Neurodevelopmental Causes

Page by Stephanie Watkins

When Bernard Rimland, in 1965, rejected the psychoanalytic model of autism and proposed that the disorder was purely biological, one of the responses was the movement of research in a neurodevelopmental direction (Baker, 2008). Because of many commonalities in medical conditions occurring more often among the population of individuals with autism, as opposed to the general population, a great deal of research has given the disorder a biological basis. Autism has a high comorbidity with epilepsy (one third of individuals with autism are epileptic), medical syndromes (such as Fragile X, tuberous sclerosis, and Rett syndrome), as well as mental retardation (Frith, Morton, & Leslie 1991). By many leading researchers, autism is considered to be of the most genetic multifactorial neuro-developmental disorders (50% concordance rate for identical twins and less than 5% for fraternal) (Previc, 2007). Utilizing new information, researchers and parents pushed to promote screening among children, leading to the addition of autism to the covered disabilities in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Baker, 2008).Although it is agreed that there is a multifactorial genetic component to autism spectrum disorder, no specific chromosomal region is found across all studies (Levy & Hyman, 2005). This “mainline” community of autism research emphasizes four main points (Baker, 2008):

1) The cause of autism is primarily biological and not attributed to parental behavior (rejecting the psychoanalytic causes of autism).

2) Autism reflects a spectrum of disorders

3) Treatment should be rehabilitative as opposed to curative.

4) Early intervention is key in striving for a positive outcome.

Examples of neurodevelopmental causes are genetic abnormalities and gastrointestinal malfunction.

References

Baker, J. P. (2008). Mercury, vaccines, and autism: One controversy, three histories. American Journal of Public Health98(2), 244-253.

Frith, U., Morton, J., & Leslie, A. M. (1991). The cognitive basis of a biological disorder: Autism. TINS, 14(10), 433-438.

Levy, S. E., & Hyman, S. L. (2005). Novel treatments for autism spectrum disorders. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 11, 131-142.

Previc, F. H. (2007). Prenatal influences on brain dopamine and their relevance to the rising incidence of autism. Medical Hypotheses, 68, 46-60.

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3 Responses to “Neurodevelopmental Causes”

  1. I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

  2. Val says:

    With regard to ANK3, where is info on not using tylenol and the other meds?

  3. Donnie says:

    Warning: DO NOT use VALPORIC ACID (DEPAKOTE), PHENOBARBITAL or Tylenol—- if the patient has abnormal ANK3 (Ankyrin-G nodes of ranvier) variant. Doctors don’t routinely test for this genetic marker in seizure patients so beware! For instance, if an autistic patient with EPILEPSY develops abnormal behaviors while taking any of these drugs a genetic test should be done to rule out ANK3 de novo missense mutations! Better to use CBD strains of medical cannabis, Vitamin D, Selenium, Lamictal and Racetams like Keppra

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