New Genetics Discovery
Researchers have found that different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls. The findings also support the notion that multiple genes contribute to autism spectrum disorder.
The researchers on this project, Gerard Schellenberg of the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a research professor of medicine at the University of Washington; and Ellen Wijsman, a UW research professor of medical genetics; and Geraldine Dawson, director of the UW’s Autism Center, are also members of the Autism Genome Project, an international consortium of geneticists and clinicians that is pooling its samples and expertise in search of autism susceptibility genes. The Autism Genome Project is funded by Autism Speaks.
As representatives of the Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism, a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded research network, the UW team shared DNA samples and clinical data with colleagues in the Autism Genome Project and contributed substantial expertise in autism phenotype and molecular and statistical genetics.
For more information on their findings, read an UW press release below.
Different genes may cause autism in boys and girls
Aug. 1, 2006
Like detectives trying to solve a murder case, researchers searching for the biological cause of autism have come up with some surprising suspects. They’ve found that different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls.
In addition, the researchers also have discovered that other genes may play a role in the early onset form of the developmental disorder and in the recently verified regression, or late onset, type of autism, according to a new study published today in the online edition of the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The study also provides new evidence for the idea that multiple genes contribute to autism, said lead author Gerard Schellenberg, a researcher at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a research professor of medicine at the University of Washington. The research team was headed by Schellenberg, Ellen Wijsman, a UW research professor of medical genetics and Geraldine Dawson, director of the UW’s Autism Center.
“It is highly unlikely that there is only one gene responsible for autism,” said Schellenberg. “There may be four to six major genes and 20 to 30 others that might contribute to autism to a lesser degree.
“If an individual only gets three high-risk variants of these genes, it could mean a less-severe form of autism. And because autism is rarer in females, it may take more risk genes for a female to have autism. There also is the possibility that there might be a biological difference in autism for females versus males,” he said.
“What is meaningful is that we have found evidence for two genetic subtypes of autism, male versus female and early versus late onset,” added Geraldine Dawson, a professor of psychology. “This is a critical piece of information. With Alzheimer’s disease research, one big breakthrough was segregating the late and early onset forms of the disease, and this led to important genetic discoveries.”
Schellenberg said the study came up with “strong support” for an autism gene on chromosome 7 and “less, but still compelling evidence” for genes on chromosomes 3, 4 and 11. These results confirm some data from previous studies, particularly involving chromosome 7.
The search for autism genes is part of a long-term Autism Center effort to uncover the genetic and neurobiological causes of autism. To find regions of the human genome that contain autism genes, the researchers scanned the DNA of 169 families that had at least two siblings who met the strict criteria for autism. They also scanned the DNA of another 54 families that, in addition to having individuals with strictly defined autism, also included members who had less severe forms of the disorder, such as Asperger syndrome.
“We have been working almost 10 years to get to this point,” said Schellenberg. “If we can find and confirm that a particular gene is involved in autism the field will explode. We have to find a gene so that molecular biology can be defined and we can understand what’s inside autism. Until that happens, we are dancing on the outside.”
Dawson said the researchers are looking for autism susceptibility genes, ones that heighten the risk of an individual getting autism, just as there are genes that raise the chances of getting breast cancer.
“Once we discover these susceptibility genes, we can immediately screen infants to identify those at risk early in life. Early identification can lead to early intervention, which could have a much more dramatic effect.
“Also, when a gene is discovered, you discover the underlying biology of autism at the molecular level. Once you understand the biology you can develop a prevention strategy including medical approaches. Genetic research is a good strategy for eventually designing effective medical treatments for autism,” she said.
The research is part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism. The research is ongoing and families who have more than one child of any age with an autism spectrum disorder who are interested in participating in the UW genetics study can call toll free 1-800-…..
Co-authors of the paper are Yun Ju Sung, Annette Estes, Jeff Munson, Elisabeth Rosenthal and Joseph Rothstein of the University of Washington; Leslie Leong and Chang-En Yu of the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Patricia Rodier of the University of Rochester Medical Center; M. Ann Spencer of the University of California, Irvine; Nancy Minshew of the University of Pittsburgh; and William McMahon of the University of Utah.
For more information, contact Schellenberg at (206) 764-2701 or email@example.com or Dawson at (206) 543-1051 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.