Causes of Autism, How Close Are We?

Last year, Autism was deemed as a national health emergency with public health officials in Washington. It is now estimated that 1 in 100 children suffer from one form of Autism or another. However, as abundant as it is in America, there is still so much that is unknown, the most disturbing of which is that scientists still do not have any solid conclusions as to what causes Autism.

In the last decade, there has been a scientific push to discover just that. What causes Autism? Once that question can be answered, doctors can begin finding the most effective methods of treatment. Here is some insight into how close we are to finally understanding this disorder quickly become an epidemic in American children.

Autism and Genetics
Like with all non-contagious disorders, genetics plays a key role in discovering which children are at a higher risk for Autism. In the last five years, doctors and neuroscientists have located about 30 different genes that are components for the development of the disorder when the child is in fetal form. However, of these genes, only 1 or 2 might be connected to the various forms of Autism in any one person. The only genetic certainty all specialists agree on is that the risk of Autism is increased in males over females.

Autism and Environment
Environment and the affect it has on Autistic children is currently the hot topic on the scientific front. Are there steps that can be taken by the mother during the crucial prenatal stages? Some scientists are beginning to speak out on the importance on the mother’s diet during pregnancy, recommending a raw diet, low in gluten and preservatives and high in various vitamins. The most important of these vitamins is the B12 nutrient to help promote the overall health of the fetus.

Some of the environmental factors cannot be avoided. Specialists are beginning to study the effects of the toxins abundant in our air, our water and our food sources. The prolonged exposure of the parents and continued consumption throughout life is one factor that scientists believe has actual embedded itself into human DNA, a new form of evolution to help humanity survive against the damage done to the environment over time.

How Close Are We to Finding the Cause of Autism?
With all of the various forms of Autism and the number of alternating factors, all specialists agree that there is not one single cause which makes it a difficult field to study. Some specialists say that there has been enough progress made to say certainly that we can have a certain means of treatment within the next five years. Others believe that we are just scratching the surface of understanding Autism and its causes, meaning that it could be decades before we know enough to help prevent and treat the disorder.

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