Monday, February 19, 2007

Genetic Autism Links Uncovered

Autism, a still relatively unknown disorder in a world of medical knowledge, is known a little more known. In the biggest Autism and genetics study in history two new genetic links may have been uncovered that cause a child to be at greater risk for the disorder. The study postulated that many more minor factors all contributed to a child having or not having the disorder while it was previously thought that one or a few larger disorders were behind it.

It is the hopes of the entire medical community that by finding out what causes Autism that we will be able to effectively develop a form of treatment for it. A new project has been announced that will hope to map the genetics of the disorder to find what factors affect its presence and severity. This particular study focused on families with two or more children with Autism so gene comparison could determine similar characteristics between the two.

For those unfamiliar with Autism it is not a singular disorder but rather a series of disorders that range in severity from person to person and that are caused or at the very least influenced by genetics and the environment. It occurs in very young children (typically 2-3 years old) and affects 400% more boys than girls. As more research has become available most feel a majority of the causes of Autism-linked traits are indeed genetic, which in turn means they will likely be harder to treat than environmentally linked causes.

[via CNN]

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