Autism in Our Genes?

New research published in Nature suggests there is an abnormal genetic pattern evident in some children who ultimately develop autism spectrum disorder. ABC News reports that scientists have discovered genetic aberrations found exclusively in autistic children that, while unique to each child, represents a possible breakthrough in the search for an early screening intervention. Early identification of autism would allow for earlier medical interventions that might improve the chances of treatment being effective.

ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan emphasized the significance of these findings in the midst of claims that post-natal exposures can cause autism. These genetic underpinnings occur during development, not in early childhood years when they are exposed to environmental factors such as vaccines.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross, however, cautions We cannot make sweeping generalizations about the etiology of autism because these genetic abnormalities only apply to 3 percent of the autistic population. However, any incremental knowledge we get about autism is very helpful.