Causes Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects the brain’s development of social and communication skills. A person with autism may have repetitive behaviors, social challenges, and communication difficulties which last throughout a person’s lifetime. About one percent of the world’s population is living with autism, and about 3.5 million Americans are living with an ASD. There is no known single cause for autism, but most accept that autism is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the brain structure when compared to a neurotypical brain (Autism-Society).
In the past five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes or mutations that are now connected
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When trying to find autism-linked genes, scientists have found that 20 out of 23 chromosomes may be important to autism. New research from University of Leeds has found a gene called neurexin-II that could cause autism when missing. The research team used mice and when neurexin-II was missing the mice acted with symptoms similar to autism. When the brain is missing neurexin-II, it also lowers the levels of a protein called MUNC 18-1, which helps release chemicals in the brain to make connections throughout neurotransmitters. The lack of passageways may be the cause for social cues that are not picked up by autistic people. Research states the possibility of early exposure to certain chemicals found in soda and shampoo can lead to development of autism (Olson, …show more content…
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