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  Topic: Progress in Identifying
the Genetic Roots of Autism
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Progress in Identifying
the Genetic Roots of Autism

Wall Street Journal, by Melinda Beck

Original Article

Posted By:SoCalGal, 9/25/2012 7:29:22 PM

One of the most agonizing questions that parents of children with autism ask is—why? Now, a growing number of genetic tests are providing some answers. Scientists say that roughly 20% of autism cases can be linked to known genetic abnormalities, and many more may be discovered. Pinpointing a genetic explanation can help predict whether siblings are likely to have the disorder—and even point to new, targeted treatments. Last week, for example, researchers reported that an experimental drug, arbaclofen, reduced social withdrawal and challenging behaviors in children and adults with Fragile X syndrome, the single most common genetic cause of autism.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Emerson, 9/25/2012 7:58:04 PM     (No. 8889971)

It would be helpful if we knew posters' qualifications so that we could give the proper weight to their opinions.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 9/25/2012 8:03:23 PM     (No. 8889980)

Perhaps this will be helpful. Here is the entire article on Fragile X and autism from the National Fragile X Foundation. Numbers and percentages can be misleading when removed from the context in which they were originally presented.


Autism and fragile X syndrome
http://www.fragilex.org/fragile-x-associated-disorders/fragile-x-syndrome/autism-and-fragile-x-syndrome/

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Reply 3 - Posted by: earlybird, 9/25/2012 8:23:23 PM     (No. 8890008)

I read the entire article and did not find it to be at all misleading. There are some positive anecdotes about autistic children; the rest is a fairly balanced report on what they have found out so far about the genetic component and how testing for it could be helpful to the autistic children and their families.

My DIL has spent her adult life working with autistic persons from pre-schoolers to adults. I am sending this on to her.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: woofwoofwoof, 9/25/2012 9:07:20 PM     (No. 8890094)

I hope they find the gene for winning the lottery, and maybe the gene for getting hit on the head.

The thing is, if there is just a single gene it has to do something to work (or not work), and the search would seem much better for that, than for a short stretch of DNA. Cuz we really don't know how to fix genes anyway, and all the genetic source tells you is what protein(s) to replace, then we make replacement proteins or adjuncts, and use those as treatments.

The body is still way beyond our knowledge, it's unfortunately still pretty nearly voodoo to hope for a simple genetic cause and cure.

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