Prevalence of autism in children born to Somali parents living in Sweden: a brief report.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Järva BUP, Stockholm, Sweden.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.29). 09/2008; 50(8):598-601. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03036.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In a geographical area of Stockholm, with a relatively large Somali immigrant population, parents as well as teachers in special schools and staff at habilitation centres have raised concerns over whether children with a Somali background are over-represented in the total group of children with autism. The aim of the study was, therefore, to investigate the prevalence of autism in children with parents from Somalia, living in Stockholm county, and to compare the prevalence in children of Somali background with that in the non-Somali group. We reviewed the records of 17 children (13 males, four females), born between 1988 and 1998 (age range 7-17y) and with a Somali background, who had a diagnosis of autistic disorder or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) and were registered at either of the two autism habilitation centres for school-aged children. The prevalence of autistic disorder or PDDNOS was found to be three to four times higher than in the non-Somali group (0.7% vs 0.19%). All children also had learning disability.* Our findings warrant further investigations of possible aetiological factors behind the increased prevalence of autistic disorders in children of Somali origin found in this area in Sweden.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism is a brain disorder involving social, memory, and learning deficits, that normally develops prenatally or early in childhood. Frustratingly, many research dollars have as yet failed to identify the cause of autism. While twin concordance studies indicate a strong genetic component, the alarming rise in the incidence of autism in the last three decades suggests that environmental factors play a key role as well. This dichotomy can be easily explained if we invoke a heritable epigenetic effect as the primary factor. Researchers are just beginning to realize the huge significance of epigenetic effects taking place during gestation in influencing the phenotypical expression. Here, we propose the novel hypothesis that sulfates deficiency in both the mother and the child, brought on mainly by excess exposure to environmental toxins and inadequate sunlight exposure to the skin, leads to widespread hypomethylation in the fetal brain with devastating consequences. We show that many seemingly disparate observations regarding serum markers, neuronal pathologies, and nutritional deficiencies associated with autism can be integrated to support our hypothesis.
    Entropy 12/2012; 14(12). · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social communication deficits and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. Several medical conditions including gastrointestinal (GI) problems, asthma and allergies have been associated with ASD, and multiple risk factors, both genetic and environmental, have been proposed. Among them, vitamin D (VD) deficiency is probably associated with ASD, and may play a role in the condition. We conducted a systematic review of the literature for the period January 1, 2010 through June 15, 2014, according to PRISMA guidelines, aiming to investigate the complex biological interplay between VD, metabolism, immune system and nervous system in ASD. Different trends in the association between ASD and VD deficiency have been observed, and factors such as gender, ethnicity, sampling, and methodology play a role in the results and outcomes. At present, for at least a subgroup of ASD individuals, an imbalance in VD metabolism probably exists and may be associated with the condition. In this cohort, VD replacement in these individuals might contribute to improving ASD symptoms and/or associated conditions. This topic is an important challenge for future research, and could lead to a new tailored therapeutic approach for VD in ASD.
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 09/2014; 8(12):1685-1698. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Source

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
Aug 12, 2014