What factors can cause autism? The causes of autism can be very different, but vaccines certainly do not belong to them. What causes autism? This question is asked by many parents of autistic children and many doctors, but now nobody is able to answer them with 100% certainty. Even the best specialists have more theories about the causes of autism than scientifically proven facts. As the potential causes of the disease are listed, among others genetic mutations, infections or perinatal problems.
The causes of autism that significantly impede the functioning of both the child and his or her parents, have long been investigated by researchers.
Autism and disorders of its spectrum in children may manifest differently, but some similarities in the course of these disorders are noticeable when autism are related, among others. Communication disorders (the majority of children with autism do not speak), difficulty in establishing person-to-person contact or controlling emotions, and intellectual disorders – often of considerable degree. However, these are only examples of autism-related problems – this unit belongs to the so-called. total developmental disorders.
The fact, that an increase in the number of autistics was observed, implies researchers’ constantly looking for the cause of this disorder. Despite many years of research and work in centers all over the world, so far, however, we have not been able to determine what actually causes autism. Currently, the prevailing beliefs about the causes of the disorder are centered around the fact that the cause may be not one specific factor, but rather a common action of different types of disorder. The effect on the appearance of autism can be both genetic disorders, problems with pregnancy and childbirth or harmful environmental factors.
Causes of autism: genes
Analyzing the causes of autism, researchers focus most on the different genetic disorders. Theoretically, mutations in some genes could be responsible for the appearance of this disease, but so far no specific mutations have been found to elicit it. Why do genes involved in the onset of autism continue to be of interest to so many researchers?
It is also important that autism is more commonly observed in children whose families have previously suffered from this disease or other autism spectrum disorders.
Because genetic disorders can cause autism, the results of research conducted on twins. In the case of identical twins (those with the same genetic material), if one of them suffers from autism, according to some studies, the risk that the condition occurs in the other twin reaches up to 90%. In the case of twins with separate genetic material, the incidence of autism is about 30%.
Another reason behind the possible cause of autism is that it is a mutation that sometimes coincides with other diseases caused by genetic disorders. This is the case with the fragile X syndrome or Rett syndrome.
Causes of autism: neurological disorders
In children with autism, deviations in morphology of the brain (which can be seen e.g. in imaging studies) are noticeable. It is for this reason that some scholars believe that the pathology of the nervous system may also be responsible for the disease. Problems that could increase the risk of autism include macrocephaly and microcephaly, various encephalopathies, and meningitis.