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Is there a link between Autism and Alzheimer's?


Posted by Sharon M.

A short while back I read about a possible link between autism and alzheimer's, which piqued my interest as I have a nephew with autism and a father with alzheimer's.  As a freelance journalist in NJ, I'm thinking of doing a magazine story on families dealing with both disorders and what the experts are saying about a possivle link.

To get that story going, I'm looking for families who'd be interested in telling their stories, as well as any other information - anecdotal, medical, etc. - that people have gathered about the commonality of these 2 disorders.

 Responses can be sent to me offline at sam2211@columbia.edu.

 Thanks!

 Sharon McCloskey

 
Answers (1)
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No link has been proved between Alzheimer's and Autism. Other than both being correlated to genetic circumstances, the two conditions share the lack of wrapping of myelin, the insulation of the brain's wiring. Children do not have the protective membrane of myelin until they are 18 months, and adults lack the protection of myelin because it begins to unwrap. When the brain lacks the protection of myelin, it is more vulnerable to the exposure of toxins.
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