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Autism Research Paper

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,353 Words (10 Pages)  •  3,099 Views

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Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. It is had been acknowledged as a lifelong developmental disability that becomes noticeable in the first three years of life (Rajalakshmi, 2009). Following mental retardation and cerebral palsy, autism is the third most common pediatric developmental disorder, affecting more than 400,000 children in the United States (B. Gleberzon and A. Rosenberg-Gleberzon, 2001). According to Leah and Collins (2009), despite widespread research on the condition and suspicions of a strong genetic link, the exact cause of autism is unknown. The cause of autism is most likely to stem from a number of different causes or influences, indicated by the fact that no two persons with autism are exactly alike (Van Dyke, 2009). There is some reproducible evidence showing that neuropathology may begin in utero and are caused by prenatal factors, genetics, and environmental factors (Leach and Collins, 2009). In 2009, Van Dyke stated that autism is evident in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Boys are 4 times more likely to be affected than girls, and an estimated three to six of every 1,000 children will have autism. Children with a parent or sibling with an autism spectrum disorder and those with certain other developmental disorders, such as fragile X syndrome are at high-risk for autism.

A relationship between some events that occur during pregnancy and delivery and autism has been consistently seen. Complications that have a significantly higher correlation to children with autism compared to the general population are uterine bleeding during the second or third trimester, induction of labor or prolonged labor, and neonatal factors such as hyperbilirubinemia and oxygen requirement at birth (Leach and Collins, 2009). As stated by Van Dyke (2009), advanced paternal and maternal age have also been shown to be associated with an increased risk of having offspring with autism. The average reappearance rate in families with one child with


autism is 5% to 6%. The recurrence rate can be as high as 25% if two children in a family have an autism spectrum disorder (Leach and Collins, 2009).

A genetic predisposition to autistic spectrum disorders is insinuated by the overrepresentation in boys, as well as concordance rates greater among identical twins than fraternal twins. Genes play an influential, but not absolute, role in the development of autism and that is evident through pedigree analysis of siblings and concordance rates of identical twins. Siblings of people with autism have a 2% to 8% chance of being diagnosed with the same condition. This is much greater than the 0.16% risk in the general population, but much less than the 50% chance that would characterize a genetic disease by a single dominant allele, or the 25% chance


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