The Cause of Internet and TV Addiction?
Similarities with Autism
Note: By posting this topic I don't mean to imply that people suffering from Internet/TV Addiction necessarily suffer from autism, and vice-versa.
"Autism is one of the most complicated and confusing labels that a child can be given. The reason it is so confusing is that it is a symptomatic label. This means there is no disease, as such, of autism, there are just unexplained symptoms manifested, and if a child displays enough of them they will receive the label. There is also an entire continuum of labels related to autism such as: hyperlexic, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Delay), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), High Functioning Autism, Aspergers. What children with any of these labels usually have in common is sensory dysfunction. One or more of their senses are not functioning normally. It does no good to treat the symptoms when the underlying causes creating the symptoms are ignored. It is my belief that there are as many different reasons and combinations of reasons for the symptoms as their are children labeled. This is why I do not believe there will ever be a magic "cure," many circumstances and combinations are the reason for autistic symptoms. In this article we will look at some of the more common ones."
"Researchers have learned that people with autism have a decreased metabolism in the area in the frontal cortex that connects the brain's emotional centers with higher thinking (the anterior cingulate).1 The frontal cortex is the brain's senior executive like the CEO of a corporation. Brain scans indicate that people with autism use problem-solving circuits in social situations. Unlike non-autistic people, the emotion center in their amygdala is not activated, for example, when they judge expressions in another person's eyes."
Note: Asperger syndrome is sometimes called Asperger's syndrome, AS, or the more common shorthand Asperger's.
What is Asperger Syndrome?
"…It wasn't until 1994 that Asperger Syndrome was added to the DSM IV and only in the past few years has AS been recognized by professionals and parents."
"…because it was virtually unknown until a few years ago, many individuals either received an incorrect diagnosis or remained undiagnosed. For example, it is not at all uncommon for a child who was initially diagnosed with ADD or ADHD be re-diagnosed with AS. In addition, some individuals who were originally diagnosed with HFA or PDD-NOS are now being given the AS diagnosis and many individuals have a dual diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism."
· www.aspergers.com (includes links to lists of clinicians who evaluate individuals with Asperger Syndrome)
Could the "concentration" referred to in the following article be the result of too much beta brainwave frequencies?
Autism has been found to be associated with increased brain volume and problems in several regions of the brain. The affected brain regions include the cerebellum, medial temporal lobe, frontal lobe (prefrontal cortex) and corpus callosum.
"The amygdala lies in the
temporal lobe, and receives highly processed sensory input from other brain
structures. It has reciprocal connections with many other areas, including
the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex, which are also implicated in autism.
The amygdala has been implicated in affective processing and emotion
expression, social behavior, and vigilance/anxiety."
Amygdala: Definition, Research
· The Amygdala and Reward (PDF)
"[Insensitivity to pain may be due to elevated levels of endorphins, endogenous opiate-like substances, in the body. One possible source of these endorphins may be from eating food items containing gluten or casein. If the person has a ‘leaky gut’ (i.e., small holes in the intestinal tract), these proteins may slip through the holes and cause a chemical reaction. The chemical configuration of gluten and casein is similar to endorphins.]"
"Researchers also noted the similarities between the behavioral effects of opioids on animals and the symptoms of autism. In urine tests, which they designed, they found that 50% of people with autism have elevated levels of substances with properties similar to those expected from opioid peptides. what is believed to happen is that the gluten from the wheat and the casein from the dairy combine chemically to make this opiate."
"By removing sources of gluten and casein from the diet of autistic children, we have had immense success in at least alleviating and at times eliminating the symptoms of autism."
"Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects an individual in the areas of social interaction and communication. Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects each individual differently and to varying degrees of severity. As many as 1.5 million Americans - children and adults - are thought to have autism today."
Note: Brainwave therapy for autism may involve playing computer games. For more information about brainwave therapy please see the research topic Brainwaves