Sunday, September 25, 2016

Diversity of Autism Seen with Siblings

Autism is considered to be a complex disorder in brain development. Those who have autism usually experience difficulties with social interactions. Autism can even effect motor skills and health related thing such as gastrointestinal disturbances. The brain of a person diagnosed with autism acts differently than the brain of someone who does not have autism. Autism can causes its limitations but also it is known that a person suffering from autism may excel in skills such as math, or art to a higher level than someone without autism. It is a widely studied disorder that is still revealing new information on the effects of autism.
Two brothers both have autism yet behave differently.

Recently, genetic testing has been preformed on families that have more than one child with autism. It was found that siblings with autism
do not share the same genetic risk factors and are as distinct in their behavior as any brothers and sisters.
In this study 85 families who have two children diagnosed with autism were tested. By using whole genome sequencing technology the children's genome was mapped to identify every inch of their DNA to determine the relationship between the DNA of both children. It was found that only about 30 percent of the siblings shared the same genetic mutations while the remaining 70 percent did not. This is quite shocking because even in very closely related individuals the cause of autism and how the autism affects their behaviors are different. Those who shared the genetic mutations with their sibling showed similar behavior in their habits or skills compared to those that didn't have the same mutation. This study shows how diverse autism can be and why it is so difficult to understand. The study shows potential but needs to be expanded to more families to obtain a more accurate understanding of what it means to share or not share the genetic mutations. Hopefully in the future this kind of genetic mapping will help doctors determine a families risk of conceiving another child with the same disorder. Autism has a "mind of its own" so to speak, it causes different people to behave differently and with more genetic research the hope is to determine how the disorder does this and if anything can be done about it.

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