Another Daily Mail Health Headline We Can Prove Ain’t True
If it’s not that coffee causes cancer then it’s that coffee cures cancer at the Daily Mail, as we know. And if they ever managed to link cancer, immigrants and house prices in the one headline then the world as we know it will implode. But today we get another of those interesting headlines that aren’t true and that we can show aren’t true. This times it’s autism: is it ‘coz the kiddie got kicked in the head?
Is this what causes autism? Brain injury in the womb might be root of the disorder according to new research
No, it ain’t.
A new paper by Dr. Samuel Wang, a professor at Princeton, argues that damage to the cerebellum in the womb could be the root of autism
Though most associate the cerebellum with motor skills, Dr. Wang theorizes it plays a much larger role in a child’s early development
Early brain injury has a major impact on how a child forms normal social relationships according to Dr. Wang
All of those things could be true, of course they could be. But that still ain’t the cause of autism.
You see, autism isn’t actually a “disease”. It’s actually a condition. A symptom if you like. To take an odd example, you’ve got the sniffles, a runny nose. Is that because you’ve got a cold? Could be, sure. Might also be because you’ve got sinusitis, could be a hole in your skull and your brain’s leaking out (no, has happened) or could be you’ve got a broken nose. The sniffles are a condition, a symptom, not the disease itself.
Autism’s not a disease either, it’s part of the normal human spectrum but that’s another matter.
So it’s entirely possible that there are different causes of those symptoms we call autism. Could be that some get kicked in the head as a foetus and that causes it. But we know absolutely that it’s not the cause of all that we call autism. Because we know that runs in families. And if it runs in families it means that there’s a genetic component to it.
We also know that it’s vastly more prevalent in boys than it is in girls: another indication that there’s something genetic about it. And if it’s the genes then it ain’t about boots to the skull. QED.