Some new research that came out is getting a lot of attention. As we are still without a known cause of autism, this particular research could potentially prove to be a step closer to having a better understanding of what may cause autism.
Two studies were published in Nature that showed dozens of sets of genes are closely connected to the development of autism. As discussed in this article, the research claims that 60 genes are within a ‘high-confidence” threshold—meaning that mutations in those genes are 90% likely to increase the risk of autism. (Previously only 11 genes had been identified with the ‘high-confidence’ threshold.)
It went on to show that these genes appear to be clustering around three sets of biological functions—(1) the development of synapses (which are responsible for communication among nerves); (2) the creation of genetic instructions; and, (3) DNA packaging within cells.
With environmental factors being a possible theory of what may cause autism, this research may now steer scientists more toward genetics.
As with any new research and findings, more investigation is needed – but their initial discovery is very compelling.
Read more about this study here.
Lynsey, Community Manager