Not Environment But Genetics Found To Be A Major Cause For Autism

A recent study which involved over 2 million children from 5 different countries, has found that 80% of the autism cases are due to genetic inheritance, which signifies that only 20% cases trace its origins from environmental causes.

As per The U.S. center for disease control and prevention, the disorder affects 1 out of every 59 children in U.S. According to experts, this study is going to open a new door of opportunities for research about genetic causes of autism.

The study also suggests that maternal factors like birth mode, timing etc. have a nearly non-existing or minimal affect on autism.

The team of researchers which was led by Sven Sandin who is an epidemiological researcher, stated that the results of the study are one of the strongest evidences in human knowledge about autism spectrum disorder being heavily dependent on genetic inheritance.

Psychiatrists, Dr. Amandeep Jutla, Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-Vander Weele, and Dr. Hannah Reed from Columbia University, also mentioned that genetic factors are often ignored and instead environmental factors are often pushed forward by people and media and they stay up front even after the theory gets debunked.

The research involved 2million children from Denmark, Israel, West Australia, Finland and Sweden who were born between the years 1998-2012. They were tracked until 16 years of age. Out of them only 22,000 developed autism spectrum disorder.

Based on the data it was found that 80% of cases were due to genetic inheritance, 19% from unknown environmental reasons, and just 1% cases were due to maternal factors.

Dr. Andrew Adesman from Cohen children’s medical center agrees to this study but suggests that this should not deter researchers from tracing environmental factors, as unlike genetic factors, they can be altered to affect people. He also added that the research in the field should now be aiming at finding the accurate genetic cause of Autism spectrum disorder.


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