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Medicine Science

Researchers Identify Genetic Systems Disrupted In Autistic Brain 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the plotting-the-most-complex-map dept.
hessian sends this excerpt from Medical Xpress "Autism has a strong genetic basis, but so far efforts to identify the responsible genes have had mixed results. The reason for this is that autism is influenced by many different genes, and different genes are involved in different individuals, making it hard to find the common genetic ground between patients. Now, research conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has shown that despite this fact, the different genes involved in autism tend to be involved in specific processes in the brain. This can explain, on the one hand, similarities in the behavioral symptoms of different autistics, but also the large spectrum of behaviors observed in different autistic individuals."
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Researchers Identify Genetic Systems Disrupted In Autistic Brain

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  • It will be difficult to work around the bugs.
    • In some cases I'd consider them bugs, in other cases they're arguably features. Who knows what the world would look like today if Nikola Tesla had been born normal.
      • Indeed. Once you get used to it, you find it hard to believe that the rest of the world can't think like you. For the autistic (the high functioning ones), they find their minds highly logical, and can't understand how that is a "weird" thing. As far as I'm concerned it's an advantage one ought to be proud of.

        • by networkBoy (774728) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @02:25PM (#39859897) Homepage Journal

          My son is a high functioning Autism spectrum disorder child. He is 7 and has his feelings hurt quite genuinely and easily.
          That is the hard part about being a parent of a child with this issue. His mom and I long ago decided it is not a disability, and not to treat it as such. You are very correct that he has an extremely ordered mindset, very logical and very strongly identified concept of right and wrong. The kicker is that his labels of right and wrong are very accurate, not just with the niavite of a 7 year old. The hardest part is helping him understand that the world is distinctively unfair. That right and wrong, while ideal logical statements often have substantial color to them that makes right wrong and wrong right enough to really make it difficult to just say "That's not right". One of his current passions (they seem to run in very deep streaks) is martial arts. The high focus / high structure seems to really work well for him.

          I think he has a future that will be bright, as long as I can help steer his course in life towards something that resonates with him.

          Since it sounds like you have experience in this environment, have you any sage advice for a parent that wants to do the right thing for his child?

          -nB

          • by elgeeko.com (2472782) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @03:04PM (#39860371) Homepage
            One of my closest friends is a high functioning Autistic. He's a wonderful human being and I cherish our friendship. He does have a high degree of social interaction problems and he was in his mid thirties before we could go out in public without him having an episode or creating a scene (he doesn't like people touching him or making eye contact).

            I met him when we were in middle school and he was often a target of bullying. As we moved into high school the bullying started to become worse, but there were several of us who befriended him and it soon became known that to mess with him was to mess with us.

            Today he lives on his own and has married a woman very similar to himself, he still can't manage his own finances and he does require some watching but he holds down a very nice job as a data analyst (his mind was made for abstract numbers) and lives a mostly normal life. The older he gets the better his social skills become, although he is definitely different.

            Ironically I don't think there's a darn thing wrong with him, he's perfect just the way he is. Yes, he's different, but in so many wonderful ways.

            You're right, your son is not disabled and you're doing the right thing by not treating him like he is. He might be different, but that doesn't mean he's disabled, it just means he's different.
            • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

              After reading the description of your friend, I realize that I'm a lot like him - sans the protection racket that he got, that is.

              Since I was a kid - heck, since I was a little baby - I always know that the world is totally fucked up because they just can't see what I see and they just can't think what I think

              Yes, I had a really bad time adjusting, but adjusting I did - and still do

              While my IQ is way over 200, my EQ is still lower than a kindergaten toddler.

              And to that dad of that special boy, to you, I wil

          • by netsavior (627338) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @04:28PM (#39861383)

            Since it sounds like you have experience in this environment, have you any sage advice for a parent that wants to do the right thing for his child?

            I am autistic and I grew up in special needs classes and went on to college and now work in a marginally social insurance analysis software development role for a big company. I have a wife, a bunch of kids, a full life.
            The big piece of advice is: let him follow his passions, and they will change often, there really is no fighting it, and hey like me he might even end up using it for a nicely compensated occupation.

            My second is, try to do your best to teach him how and why to lie. Anybody can say things that aren't true, but the little social lies everyone tells every day were the hardest thing I ever had to overcome. You described a highly black and white world, and largely I had the same thing. I had no idea why you would pretend to not to be disgusted by religious people, or why you wouldn't say things like "no thanks I don't eat food served by people who have dirty shirts and nervous fingernail habits." There is a very blurry line between tact and deceit and that took me a lot of bullying and a lot of painful trial and error to figure out, it is not typically intuative for an autistic person, because largely we would prefer to know the real reasons behind things, but non-autistic people prefer to be lied to in social situations.

            Most of the lies I tell people in a social context are straight out of movie scripts, because I can never figure out how to word it correctly on my own. People seldom notice, and when they do they think I am making an "in" joke with them. It is a win-win.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by w.hamra1987 (1193987)

            It seems like you have the right idea of how to deal with him.

            You are right, it's not a disability. The most important thing to consider, is getting him ready for the world outside. His interaction with society will never be as normal and easy as with the majority of people, but with proper training, and education, he can act like it is. People with autism lack empathy, and don't understand human emotions properly. It confuses them, and can put them in awkward positions as they rack their brain trying to gu

            • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @06:05PM (#39862335)

              People with autism lack empathy, and don't understand human emotions properly. It confuses them, and can put them in awkward positions as they rack their brain trying to guess what a non-autistic person would have done in similar circumstances.

              Just wanted to mention, non-autistic people have the same lack of empathy toward autistic. And you'll also find a lot of empathy among those on the spectrum. (Seems to be especially strong among females on the spectrum, from what I've seen.) A lack of understanding of how that empathy is portrayed by autistics has resulted in a strong believe that there is a lack of empathy.

              • by Guppy (12314)

                Just wanted to mention, non-autistic people have the same lack of empathy toward autistic. And you'll also find a lot of empathy among those on the spectrum. (Seems to be especially strong among females on the spectrum, from what I've seen.) A lack of understanding of how that empathy is portrayed by autistics has resulted in a strong believe that there is a lack of empathy.

                This makes perfect sense, if you accept that the core essence of empathy is being able to create a "model of mind" for another being, and then look (back at yourself, out at the world) as that "model" would see/feel.

                To be able to do this when faced with the Alien is not easy.

            • Autistic people love rules, love routine, and teaching them proper responses to common questions, proper behaviour to common incidents, will certainly make them much happier in life.

              I agree. The problem that I've found as an Aspie, however, is that a lot of neurotypical people don't know how to express these rules, and especially the principles underlying them, in a language that I understand.

              If they dont know how to respond to something, they'll try and remember taught rules, then try to remember past experiences

              And without taught rules, sometimes they'll overgeneralize from past experiences, or they'll undergeneralize and end up in trouble again.

              maybe something they've seen in a movie

              Hence the CSI Effect [tvtropes.org] and other unsafe cases [tvtropes.org] of confusion that results from misapplying storytelling tropes to real life.

          • by MarkRose (820682)

            I used to have extremely black & white thinking, and was often accused of having it (as derision). The high functioning autistic mind will often attempt to enforce rules of logic where there is none to tame and make sense of an illogical world. It wasn't until I started learning about various forms of philosophy that my mind expanded to see the shades of grey. A simple example is democracy: on the one hand, it promises fairness by giving everyone equal say; but on the other, the majority has tyranny ove

          • I would like to add a note here on behalf of those Autistic people who are not high functioning, as many of them are unable to post on internet sites. I have worked with many of them and it is a really serious disability. High functioning autistic people are able to live fairly normal lives and can be fascinating people to know, at the other end of the spectrum though it can be pretty hard.
      • In some cases I'd consider [autism symptoms] bugs, in other cases they're arguably features.

        Someone on a board I hang out on told me that Asperger syndrome exists as a check on the social facade [wikipedia.org] to prevent it from diverging too far from honesty. Consider this article about how extroverts answer personality surveys [livescience.com].

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Unless you believe in creationism, there are no "bugs" in an organism (just real bugs like fleas and bacteria). A bug is when you write a program and it doesn't behave like the programmer wanted it to behave.

      If you are a creationist, how do you know that God didn't deliberately design some infants with autism?

      • If you are a creationist, how do you know that God didn't deliberately design some infants with autism?

        Everything that God created in the six creative ages was "very good", without disability, according to Genesis 1. Imperfection entered humankind through Adam.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          That's true, but who are you or I to say that autism is a flaw or disability at all? I'd be willing to bet that Thor (inventor of the hammer) and prometheus (tamer of fire) were high functioning autistics.

          And I don't know what version of the bible you're reading, but "without disability" isn't in the King James version. Are you reading that (very bad) edition that says "do not lie" rather than "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" (do not SLANDER)?

          Oh, and imperfection isn't what the bible

          • by tepples (727027)

            And I don't know what version of the bible you're reading

            New World Translation, similar methodology to the English Standard Version.

            but "without disability" isn't in the King James version.

            It was a paraphrase; hence the lack of quote marks. I was expressing my own understanding of what it means when God, the very personification of perfection, calls something "very good". But the KJV does mention "without blemish" several times. Would not low-functioning autism be considered a "blemish" on man?

            Are you reading that (very bad) edition that says "do not lie"

            My Bible has "You must not testify falsely as a witness against your fellowman." (Exodus 20:16) Among these translations of the [bible.cc]

            • by Chris Burke (6130)

              It was a paraphrase; hence the lack of quote marks. I was expressing my own understanding of what it means when God, the very personification of perfection, calls something "very good". But the KJV does mention "without blemish" several times. Would not low-functioning autism be considered a "blemish" on man?

              Let's not go projecting our human notions of what's "good" and what's a "blemish" are on God, okay? It just smacks of hubris.

              BTW, this is still true if we replace God with "nature".

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              are you referring to the "GOD'S WORD(R) Translation"?

              Yes, after reading that one I decided to stick to good ol' King James. I can't trust a bible that's under copyright protection. No man should have a monopoly on God's word.

              • I can't trust a bible that's under copyright protection.

                Three works of authorship are subject to perpetual copyright-like rights in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. One of the three is the King James Version of the Bible.

                No man should have a monopoly on God's word.

                Which is why the Watch Tower Society puts its literal New World Translation [watchtower.org] online and distributes printed copies at no charge.

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Three works of authorship are subject to perpetual copyright-like rights in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

                  Interesting, where can I learn more? But it's public domain everywhere else.

                  Which is why the Watch Tower Society puts its literal New World Translation online and distributes printed copies at no charge.

                  Isn't that the Jehova's Witnesses? I don't trust them, either.

                  • by tepples (727027)

                    Three works of authorship are subject to perpetual copyright-like rights in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

                    Interesting, where can I learn more?

                    Learn about it from one advocate of KJV-onlyism [kjvonly.org] or from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. (The other two works with perpetual copyright-like rights in the UK are the Book of Common Prayer and Peter Pan.)

                    the Watch Tower Society puts its literal New World Translation online and distributes printed copies at no charge

                    Isn't that the Jehova's Witnesses? I don't trust them, either.

                    Why not, might I ask?

                    • by mcgrew (92797) *

                      Why not, might I ask?

                      Because I've spoken to quite a few of them in my time (I've been stuck on this rock for sixty years) and every single one seemed crazy. Plus, I don't like door to door salesmen.

                      They do have quite a few views I agree with, like not liking Christmas trees and Easter Bunnies.

                      Thanks for those links, that was informative. I found this [wikipedia.org] linked from the wikipedia article you cited especially interesting, and makes me like the KJV that much more.

                    • I've spoken to quite a few of [Jehovah's Witnesses] and every single one seemed crazy.

                      In the first century, Jesus seemed crazy.

                      Plus, I don't like door to door salesmen.

                      JWs base their "house to house" ministry on Acts 5:42 [bible.cc], if I remember correctly. JWs aren't obligated to preach that way, as I understand it; it's just one thing they can do in addition to sharing the gospel with friends and family.

                      [A list of verses omitted from most modern translations of the Greek Scriptures] makes me like the KJV that much more.

                      The Greek Scriptures in the Luther Bible, KJV, and NKJV are based on TR [wikipedia.org], as opposed to the NU [wikipedia.org] (Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies) text based on the oldest manuscripts, which underlies NIV, NWT, and most other twentieth-century transla

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:32PM (#39859243) Journal

    Hear that Andrew Wakefield, you murdering piece of trash! Real researchers are finding real causes for autism, and not making them up and compromising the health of tens of thousands of people to make a buck.

    May you roast in hell, and in the meantime come down with some particular noisome and noxious kind of cancer that makes you smell like rotting flesh and cause unceasing and unbelievable agony.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:47PM (#39859429) Homepage

      No, no, no.... See, the vaccines contain chemicals like dihydrogen monoxide that travel through the bloodstream up to the brain, where they interact with the homeopathic echoes of infancy still resonating in the neurons. These deadly chemicals then alter the genes to cause further infant behavior, as has been observed here. Since the child now has to fight against these infant tendencies, development is slowed in what we call "autism".

      Totally makes sense, I swear...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is true that, if there were no dihydrogen monoxide in the brain, the child would not exhibit autism.

        • You know it is also scientific fact that all people with mental disorders, terrorists and pedophiles have dihydrogen monoxide in their bodies. Surely we must think of the children's mental and physical healthy while punishing terrorists. Ban the stuff!

      • Well played sir, well played.
        -nB

      • Should be fixable with a quick sonic screwdrivering, then.

  • Something to ponder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Terwin (412356) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:51PM (#39859457)

    Considering that low levels of autism-like symptoms seem to be prevalent in engineering disciplines, is this something that could be used to turn your dreamy/artistic/social child into more of a nerd/engineer type?

    Also, I wonder what sort of reaction there would be if instead of autism, this paper was dealing with a potential to detect/fix some more politically sensitive group such as the GLBT community

    • Considering that low levels of autism-like symptoms seem to be prevalent in engineering disciplines, is this something that could be used to turn your dreamy/artistic/social child into more of a nerd/engineer type?

      Also, I wonder what sort of reaction there would be if instead of autism, this paper was dealing with a potential to detect/fix some more politically sensitive group such as the GLBT community

      People with severe gayness can still function in the world, autism not so much, some can not even talk, they simply communicate through pointing and grunting.

      • ... and hacking your electronics into oblivion when provoked.

      • I wonder what sort of reaction there would be if instead of autism, this paper was dealing with a potential to detect/fix some more politically sensitive group such as the GLBT community

        People with severe gayness can still function in the world, autism not so much, some can not even talk, they simply communicate through pointing and grunting.

        OK, but if you can point and grunt, you fit the profile of the typical GUI user, right?

      • some [people with low-functioning autism] can not even talk, they simply communicate through pointing and grunting.

        So in other words, neurotypicality is like the command line and low-functioning autism is like a GUI. Or what do I misunderstand?

    • So your saying that instead of the research being about a disability that millions of parents fear and hundreds of thousands of children are diagnosed with, the research would be about who someone is sexually attracted to? I'd call it a waste of money, but not much beyond that; I don't understand why researching the normal ranges of human sexuality would be interesting. It would be like spending hundreds of millions of dollars to identify what genes cause red hair.

      Besides, I think you'd find the ultra-con

      • I believe the parent is alluding to the fact that there are members of the autistic community who campaign for its classification as a condition, rather than a pathology. I actually support several implications of this claim, but my views are not important: what is important is that no one should go shooting off their mouth about how they should "cure" someone who has no wish to be cured. Not that I object to the aims of this study, it's just something to keep in mind while we look for ways to prevent this
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I believe the parent is alluding to the fact that there are members of the autistic community who campaign for its classification as a condition, rather than a pathology. I actually support several implications of this claim, but my views are not important: what is important is that no one should go shooting off their mouth about how they should "cure" someone who has no wish to be cured.

          Not that I object to the aims of this study, it's just something to keep in mind while we look for ways to prevent this "horrible disease."

          My daughter is autistic and to any parent that thinks it's special and thinks it's what makes their kid, their kid, "fuck you!". Seriously, I'd cure it in a second, just like most people would make their teenage daughter magically "un-pregnant" if they could wave a wand and make it like it had never happened.

          • by Guignol (159087)
            Yep, I have two out of three (there should have been four) kids with autistic "features"
            This is hell
            In fact I gave up and knowingly turned away to alcohol, waiting for some other kind of (less) painful death
          • No, fuck YOU (Score:2, Interesting)

            by shiftless (410350)

            My daughter is autistic and to any parent that thinks it's special and thinks it's what makes their kid, their kid, "fuck you!"

            This condition IS a huge part of what makes me special, bro. I will make billions of dollars in my lifetime thanks to this condition. Yes it has given me challenges, but you know what, I have benefited from learning to overcome them.

            Your ignorance and stupidity is disgusting and revolting. Look in the mirror. Animals like you are driven by your fear, not facts and reason. You are so busy stampeding towards a "cure" for "autism" (who can say with certainty what the fuck autism even IS, anyway?) to fix your O

            • Re:No, fuck YOU (Score:4, Insightful)

              by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @05:01PM (#39861755) Homepage Journal

              You're not going to make a billion dollars, slow the fuck down.

              Also, genius, it's a spectrum disorder. Ranging from people who might have it, or are just using it as an excuse to be a dick, like you, to people who can not funtion.

              You falsely link intelligent with autism. IF someone made it so you were comfortable around people, you would still be just as smart as you atr. Not nearly as smart as you think you are, but that's the case now, so no change.

              Parents of Kids that rock back in forth all day, drool on themselves and can't communicate would probably love to cure the disorder.

              • You're not going to make a billion dollars, slow the fuck down.

                Says who? Who are you again?

                Also, genius, it's a spectrum disorder. Ranging from people who might have it, or are just using it as an excuse to be a dick, like you, to people who can not funtion.

                .....and your point is?

                You falsely link intelligent with autism.

                Intelligence*

                You have no clue what reasoning I've taken to come to my conclusion, because I haven't explained it to you ..... nor do I feel any obligation to.

                Not nearly as smart as you think you are, but that's the case now, so no change.

                You just love saying that, don't you? I wonder why you feel so driven to insult me?

                IF someone made it so you were comfortable around people, you would still be just as smart as you atr.

                are*

                What makes you ASSume "being uncomfortable around people" is my definition of "autistic"? That's a simplistic definition invented by a simpleton.

                Parents of Kids that rock back in forth all day, drool on themselves and can't communicate would probably love to cure the disorder.

                Sure. And I bet parents of kids who "don't listen", who forget things t

        • Have you ever met someone with real, severe autism. Not "I'm so quirky and antisocial, I think I has aspergers" but the debilitating flavor that basically means they will never be able to live on their own, never be able to form any but the most rudimentary relationships (and even then only with those dedicated to their care), and never be able to have real back and forth communication with another human being?

          Perhaps there are sections of the Autism spectrum disorder that are just part of the normal human

          • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @02:50PM (#39860183) Journal
            A friend of mine has a son with this level of autism. He is 15 years old, cannot speak, and can only communicate via words typed on a laptop. She cried when he "said" his first words at the age of 11 after months of type therapy, which was "want ice cream" ... cried not only in happiness, because due to the expense of his care, she did not have any ice cream to give him as a reward. High functioning autism may be quirky, but low functioning autism is devastating AND horrifically expensive to deal with.
            • High functioning autism may be quirky, but low functioning autism is devastating AND horrifically expensive to deal with.

              Which makes it unconscionable to me that private insurance tries so hard not to cover it. Oh in my state it is technically mandated, but since the therapists are all out of network you're paying at least 50% out of pocket, assuming you've already met your yearly deductible and they can't exclude you due to 'lifetime coverage limits'.

              • I wonder if some of this is that there are so many therapies that are not well researched. My sister-in-law has multiple kids with ASD from mild/middle of the road Aspergers Syndrome to full blown can't speak Autism. She is one of the "vaccine caused" types and goes for all kinds of kooky therapies that I can completely understand not being covered. The therapies that are most researched and tested are ones she doesn't want, but are understandably covered therapies in her insurance. She would rather pay

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Besides, I think you'd find the ultra-conservative "homosexuality is a choice" crowd more upset with the research than the liberal "homosexuality is innate" crowd.

        Ultra-conservatives may be different where you come from, but in my country they're spilt between the camps of "homosexuality is ungodly and needs to be burned out" and "homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured". To them saying it's a choice is like admitting it's normal, like the choice between chocolate or strawberry.

        BTW, nothing against gays mind you.

        • Besides, I think you'd find the ultra-conservative "homosexuality is a choice" crowd more upset with the research than the liberal "homosexuality is innate" crowd.

          Ultra-conservatives may be different where you come from, but in my country they're spilt between the camps of "homosexuality is ungodly and needs to be burned out" and "homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured". To them saying it's a choice is like admitting it's normal, like the choice between chocolate or strawberry. BTW, nothing against gays mind you.

          You forgot the more prevalent third group, they don't give a shit what you do just stay out of their wallet.

      • So your saying that instead of the research being about a disability that millions of parents fear and hundreds of thousands of children are diagnosed with, the research would be about who someone is sexually attracted to? I'd call it a waste of money, but not much beyond that; I don't understand why researching the normal ranges of human sexuality would be interesting.

        Do you find porn interesting?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        No, he seems to be asking what would people be saying if this research detected the homosexuality was a genetic expression. ONe that could potentially be changed.

        It's a good question. He isn't saying where any money should be spent.

        You're being overly touchy.

    • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @02:30PM (#39859959)

      Considering that low levels of autism-like symptoms seem to be prevalent in engineering disciplines, is this something that could be used to turn your dreamy/artistic/social child into more of a nerd/engineer type?

      Oh fuck off.

      Being an engineer/nerd does not make you autistic.

      Fuck off

      Sorry, but that makes me feel better, I'm not posting as AC and the troll mods be dammed, I'm both a network engineer and diagnosed as having aspergers, on the very mild end of the autistic spectrum of disorders. Most people who post this have no fucking idea what it means to have an autistic disorder. I'm good at my job but talking to people, even people I know well is difficult. Yep, I can interrogate a thousand databases, connect VPN's the world over, figure out connectivity problems from a few clues but fucked if I can make small talk. This would also explain why I'm attracted to women who cant speak English properly (read: Asian) because they have more patience for my broken speech.

      So I can do complex maths in my head but going to a restaurant makes me scared, when I go to a fast food joint like McD's or Nando's I order the same fucking thing every time, why? Because I fucking practised how to say it. I hate talking to strangers and that's not because I hate strangers, I've got nothing against people I don't know but it's hard for me to talk to them. It takes a great deal of effort to talk to people and I'm considered a success case because I can hold down a fucking client facing job. I can talk to people, but I'd rather not because of the fear factor, it takes a good amount of will power to start conversations with suppliers and clients even though when it's over I don't understand what made it hard in the first place. I can do it, but as I said I'd rather use other means of communication like email.

      I know the GP meant no harm but I'm a little bit incensed over the notion that you can just "turn" and autistic person into an engineer because it doesn't work like that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Yes, social skill and analysis skill are different. Your point?

        "ust "turn" and autistic person into an engineer because it doesn't work like that."
        How do you know?
        I mean, no one else does, so , please, clue me in n your discovery. I assume you will be in next years Nobel list.

        And you post reads like some who has assburgers instead of aspergers.

    • Also, I wonder what sort of reaction there would be if instead of autism, this paper was dealing with a potential to detect/fix some more politically sensitive group such as the GLBT community

      Not sure how that matters. We couldn't do anything about the genes. Gene therapy never really got off the ground. We can't reprogram DNA. Even if we could in the next few years, we STILL probably couldn't do anything about autism. The structure of the brain isn't completely plastic, it's likely that the disease will maintain itself even absent the genetics that made it autistic in the first place.

      So would a "politically sensitive" community like GLB get upset if someone looked into the genetic cause

  • The first attempt to make the syndrome seem not-so-bad was the labeling of "simple". When you called someone "simple", others knew what you meant, but it was clear you were sympathetic to their state. That changed dramatically over the course of a decade or two, as "simple" took extremely negative connotations.

    The next derivation of the term was "dumb". By calling someone this, you avoided the idea of "low intelligence" all together. In fact, you were saying they were quite smart, but just weak with ver

    • Well, they've shown a strong convergence in the symptoms that we're calling "autism" that are distinct, though are often found along with mental retardation. Autism often occurs alongside mental retardation, but not always, and an autistic person may have an overall IQ between vegetable and super genius. It's a specific deficit in communication and social intelligence, as opposed to a general intelligence classification.
  • "Autism has a strong genetic basis, but so far efforts to identify the responsible genes have had mixed results. The reason for this is that autism is influenced by many different genes, and different genes are involved in different individuals, making it hard to find the common genetic ground between patients."

    Perhaps, alternately to considering a more complex/obfuscated genetic basis, we should again consider a NON-genetic basis?

    How about the experiment everyone conveniently chooses to forget, the o
    • by geekoid (135745)

      A) Identical twins does not mean 100% identical genes
      B) Identical Genes don'e mean identical expression.

      I notice how conveniently you choose to ignore the fact that you don't really know anything about genes or genetic twin.
      .

    • by shiftless (410350)

      How about it? Clearly their genes were not actually identical (do you think our sequencing abilities today are perfect?), OR there is more complexity in the genetic mechanics than you and every other short sighted scientist knows or believes (not just likely--TRUE.)

      I am autistic (Central Auditory Processing Disorder, with autism), and I am quite certain in my case it's inherited.

    • There are multiple genetic factors that are strongly linked to Autism. That's not really a huge debate in the field. None of the factors are absolute: they don't guarantee the occurrence of autism, instead, they are associated with increased risk.

      This isn't a novelty in the psychiatric genetics world. The same holds true for schizophrenia, depression and other mood disorders, and most other brain disorders for that matter. It is likely that this has to do with an interaction between disease genes and
    • You should look up 'X chromosome Mosaicism'. In female mammals, each cell deactivates one of the two X chromosomes. It basically happens randomly, so *any* female mammal is a mix of cells with about half having an active *maternal* X chromosome, and the others having an active paternal X chromosome.

      Identical twins will have different patterns of X chromosome activation. This can be a completely visible difference, such as in tortiseshell or calico cats

      So, if any of the AD genes are on the X chromosome, t

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @04:22PM (#39861315) Homepage Journal

    Keep moving forward.

    Now if they can only find a genetic link in why so many people on /. have Assburgers~

    reference:
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-real-diseases-that-have-somehow-become-trendy/ [cracked.com]

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