Author Topic: Controversial autism researcher tells local Somalis disease is solvable  (Read 18469 times)

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Offline Admin

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Minneapolis — Minnesota Somalis worried about autism rates among their children recently invited controversial British researcher Andrew Wakefield to Minneapolis to talk to their community.

At a Somali community meeting in Minneapolis, Wakefield asked his audience to participate in a study. He told about a hundred people gathered at a Somali-owned restaurant that they could help find the cause of autism.

"It is solvable, it has a cause, it had a beginning and it must have an end," Wakefield said. "We cannot accept the damage that is being done to all of these children. It is completely unacceptable and the suffering you're going through."

Wakefield published a paper in the late 1990s theorizing a link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations. Kids with autism often have trouble with communication, interaction, and touch and doctors don't know what causes the condition.

Wakefield was stripped of his medical license in England and doesn't have one in the United States. His research showing a link between autism and vaccines has been discredited by other studies and there are questions about funding Wakefield received for his research. But Wakefield stands behind his work.

Somali autism meeting

Wakefield said that there are no known cases of autism in Somalia, an anecdotal observation many Somalis confirm. But there's some evidence Somali children in Minnesota might have a higher rate of autism than the general population.

A Minnesota Health Department study published last year looked at school records for 3 to 4 year olds, and found that over a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, the proportion of Somali kids receiving autism services was as much as seven times higher than non-Somali children.

But that may be because Somalis seek help from schools more often than the general population. Wakefield said answers are important.

"That's something that needs to be looked at," he said. "It's something that the authorities are very scared to look at and it's why this community has not been investigated in the past."

Wakefield proposes a study that would gather genetic information from local Somalis. Results would be collected in a database that could reveal patterns in the incidence of autism. Wakefield told his Minneapolis audience his only role would be to raise money for the project.

Noticed autism problem among Somalis

Many Somalis pledged to participate at that recent event, including Shukri Osman. Osman is a single mother whose 12-year-old son has autism. She said she's read about Wakefield's past.

"I know he's either some kind of controversial -- there [are] a lot of people are saying bad things about him," Osman said. "At least he's trying to give us answers and he's listening to us. We need doctors to listen to us. We live with autism, and to see a doctor who's out there, giving his time and effort and money to help us, that's a big thing for me. I am thankful that he's here and he's helping us."

Osman said her perception is that health officials haven't done enough.

But Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Buddy Ferguson said the work on autism is just taking time because there are so many basic questions to answer.

"We obviously wish we could go in and investigate this situation the same way we would investigate an infectious disease outbreak, for example, and find out what caused it and address the issue and resolve things quickly," Ferguson said. "But given the state of knowledge about autism it just really isn't that simple."

Ferguson said the state is expanding its research of autism in school records. The department of health is also in the very early stages of a project with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. That study would try to find the real rate of autism among Somalis, compared to the rate in the general population.

Steven Miles, a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Minnesota, said the Somali community deserves careful research on autism. He calls Andrew Wakefield a researcher with a track record of fraud. Miles said Wakefield isn't the way to address the Somali community's needs.

"He's just not trustworthy," Miles said. "And it does not surprise me that he would seek out a population which is unsophisticated and desperate."

Somali parents say they don't agree with everything Wakefield says, but they'll listen to anyone who might be able to help.

One Somali man -- the father of an autistic son -- said that in his religion, Islam, God doesn't send an illness without a cure. He said he must keep looking.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

"you never cure a patient, you treat pain often but you always comfort the patient."

Offline Fido

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Re: Controversial autism researcher tells local Somalis disease is solvable
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 06:35:34 PM »
There is evidence that rates of Autism is in the increase worldwide and that include Somalis.Dr wakefield is a respected exoert in Autism and would be please to help him with any research project that involves Somalis.Please read my own published research in Autism via PUbMed or Googlenet.

Offline Diagnostic

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Re: Controversial autism researcher tells local Somalis disease is solvable
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 08:34:50 PM »
There are hundreds of institutions which are conducting frequent researches on this topic.

The complexity of the disease attracted hundreds of scientists trying to unlock the Autism's mysteries despite the growing number of affected children.

This huge number of consecutive researches led to many hypothesis, some of them are contradictory which complicated the understanding of the disease.

Why a disease which was identified as far back as 1943 is not yet clear?

News about Autism are published on daily basis, for example see below the list of some headlines about autism released this month!

Study Marks The Emergence Of Disease-Modifying Treatments For AUTISM Spectrum Disorders   18 Dec 2010
AUTISM And Traffic Pollution Link Found   17 Dec 2010
Researcher From Children's Hospital Los Angeles And USC Finds Proximity To Freeway Is Associated With AUTISM   17 Dec 2010
Clinical Trial Of AUTISM Early Intervention Reveals Significant Improvements In Toddlers' Social And Communication Skills   16 Dec 2010
ICare4AUTISM To Create World's First Global AUTISM Research And Education Center   13 Dec 2010
Researchers Identify Possible Treatment For Impaired Sociability In AUTISM Breakthrough   11 Dec 2010
Toddlers With AUTISM Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention   10 Dec 2010
National Autistic Society Urges The Government To Ensure Those With 'Hidden Disabilities' Like AUTISM Don't Lose Out On Vital Benefits   07 Dec 2010
New Hope For Children With AUTISM In Indianapolis   07 Dec 2010
Children With AUTISM Appear More Likely To Have Cell Irregularity   06 Dec 2010
Curemark Announces Four New Sites Participating In AUTISM Study   03 Dec 2010
Major Step Toward First Biological Test For AUTISM   03 Dec 2010
MRI Scan Detects AUTISM Biomarkers In Brain   02 Dec 2010
Study Finds Children With AUTISM Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction   02 Dec 2010
Children With AUTISM Benefit From Playing With Building Blocks Of Creativity   01 Dec 2010

Those headlines were just examples of the news which was released this month.

Also to mention that my regards goes to Dr. Fido who published a research that links toxic elements and autism.
In diagnosis think of the easy first.
Martin H. Fischer

Offline Waxbaro!

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Re: Controversial autism researcher tells local Somalis disease is solvable
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 06:08:52 PM »
Dadka aan aqoon cudurka Autism-ka waxaa afsoomali lagu dhahaa Gooniyow ama Dhakaakaha.
Qoraalkaan ka baro waxa uu yahay cudurka, astaamaha lagu garto, waxa keeno iyo sida loo daaweeyaba

Your posts reflects your personality, so be Wise and Polite!


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