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Is autism genetic or environmental? These new studies suggest it can be both. Genetics will not identify the environmental factors, but it may reveal some of the many syndromes within the autism spectrum (as in other neurodevelopmental disorders), it can define risk (as in other medical disorders), and it should yield clues to the biology of autism (revealing potential targets for new treatments). Three new papers on spontaneous mutations are an important milestone in a long journey.

3 genes contain autism risk factors, although researchers estimate that 1,000 genes are tied to autism development

Genes identified as autism risk factors:
Researchers have identified mutations in three genes that are risk factors for autism. Those genes are: KATNAL2, a gene whose function is unknown; SCN2A, which encodes a brain protein that forms a channel for sodium ions; and CHD8, which regulates gene transcriptions and modifies the network of proteins that surround DNA. Together, these genes help explain only a small percentage of the genetic risk of autism, study authors said. But they said the findings are significant, because they represent a step toward understanding the biological process of ASD, which could help improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

The three research teams took a similar approach, analyzing genetic material taken from blood samples of families in which parents who have no signs of autism give birth to a child who develops the disorder. This approach gives scientists the opportunity to spot the initial mutations that accompany the condition, rather than trying to work though possible genetic contributions from maternal and paternal lines. In all three studies, the researchers focused on rare genetic glitches called de novo mutations.
De novo mutations are not inherited but occur spontaneously near or during conception. Most people have at least one, and the majority of them are harmless

Mother’s obesity and diabetes seen as autism risk factors
Metabolic conditions during pregnancy might increase the risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorder. Women who were obese or had diabetes, including gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, or hypertension were more likely to have a child with autism.

Conditions of mothers of
children with ASD

9.3% Diabetes
3.7% Hypertension
21.5% Obesity

Conditions of mothers of children
with typical development

6.4% Diabetes
1.3% Hypertension
14.3% Obesity


One potential factor contributing to the increase could be the growing prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity among pregnant women, according to a study of more than 1,000 children and their mothers published online April 9 in Pediatrics. The study found that those three metabolic conditions were more common among mothers of children with ASD and other developmental disorders than in mothers whose children had typical development.

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About Dr. Lu

Dr. Lu  completed his medical education and training in China. (The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Shandong University Medical College respectively) Over 20 years clinic and research experiences in both medical school and hospital, Dr. Lu learned both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine including modern medical technology, acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and specializing in neurology. After years practice and accomplishments in China, Dr. Lu was invited as a visiting  assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine in 1991. After excellent achievements in research program funded by NIH and NSF, Dr. Lu decided to become a Chiropractic Doctor in order to introduce the Traditional Chinese Medicine to theWestern culture. Obtained Doctor Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic, Dr. Lu became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and board certified Acupuncturist and began his practice in Dallas Texas since then. In 2007 Dr. Lu was voted the best acupuncturist in City of Richardson by Living Magazine.
 

 

Dr. Lu Acu

Doctor of Chiropractic
Board Certified Acupuncturist
M.D. in China
Over 20 years of Clinic Experience
Member of American Chiropractic Association

Acupuncture Care
Chiropractic Care
 
 
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