October 06, 2004
BehindTheMedspeak: Is autism acquired or inherited?
Recent work published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics suggests it's largely inherited.
These findings are highly controversial, because there are many who believe that environmental causes - such as contaminated vaccines - are to blame.
For every paper blaming vaccines or environmental causes, there's one refuting them.
No matter the cause, autism is definitely on the rise, occurring 10 times more frequently now than in the late 1980s.
One in every 250 children born in the U.S. has some form of autism, which is proving to be a very broad-spectrum diagnosis, rather than the limited, focal constellation of symptoms previously considered diagnostic.
Over 1.5 million Americans are believed to have some form of the syndrome.
The incidence is increasing 10%-17% every year, such that 4 million Americans will suffer from it within a decade.
Scientists have long believed that genetics play a role in the occurrence of autism, because identical twins are more likely to share the diagnosis than fraternal twins.
Scientists led by Yong-hei Jiang at Baylor University College of Medicine suggest many cases of autism can be tracked to two or more principal genes, probably including one known as the Angelman gene.
"We believe that this model is highly likely to apply to some small fraction of autism cases, but more importantly, we propose that it will explain the majority of cases of autism."
[via Victoria Griffith and The Financial Times]
October 6, 2004 at 12:01 PM | Permalink
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my husband is autistic will our baby be autistic
Posted by: jackline | Nov 18, 2005 8:33:18 PM
Joe, this isn't up to your usual standard. The politics of the MMR ---> autism in the UK has been widely publicized (Dr Michael Fitzpatrick's work, http://www.spiked-online.com/Sections/health/MMR/Index.htm). The thimerosal--->autism has been widely tested and refuted. See the link below for a lay explanation.
One type of autism now diagnosed, Asperger's syndrome, wasn't even in DSM IV until 1994
The behavior clinic at Yale is a good place to start:
Posted by: Liz Ditz | Dec 6, 2004 1:31:47 AM
My boyfriend's brother is authistic and I 'd like to know whether if we have a baby tthere would be chances that even our child will be prone to similar problems
Posted by: Mary smith | Dec 4, 2004 12:49:36 PM
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