One of the most common questions asked after a diagnosis of autism, is what caused the disorder. We know that there's no one cause of autism. Research. Although sometimes cited as a cause of autism, there is no evidence that vaccinations cause autism. The exact reason why autism happens isn't clear. Research. Does a friend or family member have a child with autism? Autism rates seem to be skyrocketing. Among children who are 8 years old, autism has nearly doubled .
Causes Autism? What
Share Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email. Scientists don't know exactly what causes autism spectrum disorder ASD. Scientists are studying some of the following as possible causes of or contributors to ASD. Interactions between Genes and the Environment. Some of these include: Problems with brain connections Problems with growth or overgrowth in certain areas of the brain Problems with metabolism the body's energy production system Problems in the body's immune system, which protects against infections.
Exploring the environmental contribution. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 22 2: Genetic heritability and shared environmental factors among twin pairs with autism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68 11 , — Common gene variants account for most genetic risk for autism. It is particularly important to realise that an intervention which works well with one person may not be appropriate or effective with another, and that there can be much controversy over what an appropriate and effective intervention might entail.
The characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Two people with the same diagnosis can have a very different profile of needs and skills. There is a growing movement among activist adults who are on the autism spectrum who don't think in terms of 'curing' a disorder but instead of celebrating diversity.
This is not to suggest that autistic people or those with other diagnoses do not find life challenging, but that they frame autism within a social model of disability. Please take time to read their viewpoints below.
Autism Rights Group Highland , a website with a number of articles and recordings. Identity-First Autistic , a collection of blogs and articles on identity-first language. Is autism really a disorder? National Autistic People's Organisation. Scientists studied the concordance of autism in these sets of twins — the percentage chance that if one twin had autism, the other would too.
They found a significantly higher concordance in identical twins, who have largely identical DNA, suggesting that autism has a genetic basis.
If parents have one child with autism, there is a 5 to 20 per cent chance that their second child will also have autism. We now know that as with numerous other traits, including height and intelligence, autism spectrum disorder involves many different genetic variations acting together. No single gene is enough to produce autism, but the more mutations you have in specific parts of your DNA, the greater your chances of an autism diagnosis. To identify the exact regions of DNA associated with the disorder, scientists study large numbers of people affected by autism.
This approach is called a genome-wide association study GWAS. As with genetics, no single environmental factor definitively causes autism. Instead, a range of environmental influences seems to exist.
For example, an epidemiological study led by QBI Professor John McGrath found that women deficient in Vitamin D during pregnancy had children with an increased risk of autism.
A lack of Vitamin D is just one risk factor, but it can also interact with other environmental variables.
What causes autism?
Many causes of autism have been proposed, but understanding of the theory of causation of autism and the other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is incomplete . These articles discuss some of the possible causes of autism, and some thoughts on the concept of a 'cure'. One of the great and enduring mysteries of autism is what causes the brain to develop so differently.