BIOS104-Asperger - Adam Pontnack Professor Kelso BIOS 104...

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Adam Pontnack Professor Kelso BIOS 104 March 20, 2008 Asperger’s Syndrome Asperger syndrome (AS), often called “Geek Syndrome,” is a congenital neurobiological condition which affects approximately 0.25% of the population in the United States. Asperger’s Syndrome is one of the five pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and is often referred to as a high-functioning autism (HFA), because there are no significant delays in language or impairment of cognitive thinking skills. As a relatively unknown and misunderstood condition, many adults and children remain undiagnosed. Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician, discovered the disorder in 1940’s, but it wasn’t recognized in standard classification models until 1990’s. Since then, many have been diagnosed with Asperger’s. People with Asperger’s often remain emotionally attached to parents or family members, and suffer from separation anxiety and insecurity when trying to live on their own. Unfortunately, many people have this syndrome and do not know it, or they have been misdiagnosed. The causes of Asperger’s Syndrome have been a debatable topic for many years. Genetics is a main concern for most studies, but there has not been any concrete proof of this. Asperger’s has also been found to be caused by neurobiological issues in the brain. Furthermore, research is being conducted on the cerebellum and the hippocampus; the two regions of the brain that have been linked to autistic disorders, including Asperger’s. Immunizations have been a possible cause of concern for reasons leading to Asperger’s. The triple-antigen vaccine has been studied as a cause of Asperger’s because of the heavy-metal preservatives that were found vaccines in the past. Studies have shown that glutathione, a natural antioxidant, may be
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Pontnack 2 unusually low in Autistic people. This may explain why the mercury found in some vaccines might be detoxified in some children, but cause damage leading to Autism in others. In 1944, Asperger published a paper in which he described a pattern of behavior that included standard speech and language development, but autistic-like behaviors and difficulties with communication and social skills. Subjects within Asperger’s experiment failed to demonstrate sympathy with their peers. They were physically clumsy and when they talked, their speech was either disjointed or excessively formal. Dr. Asperger referred to this condition as “autistic psychopathy” and he described it as a personality disorder marked predominantly by social isolation. He also described the intellectual capacity of those exhibiting the symptoms of Asperger’s: these individuals had an average or above average IQ score and were therefore distinguished from normal Autistic patients. Asperger’s observations were not widely known within the scientific community until 1981, when an English doctor published a series of case
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BIOS104-Asperger - Adam Pontnack Professor Kelso BIOS 104...

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