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Medicine Science

Researchers Identify Genetic Systems Disrupted In Autistic Brain 167

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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  • 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.

  • 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

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


  • 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.

  • 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.
  • by ( 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.
  • No, fuck YOU (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shiftless ( 410350 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @03:40PM (#39860833) Homepage

    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 OWN problems (YOUR daughter and HER condition), that you would gladly, willingly, happily, ignorantly run right over and fuck over others like me in the process.

    If it were up to stupid assholes like yourself, people like me would be identified at 3 years old as "autistic", then immediately put on prescription meds to "cure" us. Whole generations of minds would be fucked over and ruined thanks to the ignorance and just plain inability to think of normal simpletons with their average intelligence and average stupidity.

    So as a person who is autistic, and fucking proud of it....let me the one to say: No, Anonymous Asshole.....Fuck YOU.

  • 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.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito