Hi. I'm a 58 year old non-scientist who lives in Scotland. I almost certainly have Asperger syndrome, although I have never been diagnosed as such. For well over 20 years I have been studying the etiology of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia and autism. This research broadened into other areas and became an investigation into the causes of non-communicable diseases in general. In March of 2010, I created a blog titled 'Integrative Theory of the Causation of Non-Communicable Diseases: Immune Mimicry Disease (IMD) Theory'. The blog can be viewed at
The first half of the paper is a general exposition of the theory, while the second half deals with the specific etiologies of schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, types 1 and 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, porphyria, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, autism and ADHD. It takes well over two hours to read, so I don't expect many to make the effort.
My research into the causes of autism convinced me that:
a) Autism and ADHD were two sides of the same disease process, in the same way that mania and depression are two sides of bipolar disorder, and the positive and negative syndromes two sides of schizophrenia as well as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism being the two sides of Graves' disease. There is pronounced comorbidity between autism and ADHD and overlapping genetic influences. Both conditions have a pre-school age of onset and the ratio of four affected males to each affected female is the same in both diseases.
b) Environmental chemicals which have been associated with an increased incidence of autism and ADHD all have something in common which appears to have been overlooked by researchers. They all influence the functioning of GABA(A) receptors. Folic acid, organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethroids, phthalates and methyl mercury have all been associated with an increased incidence of autism and ADHD, and they are all either antagonists of the GABA(A) receptor, or otherwise inhibit its functioning.
Folic acid is a fairly unnatural nutritional supplement. The natural form of the vitamin is folate and folic acid must be converted to folate by an enzyme. There is great individual variation in the efficiency of the conversion process, with a fivefold difference between the most and least efficient converters. Pregnant women often take 800ug per day, when the RDA is just 200ug. I also believe that the increased incidences of asthma and type 1 diabetes also have their roots in pre-natal exposure to GABA(A) receptor antagonists, in particular, folic acid, and I have recently written a much briefer blog on the subject of supplemental folic acid and the autism/ADHD epidemic at
I'd be interested to hear your views.