Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons


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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder and Autism. Is There a Link?

According to a recent study at the Duke University Medical Center, some cases of autism may be associated with a family history of depressive illness. Autism, a disorder marked by social withdrawal and an inability to interact with the environment, seems to appear more frequently in families with a strong history of bipolar illness, the study found.

In connection with his study of 40 autistic children, Duke researcher Dr.Robert DeLong reported in the journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology that in 14 of the cases reviewed there was a strong family history of depression or manic depressive illness.

The study hypothesized that when manic depression strikes in early infancy, it may blunt the child's cognitive, social, and emotional development irreversibly, so that the child's brain never develops the framework in which to build communications skills. In extreme cases, this may lead to clinical autism.

(Reprinted from the National DMDA Newsletter, vol. 7, no. 1)

5 comments:

Jen said...

That is interesting and scary at the same time. Its like everything else though, its being explored and thats a good thing. Guess it will be a few years and more than 40 kids before they can say either way. Autism must be one of the most widely researched areas these days! Jen

jazzygal said...

Hi Lora. I've come across your blog through @Jean at Planet Outreach.

I have a 10year old boy with PDD-NOS.....and a mother with Bi Polar Disorder (when the experts agree that is!!) BTW did you know there's also a diagnosis of Bi-Polar (NOS)?? I kid you not! I laughed when I read that! Both these diagnoses are such a cop out...I reckon!

Although the link to Bi-Polar is a generation removed in my case I still believe there's a link to Autism.

I look forward to reading more of your posts.... xx Jazzy

coolkid said...

im a big fan of research to the causes of autism but seldom agree with some of the silly facts i see published

this one however i do agree with, i think the chemical inbalances in a mothers brain can lead to developmental problems in early developing baby during pregnancy.

I my self suffer b12 and under active thyroid and i really do believe that the chemical inbalance i was experiencing during pregnancy on my 2 affected children may be what caused their aspergers and autism. but it will never be known for sure. i also suffer depression due to the inbalances so can relate to that research a lot.

I think i accepted that i may have been the link to their problems so many years ago that i no longer blame myself, my condition or anything else as i cherish them and appreciate their individuality in so many ways. I have a lot of respect for autistic behaviours and to be honest am envious at how simple they live their lives, i think ive started to display and like my own autistic behaviours from watching them

i like to switch off to outside noises which i could never do before, i like to focus intensively on what im doing now like writing, studying and creating. I find that im more calmer and easier going since Luca was born, i think he brings out the best inme and im eternally greatful to him for that.

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