Autism More Complex Than We Thought: New Study Breakthrough Could Help Diagnosis and Treatment
Studies released Wednesday show Autism caused by hundreds of different mutations, not just one or two like previously thought. While this does not signify an immediate solution, it will allow researches a better understanding of what they are up against.
The journal Neuron, which published the studies, states “the findings [show] that autism disorders are genetically very complex, involving many potential changes in DNA that may produce, essentially, different forms of autism“. Due to the affected genes, the development of nerve synapses is affected. Synapses are the junctions between nerves which allows for communications between nerves. The journal further clarifies by stating that the study’s findings could assist in more accurate diagnosis, and more pin pointed treatments in the area of nerve function. These findings allow doctors and scientists to understand there are many different areas of the genome affected by autism and they now understand there are different ways to get Autism.
Scientists have been aware of the ability to contract Autism genetically with 25% of cases being inherited. However there has been the mystery of families with no Autism involvement, these studies have the potential to shed light on the matter. An additional puzzle piece brought forward by these studies is that the changes in DNA seem to affect boys and girls differently, with boys being more affected than girls experiencing the same rate of change. Scientist remain puzzled by this factor and will research further. Further studies are also indicated in determining what is triggering the DNA mutations.
Autism is a serious, wide-spread affliction in this country, with 1 in 110 children having an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include, but are not limited to, difficulties with social interactions, narrow field of interests, altered IQ levels, repetitive motions or behaviors, and language difficulties.
As a parent, it is important if your child is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to remember that they are still the same child you have loved all along and the diagnosis will not take that away. A diagnosis is going to help you to understand and support them better. Early detection is key to building your child into the best they can be, this study could very well provide a solid foundation to an early clinical test rather than waiting to notice symptoms before starting therapies and interventions.
Image courtesy of Google images.