Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Increase in autism is due to changes in diagnosis, study claims

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 12 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:364

Rapid Response:

Birth brain injury as a cause of autism

Katikireddi's claim that the increase in autism is due to a change in
diagnosis from other "minimal cerebral disorders" such as ADD, ADHD,
behavioural disorders, learning disabilities and mild to moderate mental
deficiency does nothing to solve the problem of causality of all these

All the above diagnoses, including "autism" correlate strongly with
infant anemia,(iron deficiency anemia during the first year of life) and
the most common cause of infant anemia is immediate clamping of the
umbilical cord at birth (ICC). ICC prevents normal placental transfusion
of blood and deprives the neonate of up to 50% of its natural blood
volume. Full placental transfusion provides enough iron to prevent anemia
during the first year of life.

In newborns with "major cerebral disorders" - cerebral palsy, the
principal brain lesion in the neonate is ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPTHY - lack of
blood flow; nearly every child that develops CP has its cord clamped
immediately at birth. Despite all the "advances" in obstetrics over the
past 30 years, the incidence of CP has remained steady; the incidence of
ICC has risen.

Katikireddi's article is valuable in pointing out that autism is
deficient brain function. Windle, in the 1960's produced minimal brain
disorders (memory and behavioural dysfunction without palsy)in monkeys by
asphyxiating them at birth using ICC. Windle also pointed out that ICC
produced the equivalent of a massive neonatal hemorrhage and resulted in
infant anemia.

The corrleation of autism, ADD, mental deficiency etc. with infant
anemia, and infant anemia with ICC provides enough evidence to show that
these disorders are due to birth brain injury sustained because of
deficient brain perfusion. A large number of autism cases (whether
epidemic or not) can be prevented by abolishing the practice of ICC and by
allowing all neonates to clamp their own cords naturally, thus achieving
physiological blood volumes and normal cerebral perfusion.

Full documentation of relevant medical literature regarding the above
is available at the web site:

G. M. Morley, MB ChB FACOG

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 February 2004
George M. Morley, MB ChB FACOG
10252 E. Johnson Road, Northport, MI 49670 USA