Is Autism A Primarily Genetic Disease?

1732 words - 7 pages

I. Introduction:

Neurological disorders are complex in nature and often the least understood. Given the recent boom in imaging technology and other diagnostic methods, it is now possible to see more clearly into the scope of neurological development and accurately determine the etiology of these diseases. One of such disorders is Autism; a multifactorial condition impairing normal brain development. It affects many aspects of development, including social behavior, cognitive ability and communication skills1 and is commonly diagnosed in children before the age of three1. The symptoms of this condition can vary greatly between individuals; hence its classification as a spectrum disorder. Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder are all within this spectrum, characterized by varying extents of social and communicative difficulties2.
Autism is a disorder that is increasing in prevalence1, and due to its multifaceted nature, there are still numerous discoveries yet to be made in this field. If the respective roles of the environment and genetics are better understood, then effective treatments can be created that get to the root of the disorder, an example possibly being an increase in gene therapy research as a new means of treatment. This paper serves to examine the basis of Autism, in terms of the contributing factors and to uncover whether or not it is a primarily genetic disorder.

II. Evidence for the “yes” side:

Family Studies suggest that Autism is hereditary3. One study involved collecting data on 943, 664 children under the age of 10 for the duration of 7 years, and it was found that 818 of them developed autism3. Children who have siblings affected with autism have a risk that is 22 times higher than those without affected siblings or a family history3, indicating that it is inherited. Due to the heritability of Autism, it has a strong genetic component.

Mutations that occur during transcription are also linked to the expression of genes associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD candidate genes are genes normally related to synapse function, but when the enzyme topoisomerase is inhibited, the genes are not fully expressed4, factoring into the phenotypic expression of Autism. The individuals studied who were affected by ASD had a numerous amount of mutated genes relating to transcription function4. This result illustrates the relationship between transcription and the phenotypic expression of autism.

Twin Studies also show that there is a strong genetic influence in autistics.
In a study of 44 sets of twins, there was a high concordance rate of autism and other disorders on the ASD spectrum for monozygotic twins (92%)5. This suggests that the genetic similarity between MZ twins influences their risk of expressing Autism. Dizygotic twins however, had a much lower concordance5, supporting the hypothesis that there is a correlation between genetic similarity and Autism risk. According to the study,...

Find Another Essay On Is Autism a Primarily Genetic Disease?

Obesity: Is It a Disease? Essay

1398 words - 6 pages What is a disease? At first we think it’s an easy question as we think we have had a grasp on the concept since we were children. Pictures of people being sick in a hospital or constantly visiting doctors become prominent in our head. However, upon further review, it’s actually a really hard question. The real question is: “How do we distinguish properly between real diseases, and human behaviors or characteristics that we just happen to find

Homophobia is a Social Disease Essay

816 words - 3 pages , or a sin.Let’s take a look at the Bird Flu for a moment. Media coverage of this looming pandemic has sent the public into a frenzy; 68,000 New Zealanders has bought an antibiotic which apparently prevents the disease. Why are we so worked up over Bird Flu? Because we are afraid of catching it. So it makes sense to conclude that the reason that homophobes are scared of gay people is that they are worried that they could ‘catch’

Malaria is a Deadly Disease

1743 words - 7 pages Malaria is a Deadly Disease Malaria is a disease and deadly infection that is most common in hot and tropical areas of the world. It can also happen in temperate climates, specially in the stagnant water in the canals where the mosquitoes can stay. Malaria is an ancient organisms and has infected humans since the beginning of human race (Davis). The term name “mal aria” as in meaning “bad air” in Italian and was first used in 1740 in English by

Drug Addiction is a Disease

1113 words - 4 pages People under-estimate the severe impact drugs can have on their lives, because becoming addicted to drugs can happen so fast, and people can lose so much. Drug addiction destroys individuals and families every day. Addiction is a disease and it can be equivalent to cancer. This disease is cunning and baffling. The disease creeps up and causes the addict to self-destruct. Some addicts do not realize the damage that was cause to their families and

This essay is primarily about the struggles thatthe younger generation goes through and how death is a every day thing.

3079 words - 12 pages permanent solution to a temporary problem. Usually, the common reasons for suicide listed above are actually not the causes of the suicide, but rather triggers for suicide in a person suffering from a mental illness or substance-related disorder. More recently, scientists have focused on the biology of suicide. Suicide is though by some to have a genetic component, to run in families and researchers has shown strong evidence that mental and

Is Avian Botulism Considered a Contagious Disease?

2322 words - 9 pages What is a disease you may ask yourself at first? Disease can be defined in many ways, but a common definition would be any impairment that would interfere or modify normal functions, with responses to factors such as nutrition, infectious agents, defects, or toxicants (Wobeser 1997). Disease outbreaks follow a simple three way path that involves a host, agent, and the environment. Wide arrays of avian diseases are found throughout the bird world

Human Genetic Engineering is a Recipe for Social Discrimination

1600 words - 6 pages . Silver can see a day a few centuries from now when there are two species of humans –the standard-issue “Naturals,” and the “Gene-enriched,” an elite class who parents consciously bought for them designer genes…. (Deneen 26). At first the intentions of using human genetic engineering is innocent and understandable, parents want their babies to be borne disease-free. As time passes, parents will target common issues like alcohol addiction or the

this is a research paper for an undergraduate college abnormal psych class. it is on autism. Autism- A Pervasive Spectrum Disorder

2646 words - 11 pages twins of autistics is 50-100 times higher than average and in identical twins the rate is 65% to 90%. In 1980 it was found that among 11 families with a father diagnosed with autism more than half of their children were autistic. The apparently normal parents of autistic children had undiagnosed mild symptoms of autism when tested.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that one in 500 children in America suffer from autism

Is "Hamlet" primarily a tragedy of revenge

1000 words - 4 pages In the play "Hamlet" written by William Shakespeare, is a play that revolves around tragedy and revenge and this revenge leads to Hamlets death and people that were close to him. Hamlet's pursuit to revenge his father's death blinded his morals and intelligence and lead to his untimely death. It can be argued that Hamlet is the most complex character Shakespeare has ever written, there has been many debates revolving around his insanity (real or

Alcoholism Is NOT a disease, But an addiction.

1157 words - 5 pages There is a constant dispute amongst the medical and psychological community as to whether alcoholism is, in fact, a disease or just a state of mind. Many of the researchers have classified alcoholism as a disease (Peele 1). has defined "disease" broadly as an "involuntary choice made by the individual" (5 entries 1). This definition does not comply with alcoholics because they can, like any other human being, determine that

The Debate on Whether Alcoholism is a Disease or Not

1466 words - 6 pages The Debate on Whether Alcoholism is a Disease or Not Many specialists today are in a debate on whether alcoholism is a disease or not. I looked up the word disease in the new American Webster dictionary. It stated that a disease is a condition ill health, or malady. Malady is defined as any disordered state or condition. Alcoholism causes illness and disorder. Someone who is an alcoholic has a dependency on the drug alcohol. If

Similar Essays

Angelman Syndrome: A Genetic Disease Essay

1163 words - 5 pages A genetic disease is a disease that can be heritable or inheritable, and one of them is known as Angelman Syndrome. Also referred to as AS, it can change a person, both physically and mentally. Angelman Syndrome, just like any other genetic disease, has symptoms, or characteristics of the carrier. It has effects on the daily life of the carrier, and can be treated, but not cured. AS also has a certain prognosis, or outcome. Angelman Syndrome

Obesity Is A Disease Essay

844 words - 3 pages :  Having a parent who is overweight (this was the strongest risk factor for becoming overweight during childhood)  Having a sensitive temperament.  Having parents concerned about child thinness.  Having lots of tantrums over food.  Getting less sleep in childhood. As you have read, obesity is a major problem in society. It is a disease and not a condition with a small number of

Complete Analysis Of Tourette's Syndrome, A Genetic Disease

669 words - 3 pages from genetic studies suggests that most cases of it are inherited. Research suggests that there is an abnormality in the genes affecting the brain's metabolism of neurotransmitters called dopamine, serotonin and nor epinephrine. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. A person with Tourette's has about a 50:50 chance of passing on the genes to one of his or her offspring. However, that genetic

Is Addiction A Spiritual Disease Essay

1231 words - 5 pages ; while others may turn to drugs, food, or alcohol to feel the emptiness. The biggest question remains however, "Is addiction a spiritual disease?"This question has been debated over and over one side of the story agrees that addiction is a spiritual disease, while others say no it is a physical and physiological addiction. The first side says that addiction is very much a spiritual disease. Proponents of this side claim that as the addictive