Autism is a condition that falls on the autism spectrum. It’s characterized by social and communication impairments, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interests or activities. One of the most prevalent causes for autistic people is genetics. While it can be hard to pin down one specific gene with certainty, studies have shown certain variants in several genes might cause some cases of autism
The “autism recovery 2020” is a science-based article that includes the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Autism.
The earliest examples of autism were reported in the 1940s by professionals. Then the discussion began. What was the source of the problem? What can parents do to keep their children safe?
Many of these issues remain unanswered even in 2022.
According to the National Institutes of Health, autism is caused by a variety of circumstances. In susceptible persons, they entangle and link, and the condition occurs as a result.
Autism may also take on a variety of forms in different persons, making reliable diagnosis and comparisons difficult for researchers.
Autism may be caused by a variety of conditions, including preterm delivery and late-life pregnancies. Others, such as environmental factors, are the focus of current study.
Here’s what we know about the illness right now, as well as how families should prepare.
The Importance of Genetics
At conception, genes are passed from parents to offspring. While scientists aren’t sure which genes cause autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they do know that genetic information plays a significant influence in vulnerability.
One of the biggest ASD studies to date was finished in 2019. A total of 2 million individuals from five nations were engaged. The following factors were shown to be associated with risk:
- Genes. 80 percent of the risk of ASD is due to inherited information.
- Environment. Environment-related hazards account for around 20% of risk.
- Factors affecting the mother. Maternal health or choices account for around 1% of risk.
This work piqued the researchers’ interest. It demonstrates that genes, which we can’t influence, are frequently at the root of a child’s autism journey, according to them.
A kid with ASD is more likely to have parents who have communication or socializing issues. If you already have an autistic kid, your odds of having another autistic child are higher.
Even with a significant genetic component, however, 80 percent does not equal 100 percent. Studies continue to reveal that ASD risk is influenced by variables other than genetics.
Researchers looked at twins, for example. If one had ASD, the other had a 60% chance of having it as well. This is much higher than the national average, indicating that genes do have an impact. However, investigations like these point to a larger enigma.
Environmental Risks that are Accepted
Why do some individuals with autism genes get the disease while others do not? The environment has an impact.
When scientists talk about “environment,” they’re talking about everything that isn’t genetic. It’s a broad phrase that encompasses a variety of things. Only a handful have been identified as genuine autistic risk factors.
Experts think the following four environmental variables are linked to the likelihood of ASD:
- Parental age: Several studies have linked dads’ advanced age to their children’s likelihood of developing ASD. Researchers have no idea why, and they haven’t been able to identify the precise age at which the danger begins to climb. Women’s perspectives are more nuanced, according to experts. Autism is more common in children born to young mothers than in children born to older mothers. Older women, on the other hand, may have more genetic variants in their eggs than younger women. More autism cases should result as a result of this, although experts aren’t certain about the link just yet.
- Extremely preterm birth: ASD seems to be protected at 26 weeks of gestation. According to Mayo Clinic, children born before this time have an increased chance of developing autism.
- Serious infections during pregnancy send expectant mothers to the hospital for treatment. According to studies, this increases a child’s likelihood of developing autism. However, further studies released in 2019 emphasized the link. Researchers now believe that any infection, even a minor UTI, might increase a child’s chance of autism. Researchers believe that an infection might cause inflammatory proteins in the mother’s body, or that the problem could limit a baby’s access to serotonin. Autism may arise if a mother’s body is busy battling an illness at the same time as a vital period of the baby’s brain development.
- Closely spaced pregnancies: Children born within 18 months of a sibling are more likely to develop autism than children born later. Other variables, such as an underlying disease in the pregnant woman, cannot explain this conclusion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It seems that the spacing between pregnancies is important.
Some of these variables are under your control. For example, following a successful pregnancy, using effective birth control for 18 months might be a wise decision. Furthermore, cleaning your hands thoroughly when pregnant may help to keep certain illnesses at bay.
However, evidence reveals that certain circumstances are beyond your control, even if they increase your baby’s risk.
Environmental Risks That Haven’t Been Tried But Are Interesting
Because our bodies are permeable, anything we eat, drink, touch, or breathe may become a part of us. Those same poisons might pass through the placenta and into the body of a newborn during pregnancy.
Researchers are debating how hazardous these environmental threats will be in 2021, as well as how big of an ASD risk they will pose. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, these topics should be researched further:
It’s best to stay away from these pollutants when pregnant. Even if they don’t cause ASD, tainted water and contaminated air are harmful to developing newborns.
Women who avoid all of the things on this list, however, may nevertheless have children with autism. Right now, the research isn’t clear.
Vaccines: Do They Cause Autism?
There’s still a lot that researchers don’t know about autism. However, the data is clear: there is no link between vaccinations and ASD.
A research published in The Lancet in 1998 linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination to autism. It made quite a sensation, and it is still quoted by vaccination skeptics today.
The report, however, is inaccurate, according to the National Capital Poison Center. Data was faked by the doctor and the primary researcher. He broke established ethical standards and had significant financial conflicts of interest. His medical license was eventually revoked.
Moms who base their choices on this erroneous information are making a mistake. Moms who forgo immunizations due to mercury exposure are in the same boat. A relationship between mercury in immunizations and ASD has also been discredited, according to the National Capitol Poison Center.
The American Academy of Pediatrics gathers information about immunizations and their effectiveness. Hundreds of studies have shown that these therapies save lives and do not cause autism.
Despite this, the link exists. It’s possible that timing is important.
Autism symptoms and signs appear around the age of two, when a kid is receiving core immunizations. Some parents believe the vaccination is to blame for their child’s autism. The youngster had no visible symptoms prior to receiving the vaccination; nonetheless, symptoms have since emerged.
ASD is not caused by timing. The problem isn’t with the vaccines. This is one of the few things we can be definite of when it comes to autism risks.
Why Are Some Researchers Split on Certain Issues?
Why can’t experts offer clear answers on the hazards in 2021 since autism has been around since the 1940s and researchers have access to so many sophisticated tools? It’s a difficult question to respond to.
The challenge, according to autism specialists, is discerning what is possibly connected to autism vs what may precipitate the illness.
Observation is used in a lot of autism studies. Researchers compare two objects to see if there are any similarities. They may, for example, inquire about the frequency with which pregnant women consume coffee. They then track these women to see how many of them have children with autism.
These studies, however, cannot establish that one thing invariably leads to another. Researchers have discovered a link, although they are unsure whether it is significant.
When you read autism studies like this, you’ll frequently notice a disclaimer encouraging additional research. That is to say, there is no conclusive solution. The data is useful for future research, but no conclusions have been drawn.
The National Center for Health Research, for example, claims that there is a link between income and ASD. According to one research, the risk of autism increased by 3% for every $1,000 of income over the national average.
If you read this paper, you could assume that affluence has a role in autism. But how does it function in practice? I’m not sure how it makes sense.
Correlation isn’t the same as causality. While there are correlations between autism and a variety of other variables, this does not prove that these things cause autism. We still have a lot to learn.
Causation investigations provide conclusive results. Unfortunately, research on ASD are difficult to come by.
What Should You Do With Your Research?
In 2021, research will continue. Researchers seek to sequence genes and figure out what changes cause autism spectrum disease. They’re also looking for concrete evidence that chemicals and environmental factors cause autism.
It’s largely known that ASD is caused by a combination of genes and environment. As a result, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of factors to investigate. This research will take some time. In the meantime, the answers remain shaky.
If you’re worried about the possibility of ASD, speak to your doctor before becoming pregnant. Inquire about actions you may do to reduce your risks and ensure the health of your baby.
Dig into your family history if you can, and invite your spouse to do the same. Is there a member in your family who suffers from autism? How many of them do?
While information like this can’t tell you for sure whether you’ll have an autistic kid, it may help you assess the pros and cons. It may also be beneficial to speak with a genetic counselor who can assist you in determining your risk.
Autism is a neurological condition that can be caused by many things. One possible cause of autism is the “autism study 2021” which will hopefully lead to better understanding and treatment options in the future.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.