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Genetic Clues to Autism Revealed

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posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 11:13 AM

Scientists have unveiled results of the largest study of the genetics of autism, involving DNA from almost 1,200 affected families worldwide. Two key clues have already been isolated.

Discoveries in two areas of the genome -- a region on chromosome 11 suspected of having links to autism, and aberrations in a brain-development gene called neurexin 1 -- could spur more targeted research, the experts noted.

"That's the real promise here," said Autism Genome Project co-researcher Dr. Stephen Scherer, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "When you identify certain genes, you can then develop genetic tests -- in some cases prenatal and in some cases postnatal -- because early diagnosis is crucial here."

Genetic discoveries can also further research toward a cure for autism, Scherer said.

My son was diagnosed with the disorder at 2 1/2 I thought this would interest some people.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 11:20 AM
Thats very intersteing news as the causes of Austic Spectrum Disorders are open to much speculation.
My son has Aspergers, or high functioning Autism, and didnt get diagnosed until he was 9. I have always thought that his problems were caused by a difficult forceps delivery and maybe oxygen starvation, as my other children are thankfully unaffected (so far).
Do you have any theories on the origins of your sons autism?
I would be very interested in what others think about the possible or probable caused of ASD's??

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 11:49 AM
Well my son by coincidence was vacuumed out since he was stuck in the birth cannal.

This led us into beleiving that tis could of been a factor.

I also have a theory about the food intake, I am leaning more towards organics
and try to avoid any junk food, because keep in mind: the food industry is out to make money and not give the highest nutritional value for your buck!

If this study shows promissing results it would hopefully cure this disorder.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 12:03 PM
as said approximately a year ago, this move does not come as a surprise!


i don't doubt that people found a coorelation of sorts between a few gene sequences and autism, but that's an exercies in statistics which does not establish causality.

let me ask you one thing: how come autism soared during the last few decades? reasonably speaking, only changes in contributing factors have an effect, so autism can't be genetic unless we are de-volving rapidly, for some reason.

considering other factors, the genetic cop out is nothing more than an elaborate way to c.y.a

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 12:20 PM
IMO, a lot of autism cases are related to vaccines. In the US, the number of vaccines increased a lot, and the mercury inside them too. You all know that mercury is bad for your health, but not in the Federal studies where it was stating that mercury in the vaccines were good for your children's brains.

This is just sick.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 12:34 PM
I have a Niece with Autisim and everything I have read points back to vaccines. I didn't give my children vaccines until after their fourth birthday. It seems that if you make it to that age that the changes of becoming or being diagnosed with autism greatly decreases. My pediatrician argued with me everytime they went in. But both my children are healthy, never had ear infections, aren't autistic and didn't get most of the other childhood illnesses you hear alot of kids getting. And I made sure that both of them received the Salk vaccince for Polio.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 02:45 PM
These are some very interesting points to consider.
I have often thought that maybe Autism is one of these things where perhaps some children have an Autism gene or similar and certain events eg vaccines or difficult deliveries can "trigger" it off. If the child didnt encounter any triggers then the gene would remain dorment? Just a theory.
The massive increase in Autism cases is very worrying indeed, however I cant help thinking that maybe there are no more cases than before, just more diagnosed cases as the medical profession become more aware of ASD's??

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 03:38 PM

Originally posted by xtr3m3paranoia
The massive increase in Autism cases is very worrying indeed, however I cant help thinking that maybe there are no more cases than before, just more diagnosed cases as the medical profession become more aware of ASD's??

autists treat people as things, don't talk very much and avoid eye contact, i seriously doubt they could conceal their impairment in everyday life, so the idea that autistic people might have gone unnoticed sounds surreal, doesn't it?

to be fair, there ARE cases which point towards genetic causes...

in this case, the 'geek density' in silicon valley is at unprecedented levels, so we have a changed factor, namely mating geeks, which, due to their normally sparse distribution did not happen as often in earlier times. effectively proclaiming that adverse genetic changes are taking place across the board requires some confirmation, ie. more than just emprical evidence. imho, of course.

PS: it's been said before, the Amish don't suffer from autism, i'll leave to you why.... if i were you i'd be *very* concerned if autistic people strated dying in droves when exposed to medical institutions, an epidemic of helpless and impaired people can easily be used to force eugenics into the mainstream, perhaps that was the underlying plan from the very beginning. if you're willing to consider such things, that is.

posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 05:03 PM
More sources:

posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 05:15 PM
Has anybody here read any of Temple Grandin's books? She is autistic, but is high-functioning, after she healed herself. She writes about what it's like to be autistic. Fascinating person, lots of info for anyone who has/works with animals.

posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 10:21 AM
as a person diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome I would say that the vast increase of diagnosis of autism probably lies in the area of Aspergers, seein that it was not a psychiatric diagnosis till 1994.. and Aspergers is harder to catch than full out Autism.. I would also think that education is leadin to an increase of diagnosis, where as in the past there was not as much public education on mental disorders but now we see vast amounts going through the public arena, so people are takin notice and going to seek for answers..

posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 08:45 AM
Posting a new article on the subject of Autism research, let's hope that this finding can lead to something good for those affected.

Autism Explained by DNA Mutations

A study, partly funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and conducted by scientists Jonathan Sebat, Lakshmi Muthuswamy and Michael Wigler, at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has concluded that as many as 100 extremely small and rare gene mutations present greater risks for autism than earlier believed.

These mutations occurred ten times more often in intermittent cases of autism range illnesses than in control subjects who were healthy. However they were found to be only twice as common in autism cases with families having more than one such person.

This suggests that the irregularities are the main causes of autism and do not just contribute toward it. They are not what people usually consider genetic mutations but are missing stretches or extra copies of DNA and are therefore called copy number variations.

In spite of showing similar symptoms, diverse cases of autism were therefore traceable to any of 100, or more genes, whether they occurred in isolation or in combinations.

posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 08:58 PM
My son has Austim and I believe that the MMR vaccine was the cause of it.

posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 02:54 AM
i have autism and i dont know what to personally state, been happening since i was 2

posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 09:58 AM
I think it is more due to more people getting diagnozed than anything else. Personally i was diagnozed with pdd-nos at a young age.

Full blown autistic kids wouldnt survive in the past i assume. Now they do so ofcourse you see more.

posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 10:11 AM
I have a 14 year old son who also was diagnosed with Aspergers PDD NOS at the age of 2.5. I consider us fortunate, he will struggle but he can survive in this world as an adult on his own, go to college, etc.

Years ago, Autism was defined by what many view as "rain man" type behaviors. As more and more diagnosis developed they realized the autism "umbrella" was far more diverse under it than originally thought.

Correlation between immunizations and the increase in the Autism Spectrum is still tenuous at best. (Although my own personal belief is that it lies within that scope somewhere). The increase in numbers in a short period of time was amazing. These fall under behavioral disorders.

However, when I think back (looking at my son and knowing what I know) and I think about my early years in school, I think about the kids we termed as the "trouble makers". Those that didn't sit still in class, was loud, disorderly, obnoxious, etc. (I am talking late 60's, early 70's here). I am sure all of us remember "those" kids.

I am beginning to wonder, perhaps those kids were not trouble makers, just something our medical field had yet to diagnose and define.

I also believe genetics could potentially be a link as well, but for my son that will be hard to find out, as no birth family to test to make that link with

posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by xtr3m3paranoia

My son was first given meds in 2nd grade for being ' hyper ' and not paying attention in class. Then it turned into an Aspergers diagnosis later at around 10 or so, very similar to your experience. He had been put on and taken off so many meds that I cannot remember them all.

Now he is 13 and having real problems, many of the Aspergers symptoms are not so bad, although challenging, but he has now been diagnosed as well with ODD, PDD, ADHD and Aspergers as well as unknown psycho type traits, although those are minimal...some mild paranoia about peoples intentions.

I ws 13 years older than my wife, and this child was our third and final child. I was 43-44 when he was born, older than the average father, and they say that might be a factor as well. My other two kids are fine, and although I blame the shots and preservatives to a degree, I cannot say what happened in him, whether it would have happened despite any other factors or not.

He does not show traits of autism to a great degree, except that lately he has been spending most of his time alone in a room, rocking back and forth constantly while listening to his MP3. I do not think that it is autism related, and his doctor says it might be the ADHD hyperness coming out.

He does not comprehend body language at all. He hates to be touched, especially by people that are not family, and he answers and speaks in monotones, expressionless, and flat ..He can verbalize when he wants to although under any stress he starts stuttering, but when calm that is not a factor at all. He has no empathy for others: If he saw you get hit by a car he would probably burst out laughing at the sight of a body flipping threu the would simply not occur to him that he should be horrified: If he does not experince it, then he does not relate to it affecting someone else.

He is totally self centered and only concerned about what he wants and needs. He has to be reminded and bugged every day all day to pick up his clothes he drops when done with them, brush his teeth, etc. He would not take care of basic hygiene if allowed to let it go. He is suspisious and literal: The first time he was big enough to ride in the front seat of our car, he read the warning label for the air bags and refused to sit there, because the label said " May cause injury or death " he said " Why would I sit there if it can kill me?"

Not to long ago, he asked me if the cat's ( we have two indoor kitties) had told me anything about him. I was totally in the dark about what he meant. Then, I recalled that long ago, he was staying upstairs while we were downstairs and I said, in jest " Hey, if you do anything wrong , the kitty cats are going to tell me, you cannot get away with anything". He actually thought that somehow the cats were able to tell me what he was up to, and obviously he had a guilty conscience about it as he was curious if he was in trouble. He knew the cats had seen him and that we had not!!

I had to explain that cats cannot talk and that it was a joke. BUT, he is a real genius with academics and computers, etc. he does well in school and never missed a grade, but cannot socialize at all. He has never had a pal, or been invited to a party, nothing. he knows he is different and feels that others can tell by looking at him, which is totally not true. If some other kid looks at him too long he might very well challenge him and use bad words to do it. Consequences mean nothing; it is too late and impulsive behavior cannot be controlled.

He cannot understand that adults can have more things than him; age means nothing. He wants all things that he can get, and is always trying to be ' grown up ' , yet quite immature in almost all ways.He does not like to be hugged, and is wooden and does not return affection. If qa non family member were to topuch him, he might well get very uncomfortable, or even accuse an adult of being a ' pedophile '. He does not understand why people want to touch him in good ways; after geting the lecture about ' bad touching ' all kids get, he associated almost all touching with bad intent.

That is not easy for a family, and to not get or be able to give affection to a child is not fun. He is very sensitive to touch, sound, taste and hearing. He does not do well in groups and does best when alone and not distracted. He needs one on one at school, which is almost impossible to get. He looks fine, a big strapping kid with good looks, so people expect far more from him than some child with Downs or a retarded child or a wheelchair bound child...but his disabilities are just as serious, but not quite as limiting in some few ways.

I am facing the facts with terrible sadness: My son will probably always have to live in a group home after I die or in a place where he can be helped to maintain his care and health. He could work a regular job if conditions were right, he can master a computer game or complex situation easily..they say that Aspergers kids may be one step away from true genius..yet are not as able to deal with the real world issues. They need a perfect setting to thrive, and those are almost impossible to find without vast resources.

He now takes 4 major meds a day: Depakote and Strattera and Clonidine and Abilify..although I have dropped the Abilify to half as I have a gutfeeling that it is causing more harm than good. Meds are a nightmare' the side effects can mask or be the same as original symptoms, thus one never knows if we are seeing a kid that is nothing but the result of all those meds creating the problems, or is he has then without any meds. I want at some point to take him off ALL meds and see who the hell he really is.

If it turns out that all he is is an Asspergers kid, then he really doesn't need a lot of meds, just social adjustments and care. it may be that the meds have created the majority of never knows, and that is the hard part. Nothing is ever really definite, the doctors are all hesitant to make predictions, and we take it one day at a time.

I guess thats all anyone can do, but for a kid with these disabilities, one day can be a very very long affair. All the best to you and your precious child, and always demdn kore and more from the doctors, ask question, challenge them, and do not be afraid to take charge and question meds as well as dosages. Best of luck.


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