Autism and heredity

It used to be thought that heredity and autism had nothing to do with each other. Many studies later show that the above view is incorrect. Autism appears to be largely genetically a specific developmental disorder. People with autism often have difficulty keeping an overview and have problems in contact with others.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: Nickelbabe, Pixabay

ASD is a congenital developmental disorder and stands for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
ASD occurs in 1% of the population, in both children and adults. The disorder is difficult to diagnose at a young age. ASD includes various disorders, such as Classical Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS. People with autism especially have difficulty with social understanding and intuition. Recent studies show that ASD is largely explained by biological factors. The brain also seems to function differently. For example, children with autism make mistakes on various tasks and have difficulty coming up with new solutions or switching strategies. They also have difficulty putting themselves in other people’s shoes and can repeat the same actions endlessly.

New research

If the father or mother has autism, the chance that you will also develop autism as a child is approximately 15 to 20%. If two people in the family ­have this psychological condition, the chance is even 40%. For comparison: If this condition is not present in the family, the chance of autism is approximately 1%.

Family research shows that couples with an autistic child have between a 2 and 8% chance of having another child with autism. This fact points to a genetic contribution to the development of autism. They have also conducted a twin study in Scandinavia and England in recent years. It has been discovered that if one child of identical twins is autistic, the chance that the other is also autistic is between 60 and 90%. In fraternal twins this chance is much lower, less than 5%. Studies show that the development of autism is 90% dependent on our hereditary material. The other 10% are the environmental factors.

Uncertainty about the genes

The problem is that we do not yet know the genetic basis of autism and how the disorder can be inherited from generation to generation. Scientists suspect that genes play a role in the development of autism, but the human brain is large. Researchers are working in a dozen centers to identify the genes that may cause autism. Autism and genetics clearly have something to do with each other, so it is therefore wise to conduct research on children with autism. In a new study they report that autistic children more often have a genetic abnormality in the CDH10 gene. This gene is responsible for the connections between nerve cells. Many researchers are working hard to further develop this study.

Facts about autism

  • Worldwide, approximately 0.6% of people have ASD.
  • It turns out that approximately 4 to 5 in 10,000 newborns have a form of autism.
  • Autism has the highest heritability of all psychiatric conditions.
  • Autism can hinder development at all stages of life.
  • Boys are 4 times more likely to have autism than girls.
  • Girls with autism are usually less intelligent than boys.
  • The head of 1 in 4 children with this disorder is larger, including the brain.
  • Information is processed more slowly and is also less effective.
  • It is not known whether these disorders are more or less common in different races or cultures.
  • The influence of the environment is very small, it is mainly about heredity.
  • Someone with autism often also has other symptoms/complaints such as an intellectual disability, epilepsy or depression.
  • Autism is only part of humanity, everyone has their own character and their own will.