The Minnesota Somali autism puzzle

Somali students comprise only 6 percent of the Minneapolis school
system, but one-quarter of the children in the city’s early childhood
autism programs. Health officials are baffled.

Here is more.  Here is a follow-up story.  Oddly Somali families in Sweden call autism "the Swedish disease."  There hasn’t been thimerosal in vaccines for some time plus that would not explain the higher incidence of autism among these groups of Somali children.  It also seems that the Somali kids have especially severe cases of autism.

So what is the environmental trigger?  A combined lack of sunlight and vitamin D activation is the only real hypothesis I can find

Mother’s testosterone levels, if high, can influence a male child to
extreme maturational delay. (A child’s maturation rate is set at six
weeks before birth.) If the mother has immigrated from an equatorial
region with consistent diurnal light cycles of 30% to a relatively
extreme northern climate, the influence of light on the pineal gland
influencing testosterone levels can dramatically skew mothers
testosterone. The question is, do the Minnesota Somali autistic
children’s birthday’s congregate in certain seasons. If so, this
hypothesis becomes more likely. See,

Yet even that sounds screwy to me (at least it’s testable), noting that if you pursue the links you will not find mainstream science at the end of the tunnel.  But the independent appearance of the phenomenon in Sweden and Minneapolis suggests it isn’t just a statistical fluke.  And the numerous Somali immigrants in Virginia don’t seem to have the same problems. 

Here are some further readings.  Here is a speculation that autism rates are higher in immigrant communities more generally.  Addendum: Here is more on Sweden.


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