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Genetics and Neurotransmitters in Autism

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Genetics and Neurotransmitters in Autism


Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by the inability to relate and perceive the environment in a realistic manner. Brain development is affected in the areas of communication, cognition, and social interaction. There is a great variability in the disorder from person to person. There has been evidence to show that 60-90% of autism can be considered hereditary. Many researchers are attempting to understand the genetic determinism of the disease in order to pinpoint treatment. There are gene mutations and variants that have been discovered but due to the disease being heterogeneous and complex it is difficult to find consistency. There is also research indicating that the cause is neurological. The gap between genetics and neurology concerning autism is where the connection needs to be made in order to understand the disability wholly.

Autism is a complex developmental disability as the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. The onset of the disability is in infancy or early childhood with males being affected four times as often as females. Autism shows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries. The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is used because it is covering a group of disabilities with similar features. There are three categories of autism spectrum disorder known as Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Autism affects the normal development of the brain in specific areas such as those responsible for social interaction and communication. Those affected may show severe symptoms while others only suffer mild symptoms.

Many children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder never babble or coo and can...

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