Researchers studying Autism have identified several notable factors that may give clues as to some of the ways typical autistic behaviours develop. They found that people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders were more likely to have one copy of certain genes when they should have two. Gene deletions happen in everyone, but people on the autistic spectrum are more likely to have many deletions, and it has recently been discovered that deletions of one or two specific genes appear to be common in autism, and that the deletions contribute to the development of this disorder. Some of the most common deletions in the autistic individuals were linked to autophagy – kind of waste-disposal and renewal process for cells. This is important during brain development because the brain produces many more synapses – electrical signals – than it needs, and if the excesses aren’t disposed of, it causes problems, such as difficulties communicating, and social behaviour.
This is an area of great interest, since about 1 percent of the population has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The findings are hopeful for faster detection of Autism as well as improved treatment of and support for common symptoms.
For more info on the support we provide for children and adults with autism, contact the Special People North office at 01625 583 957 or firstname.lastname@example.org