Angelina Jolie or Destiny’s Child?

At
the time of writing this post Angelina Jolie’s aunt has succumbed to the same
cancer that killed Angelina’s mother and she announced that she also carried
the same defective gene.  She opted to
take pre-emptive action and, in effect, cheat a nasty early death from breast
or ovarian cancer.

I
have read so much research into autism, that it is pretty clear to me, that you
could calculate an Autism Risk Factor (ARF) for prospective parents, if you
really wanted to.  Would you really want
to?  I expect those with direct experience
of autism might be in favour, the others probably would not even bother to
answer the question. 
Since
few truly autistic people have children, it is really more of a question for their
siblings; do they want Destiny’s Child?

It
may sound depressing, or something to do with eugenics, but actually it does
not have to be.  I am not suggesting the
sort of genetic and chromosome testing that is already routinely done for
conditions like Down’s syndrome.  I am
talking about the kind of lifestyle changes that ideally a woman who smokes,
drinks heavily or takes drugs, should take when she wants to have a child.

If
your ARF puts you at risk, then you would receive a list of lifestyle changes,
you should take to minimize the risk to your future child.

 

Autism Risk Factor (ARF)

I
am not qualified to develop the ARF, but I am confident enough to highlight two
of the factors that should go into it:

 

1.     Maternal & paternal family history of
autoimmune diseases

Auto-immune
diseases including, but not limited
to,
history of type 1
diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and hypothyroidism.  Here is some supporting evidence, for those
who are interested:-

 

 

2.     Maternal & paternal stress capacity

This
risk factor is my invention.  I used to
only really think about mechanical stress, but now I know all about
physiological stress, psychological stress and that big one, oxidative stress.  It seems, remarkably to me, that the latter
three types of stress are in fact one and the same.

Put
another way, physiological stress, psychological stress and oxidative stress
are reflections of each other.  If you
have got one, you will have all three.

The
good news is that can use obvious visible cues to spot people will a low stress
capacity and you could even then confirm it with a laboratory test of their
oxidative stress (GSH redox level).

I recently
took four short airplane flights and I observed people with chronic nail
chewing (male) and obsessive nail filing (female) sitting beside or in front of
me; it looks like about 5% of the flying population.  If you added the non-autistic people with mild
stereotypy (stimming) like foot flapping, and those with
Trichotillomania
(compulsive
hair pulling, that we learned about in the posts on GSH/NAC) you would have a
large proportion of those people living in some degree of potentially damaging oxidative
stress.

I
think the maternal stress capacity would be most relevant, but the fetus’s own
stress capacity is also important, and some of that clearly comes from the
paternal side.

Conclusion

So
the conclusion for Ted, aged 12, is to grow up and find a nice calm girlfriend and
buy a large supply of NAC, just in case.
 
 
 


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