Genetic Mutations May Be Key Cause of Autism WebMD 2010-06-10 Accumulation of rare DNA mutations in genes affecting brain function appears to be a major cause of autism, a large international study suggests. "This will lead to a paradigm shift in understanding causes of autism," study researcher Stephen Scherer, PHD, of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, said at a news conference held to announce the findings. Finding the cause of autism is like trying to put together a huge jigsaw puzzle with no idea of what the final picture should look like, says study researcher Anthony Monaco, MD, PhD, of the U.K.'s University of Oxford. "What we have found are the edges of the puzzle. We now can say some of the pieces are the sky or the sand of the picture," Monaco said at the news conference. "We now see that some of the genetic changes in autism are related to connections in the brain." The study used recently developed technology to look for unusual DNA deletions or duplications -- known as copy number variants or CNVs -- in 996 people with autism and 1,287 matched people without autism. People with autism didn't have more CNVs than people without autism, and their CNVs weren't any bigger than usual. But in autism, CNVs are much more likely to occur in gene-containing regions of the genome. webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20100609/genetic-mutations-may-be-key-cause-of-autism]Genetic[/url] Mutations May Be Key Cause of Autism _______________ I post this because there are crazy parents out there saying that shots made thier children autistic. I have seen this in families that had five generations of autism, and you know that it was genetic. Yet, the parents refuse to get their children immunized because of their irrational fear. over 100 children die every year because their crazy parents did not get them immunized against childhood illnesses. Now that they can identify autism (which usually makes itself known by year three) perhaps they can administer medicine that will lessen the effects of the brain damaging disease.