Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech

Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8221427

CMAJ. 1993 Nov 15;149(10):1435-40.
Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech.
Campbell JD, Elford RW, Brant RF.
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alta.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To determine whether there is an association between prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech in children.

DESIGN:
Case-control study.

SETTING:
Network of community physicians affiliated with the Primary Care Research Unit, University of Calgary.

SUBJECTS:
Thirty-four practitioners identified 72 children aged 24 to 100 months who had undergone a formal speech-language evaluation and were found to have delayed speech of unknown cause by a speech-language pathologist. For each case subject the practitioners found two control subjects matched for sex, date of birth, sibling birth order and associated health problems.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Rates of prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech.

RESULTS:
The children with delayed speech had a higher rate of ultrasound exposure than the control subjects. The findings suggest that a child with delayed speech is about twice as likely as a child without delayed speech to have been exposed to prenatal ultrasound waves (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence limit 1.5 to 5.3; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION:
An association between prenatal ultrasonography exposure and delayed speech was found. If there is no obvious clinical indication for diagnostic in-utero ultrasonography, physicians might be wise to caution their patients about the vulnerability of the fetus to noxious agents.

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Is Prenatal Sonography Safe? Ep.1: Shortcomings in Epidemiology

This video is a review of what science currently understands about the safety of prenatal ultrasonography.

The short version: medicine does not yet fully understand how ultrasound affects the body, and there has been little research into it. When a practitioner tells you that sonography is perfectly harmless/completely safe, that is not backed by scientific evidence.

Considering that almost every woman in the world gets an ultrasound (or more) during pregnancy, this is unacceptable.

The rise in autism is very steep, and is getting steeper

The rise in autism -- the quietest apocalypse?

Autism began to exponentially grow circa the mid 1970’s. There are numerous reasons that caused this rise. Changes in diagnostic practices, awareness, and other ‘social factors’ have played a significant part.

There have been numerous scientific studies into this. Most all I have read claim that anywhere between 30-60% of the rise can be accounted for by social factors.

However, that still leaves a large portion of the rise up to an actual increase. How much of the rise is ‘real’ is uncertain to the scientific community, but I did some math this morning and came across something that really concerns me.

I put the data points in excel from the autism studies provided by the Center for Disease control.
The equation for the exponential growth curve is y=1E-106e^0.1193x with an R^2=0.9992
You can write this as (1*10^(-106))e^(.1193*x) in a scientific calculator
By plugging in the year where X is, you get how many kids have autism per year.

For example, the graph says that in 2001 it was reported 1 in 250 kids had autism
By plugging in 2001 where X is, we get 0.0047.
0.004 goes into 1 250 times, so that means 1 in 250 kids have autism in that year.

Let’s plug in other years and see what we get
2001: 0.004, or 1/250 kids
2005: 0.007, or 1 in 143 kids
2010: 0.013, or 1 in 77 kids
2020: 0.045, or 1 in 22 kids
2030: 0.150, or 1 in 6 kids
2040: 0.495, or 1 in 2 kids
2050: 1.633, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 1.633 autistic
2060: 5.386, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 5.386 autistic
2070: 17.76, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 17.76 autistic
2080: 58.55, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 58.55 autistic
2090: 193.05, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 193.05 autistic
2100: 636.49, or for every 1 neurotypical kid there will be 636.49 autistic

How much of this is real? The increase is going up so fast. Something has to give, and soon.

In a worst case scenario – if these numbers arn’t lying – then in a matter of a single generation our species will change dramatically.

Since some of the side effects of ultrasound exposure are likened to symptoms seen in autism, is it possible that ultrasound could be a contributor?  There have been multiple studies bringing this up.

Prenatal ultrasound exposure and association with postnatal hearing outcomes

Prenatal ultrasound exposure and association with postnatal hearing outcomes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3646553/

In this study, it was investigated whether prenatal ultrasound could lead to hearing loss. They actually found a correlation with successfully passing the hearing tests and number of ultrasound scans.

Although in this study it was found that number of ultrasound scans improved fetal hearing outcomes, that is not the only thing that needs to be considered. -Why- did it improve the outcome?

We need more research.

Ultrasound safety inconsistency: why are adult eyes treated with more care than fetal eyes during sonograms?

Ultrasound safety inconsistency: why are adult eyes treated with more care than fetal eyes during sonograms?

http://www.fetalultrasoundsafety.net/pulse-intensity.htm

Dr. David Toms, radiologist, discusses on his website an inconsistency found in the regulations of ultrasound power output for fetal scanning. The eye is a fluid filled sac with very delicate anatomy — there is a hard cap on the maximum power of ultrasound exposure allowed to pass through it for safety reasons.

However, this max amount is different for adults and the fetus. Strangely, the fetal eye is not protected as much as the adult eye. By quite a large margin, too.

Further strange, ultrasound devices do not accurately report the amount of ultrasound exposure in the lower regimes of power. Most all concerns about the limits for fetal scanning extend from known mechanisms of damage such as hemorrhaging and cavitation, but scientific evidence suggests the existence of other dangers.

It is almost as if regulatory authorities wish to remain absolutely ignorant of their own ignorance. There has even been talk of removing the upper power limit to allow practitioners to use as much ultrasound as desired with little to no baseline.

Dr. Toms says it best –
“Exposure limits are somewhat arbitrary, given the paltry amount of clinical and experimental data, but prudence would seem an important underlying principle. In view of this, a debate about removing all upper limits strikes me as being of questionable social responsibility.”

Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence?

Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence?

http://www.jultrasoundmed.org/content/31/8/1261.abstract

“Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect an estimated 1% of children in the United States. The etiology is probably multifactorial, including genetic components and exposure to infections, toxins, and other environmental factors, particularly unfavorable perinatal and neonatal conditions.

There has been an increase in the frequency of diagnosis of ASDs over the last 20 years with a parallel increase in the use of obstetric diagnostic ultrasound, with prenatal ultrasound exposure mentioned as the possible main etiology for autism “epidemics.”

Central nervous system alterations have been described in ASDs, and certain similar changes have been described in animals after exposure to ultrasound. However, analysis of in utero exposure in humans has failed to show harmful effects in neonates or children, particularly in school performance, attention disorders, and behavioral changes.

There is no independently confirmed peer-reviewed published evidence that a cause-effect relationship exists between in utero exposure to clinical ultrasound and development of ASDs in childhood.

Ultrasound is a form of energy with effects in the tissues it traverses, and its use should be restricted to medical indications, by trained professionals, for as short a period and as low an intensity as compatible with accurate diagnosis.”

Practitioners do not record dose during sonograms. This precludes studies the possibility of directly connecting ultrasound and autism. If there is truly a connection, then it will not be found with epidemiology unless it is unforgivably strong.

It worries me a lot. There are too many links between ultrasound and autism for this to be a passing coincidence.

At the very least, more research is urgently needed.

Prenatal ultrasound causes brain damage in mice

Prenatal ultrasound causes brain damage in mice

http://www.pnas.org/content/103/34/12903/F2.expansion.html

According to this study, mouse brains exposed to diagnostic ultrasound grew incorrectly. This is brain damage during development.

Developing brain cells have to migrate from a starting location to a distant one, where they link up to other cells. This study suggests that ultrasonic exposure can disrupt this, knocking cells around and leading to mis-connections.

Coincidentally, the brains of autistic individuals can display issues with interconnectivity and other such similar phenotypes – http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0049172

Side effects like this need further study. Please support the petition at https://www.change.org/petitions/health-risks-of-prenatal-ultrasound-the-urgent-need-for-more-research-and-regulation so further research can be performed on how this affects the health of people.