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Gastroschisis and Autism – Dual Canaries in the Californian Coalmine


We note the report on the rising gastroschisis incidence 3.1 times 1995-2012


The 20-fold variation across California mirrors the ten-fold variation across Canada here the distribution pattern closely mirrors cannabis consumption, and from where cannabis-related adjusted O.R.= 3.54 (95%C.I. 2.22-5.63) has been reported .


Several clues suggest cannabis is likely involved also in California.  Statewide gastroschisis rose 2.84-fold 2005-2012, whilst last month cannabis use in northern California rose 2.56-fold from 8.41% to 21.55% 2006-2008 to 2014-2016 in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health.

Combining the midrange county rates supplied  with published birth, population and NSDUH data it can be shown that the gastroschisis rate in the NSDUH 1R northern 15 counties rose O.R.=2.33 (95%C.I. 1.91-2.83) compared to the rest of the state for the whole period 1995-2012.


Anderson found rurality was a risk factor for cannabis use which fits with the burgeoning cannabis industry.  Timber production was a probable surrogate marker, and the Federal parks are known to accommodate substantial cannabis plantations.


Moreover as various potent herbicides and rodenticides including carbofuran are used in commercial operations and contaminate the water table these also need to be considered as novel indirect toxins.


Gastroschisis follows cannabis use in many places including Australia, Canada, Mexico, North Carolina, and Washington state.  Mechanistically this is consistent with the appearance of cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R) on the omphalovitelline vessels from the ninth week of gestation, and documented occurrence of cannabis arteritis .


The real possibility clearly needs to be considered that the global rise in cannabis use may underlie the dramatic rise in gastroschisis in many locations.  Indeed since heart and brain defects including anencephaly and brain impairments consistent with autistic deficits are also well described in the congenital cannabis exposure literature, together with Downs syndrome, it may be that a wide variety of defects could be related to the budding industry.


The potential link with the autism spectrum including cannabis-dependent, dose-related and rampant neurexin- neurologin-mediated synaptic dehiscence is of particular concern.  The rapidly growing autism epidemic in Colorado is matched by an autism hotspot in the northern cannabis zone of California which has likely become even hotter since that study was conducted.


Careful substance-spatiotemporal analyses of positive and negative correlation are indicated to investigate causal relationships.


The possibility of worldwide multiorgan cannabis-induced CB1R-mediated severe clinical teratology has not been widely canvassed.


Source:  email: stuart.reece@bigpond.com