Recent study finds large environmental component to autism

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Koko23
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05 Jul 2011, 4:04 pm

Genetic factors are also implicated, but this article emphasizes the mysterious "prenatal conditions" that have a greater effect than genetic factors (but they note that other studies have estimated a much greater genetic component).

NY Times release:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/healt ... tml?ref=us

Publication in the Archives of General Psychiatry:

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/conten ... ry.2011.76

"Susceptibility to ASD has moderate genetic heritability and a substantial shared twin environmental component."

Interesting. So maybe prenatal hormones are even more important than genetics. Suspect #1: testosterone?



SilverShoelaces
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05 Jul 2011, 4:54 pm

Thanks for posting. It was interesting!



Ashuahhe
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05 Jul 2011, 7:08 pm

"Nongenetic risk factors that may index environmental influences include parental age,24 low birth weight,25 multiple births,26 and maternal infections during pregnancy."

I know I had low birth weight and I have three other siblings. I can see some kind of connection



John_Browning
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06 Jul 2011, 1:11 am

In other words, they still don't know what causes autism but they had to release a report to justify their funding.


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06 Jul 2011, 1:53 am

Farther out than ever, a Sanford study of twins, 1/3 genetic, 1/3 environmental, 1/3 we have no idea.

Identical genetics, same womb, various outcomes.

Post birth, twins are raised together, environmental factors still blamed, when one develops autism.

We have studied, we now know less than ever.

For more funding, we are sure we can disprove everything.



Koko23
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06 Jul 2011, 11:27 am

Well I'm sure there are different causes for different cases of autism, and ideally we will determine what the most common causes are and use that information both for prevention, early identification of risk factors (e.g. in the womb), and for tailoring treatment to target the primary cause for each case.

I think some cases will be more hormonal, others more environmental, and others a combination of the two. Then, within each of those cases, there will be different hormonal/genetic abnormalities as well.

But we have to start somewhere!! ! Studies like this are helpful for ruling out single causes, and that is valuable.