Autism researchers unpack the tangled role of genetics

  • Article by: MARK ROTH , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Updated: October 16, 2012 - 7:42 PM

The risk for the disorder is 40 to 60 percent inherited, the study found.

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amdachelOct. 16, 1210:36 PM

Mark Roth tells us about yet another study about the bad genes that cause autism. Parents have had two decades of similar reports and none of them could possibly explain what’s happening to our children. Autism is currently an epidemic according to outdated statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They tell us that one in every 88 children has autism, including one in every 54 boys. That figure is based on studies of children born in 2000 so no one knows what the current rate really is. Something in the environment is dramatically affecting the health of our children and experts are at a loss to tell us what it is. If genetics is 40% to 60%, what’s the other 60% or 40%? How many more years will we have no answers? Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism.

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amdachelOct. 16, 1210:36 PM

Mark Roth needs to look at the exponential increase in autism and tell us how genes could possible be a large factor. In the 1970s, the autism rate was one in every 10,000 kids and almost no one knew anyone with autism. That changed when the definition was broadened in 1994 to include other behaviors doctors were seeing in children. At that point the numbers exploded. 1995 1:500 2001 1:250 2004 1:166 2007 1:150 2009 1:110 2012 1:88 How would genes explain why the numbers continue to increase? Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

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amdachelOct. 16, 1210:37 PM

In the real world parents are worried. A once-rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone---probably lots of people---who have an autistic child. The problem with the claim that it’s a genetic disorder is that no one has ever been able to show us those misdiagnosed, undiagnosed autistic adults that have to been out there somewhere. If the increase is real, then it’s the environment that’s the real cause since there’s no way genetic changes could cause an epidemic. Experts tell us that 80 percent of autistic Americans are under the age of 18. That means there will eventually be a million young adults with autism who will descend on the welfare system. Stories are out everyday on the lack of adequate care and services for these young people aging out of school. Autism is nothing less than a national health care emergency. Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

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amdachelOct. 16, 1210:37 PM

Nothing in this research explains why children who are healthy and developing normally suddenly regress into autism. All doctors can do is scratch their heads when children lose learned skills, many stop talking, and end up with an autism diagnosis. The most common factor parents cite is the vaccines their child received prior to this. Doctors call this a coincidence and claim that all their studies (pharma-funded) show no link. Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

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joejoevOct. 17, 12 1:23 PM

Mark Roth tells us that autism is about 50% genetic, if so why is there a skyrocketing rate of autism, common sense would tell you something is wrong, the increase in the rates is just getting worse not better, so then if it is genetic, the other question is why are more and more people genetically affected, what is causing the rapid genetic mutations, it can't just be old dads, they've been around forever, look at Larry King, Donald Trump even in other countries worldwide it is much more common.

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