Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
I have here, below, an important article about a recent peer-reviewed study in the very prestigious scientific journal Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. The study shows, very clearly, that there are significantly elevated levels of male hormones (testosterone) in patients who display autistic traits as a result of autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or other pervasive development disorders. Always.
And, this situation needs to be dealt with.
The study is called – “An evaluation of the role and treatment of elevated male hormones in autism spectrum disorders.”
The study concludes:
“Given the association between elevated levels of male hormones (known as hyperandrogenism) and autism spectrum disorders, the article recommends routine screenings of hormone levels for patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and, as necessary, appropriate treatment for elevated androgens.”
When you match this study up with an earlier study showing that mercury in vaccines is a major “hormone disruptor” in the body, no one will be surprised that elevated testosterone levels, in both male and female children, cause significant problems.
In boys, which outnumber girls five-to-one in the Autism Spectrum Disorder numbers, it is far too common to find early puberty at six years old; boys developing pubic hair, erections, masturbation, and aggressive physical behavior aimed at their siblings, parents, teachers, etc. – including extremely damaging violence.
Yes, this is a very big problem in Autism. Mercury is causing it, and, with appropriate treatment, it is reversible.
Before I start explaining the study…
Years ago I learned that to communicate properly, in writing, as in a newsletter, it is best to write at the 7.2 grade reading level. Virtually all on-shelf magazines use that rule.
I realize that the majority of my readers communicate way above that 7.2 grade reading level, but, as I have recognized also, most, if not all, of the self-styled quackbusters and the newly-minted skeptics (pseudo-skeptics) read my every word. They tell me they do.
So, for them, I dumb it down even further sometimes. I even avoid using big words. And, I tend to over-explain. You never know – maybe one of them consumed a Snickers Bar ten minutes before reading, and thus, momentarily increased their IQ by twenty-five percent – enough to bring them, momentarily, into the “understanding concepts” world. At least we can hope, right?
So, bear with me while I explain “Science,” and the “Scientific Method,” as a background for where this article is going. I know we all learned this in the sixth grade, but think of it as a refresher.
The Scientific Method…
The term “Scientific Method” is not something thought up by some “Evidence Based Medicine” scam promoter. It is a REAL situation taught in schools down through time. ALL scientists use it. For US students it is usually introduced in a sixth grade science class. It is the process we use to design and evaluate scientific ideas.
I’m going to link here to a website designed, frankly, for sixth graders. It’s called “Sciencebuddies.org, and the page we are going to look at explains the “Scientific Method.” The authors are teaching sixth graders how to construct a Science Fair Project.
To shorten the trip let’s look at their summary:
- The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.
- The steps of the scientific method are to:
- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results
What’s really important in this lesson, for this article, is the “Communicate Your Results” section. It says:
Communicate Your Results: To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a final report and/or a display board. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster at a scientific meeting.
See where I was going with that?
Publishing in a Scientific Journal…
Publishing in a reputable scientific journal is very important. It basically shows that the information provided has been reviewed and approved by scientific experts in the field of interest. According to Cal Poly University Library, there are two kinds of scientific journals: Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed. Cal Poly says:
Description and Purpose
Many scholarly journals use a process of peer review prior to publishing an article, whereby other scholars in the author’s field or specialty critically assess a draft of the article. Peer-reviewed journals (also called refereed journals) are scholarly journals that only publish articles that have passed through this review process. The review process helps ensure that the published articles reflect solid scholarship in their fields.
Peer-Reviewed Journals versus Scholarly Journals
Scholarly journals contain articles written by, and addressed to, experts in a discipline. They are concerned with academic study, especially research, and demonstrate the methods and concerns of scholars. The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report original research or experimentation and to communicate this information to the rest of the scholarly world. The language of scholarly journals reflects the discipline covered, as it assumes some knowledge or background on the part of the reader. Scholarly journals always rigorously cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. Many scholarly journals are published by professional organizations.
While not all scholarly journals go through the peer-review process, it is usually safe to assume that a peer-reviewed journal is also scholarly.
Quality of Scientific Journals…
I’m sure it occurred to you that there are issues of credibility regarding Scientific Journals.
For instance, in an earlier article, I wrote about the British Medical Journal (BMJ) hiring mostly-unemployed Brian Deer to write two articles. Deer is not a scientist, and apparently has very poor research skills – all of which will be decided, soon, in a court in Austin, Texas.
Considering what the BMJ did, I would say it is now safe to assume that EVERYTHING printed in the BMJ is questionable, and of no value as science.
Then, of course, we know that the used-to-be-prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) declared itself stupid, and inconsequential, when it published a study written by a nine-year-old-girl and Stephen Barrett criticizing “Therapeutic Touch.”
So, how do you rate a scientific journal? How do you judge its reputation? Good questions.
Probably the most important judgment tool is to examine the ratio of drug ads to articles in the journal itself. If it is obvious, at first glance, that the articles are just fillers for the massive drug ads, then don’t even bother to read any of the articles. Look no further. Dismiss the journal completely, for this is where you will find those “ghost-written” fake articles you’ve heard about.
Do a little research. If the journal is published by an association that gets the majority of its funding from the drug or vaccine industry – dismiss it completely. It won’t have anything of value. Look for independence.
If a journal appears to be independent, look at the names on the list of a journal’s Editor Board and/or their Referee Board. Scan it carefully. If you find any of the usual drug or vaccine apologists, or worse, a self-styled quackbuster, throw the publication in the trash, and go wash your hands.
Then read the journal’s home page and examine its qualifications posted. See where the journal is indexed in the world – who thinks it is worthwhile. Then look to see what subjects it specializes in and determine whether the Editor Board and the Referee Board members have the qualifications to act a “peer-reviewers.”
Why do I bring this up?
Because, on the internet, you will be told by the associates of some uneducated pint-sized pea-brain like James Randi, that “there is no science to that…” blah, blah, blah. Science is NOT defined at “Skeptics in the Pub” meetings over a pitcher of Appletinis on pageant night.
Science is science – and there are rules.
So, lets get to the study in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis.
Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis is a real scientific journal. It meets all the qualifications for one. Its Editor and Referee Board members are solid scientists of world renown. It has NO drug ads – and doesn’t want them. It is truly independent. It has very strict guidelines for submission, and its articles are most definitely peer-reviewed.
The study, “An evaluation of the role and treatment of elevated male hormones in autism spectrum disorders,” shows, very clearly, that there are significantly elevated levels of male hormones in patients who display autistic traits as a result of autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or other pervasive development disorders.
The study abstract;
“Autism, Asperger’s syndrome (AS), and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) compose the overall diagnostic category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Subjects diagnosed with an ASD have a male:female ratio of 4:1, and among subjects diagnosed with AS the male:female ratio is as high as 9:1.
The purpose of this study was to examine evidence of the association between hyperandrogenism and autistic traits (ATs) among subjects diagnosed with an ASD, and to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-androgen therapy as a means to help treat ATs in subjects diagnosed with an ASD.
Evidence of hyperandrogenism in subjects diagnosed with an ASD is supported by multiple studies in the areas of psychological framework, brain pathology, tissue culture, and pre- and postnatal androgen levels.
Data from subjects diagnosed with other conditions associated with elevated androgens reveals many of these individuals have ATs.
Finally, in a placebo-controlled trial of testosterone administration to neurotypical subjects, testosterone was found to increase ATs.
In addition, a controlled trial of human transsexuals revealed a significant increase in ATs in female-to-male transsexuals and a decrease in ATs in male-to-female transsexuals.
Data from multiple animals and human clinical trials suggest that antiandrogen medications have the ability to significantly reduce ATs in patients diagnosed with an ASD. In light of the robust association between hyperandrogenism and ASD, it is recommended subjects diagnosed with an ASD should undergo routine screening for elevated androgens, and appropriate treatment should be initiated for those with elevated androgens.”
You can read the entire study by clicking here.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate