The elevated risks for depression, migraine, and fibromyalgia were 40 percent, 60 percent, and 80 percent, respectively.

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