It was recently brought to my attention that some of the work and opinions that I had previously expressed about prenatal ultrasound were heavily cited in an article on Children’s Health Defense (August 20, 2019).
“Manuel Casanova (a researcher at the University of South Carolina-Greenville) has coauthored numerous studies describing the autistic brain and delving into ultrasound’s effects on the brain. Espousing a “triple hit” hypothesis of autism that involves (1) external stressors (2) during a critical period of brain development in fetuses with (3) underlying vulnerabilities, Casanova suggests that prenatal ultrasound may be a key stressor. According to Casanova, ultrasound preferentially affects cells with a “proclivity for being deformed,” activating mechanisms having to do with cell growth and cell division and causing certain cells “to divide at a time when they should not divide.” “Ill-timed activation or over-activation” of certain pathways via ultrasound can also lead to unwanted cell proliferation or maldistribution of neurons. Other researchers have confirmed the ultrasound-autism relationship within the “triple hit” context.”
“Casanova frankly states that “[u]ltrasounds are being done without regards to the safety of the patients.” He points out that a third of all ultrasound practitioners fail to adhere to safety regulations and notes that at least 40% of ultrasound equipment is defective. In addition, he observes that many practitioners “don’t see anything wrong” with using ultrasound during the first trimester, even though safety regulations discourage first-trimester use in uneventful pregnancies.”
Casanova MF. Autism Updated: Symptoms, Treatments and Controversies. Amazon Digital Publishing, 2019.