Autism understanding begins when a person finds out that autism is a disorder that affects people differently. Although autism affects the normal functioning of a model’s perception, attention and thoughts, autism is not characterized by one type of perception, 應用行為分析 attention and thought. Instead, it covers an easy spectrum of disorders that may be mild or severe. Due to the fact that autism is such a complex disorder, medical research is still in the process of understanding how it develops and why it affects certain individuals.
One particular medical project with the make an attempt to find better autism understanding by identifying the gene that causes autism, is the 5 year Autism Genome Project (AGP). So far, phase I of the AGP has identified a gene and parts of a chromosome to be linked with the occurrence of autism. The findings of this particular autism study was published online in the Nature Genetics February 16, 2007 issue.
The Autism Genome Project is a global research consortium that is funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institute of Health. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising the awareness of autism and raising funds to help research it.
The AGP involves more than 120 scientists from 50 institutions in 19 countries around the world. The researchers who have collaborated on the project combined their autism expertise, and shared all of the data and samples they had to help identify autism-related family genes.
As was mentioned, phase I of this project began 5 years ago in 2002, and it allowed the team of medical experts to gain autism understanding by identifying a single specific gene known as neurexil 1, and part of chromosome 11 which could likely be the cause of autism in children. These findings derive from the largest autism genome scan that has lots of people done.
Scientists have known for many years that autism is a innate disorder, but only prior to the AGP have they had the oppertunity to use special “gene chip” technology to look for innate similarities in autistics. Innate similarities were found in practically all of the autistic individuals within each of the twelve hundred families that that were made portion of the project. The scientists also checked the DNA of each family to look for copy number variations that are believed might be connected to autism and similar disorders.
What the experiments discovered in their study was that one particular gene known as neurexin 1 plays a significant role with glutamate; a neurotransmitter that has been formerly known to cause autism. Researchers also exposed an area of chromosome 11 that is alleged to include a gene that may be mixed up in occurrence of autism. However, this particular gene in chromosome 11 has yet to be identified which is required for further autism understanding.
Based on previous research, and the research that has been exposed by the study so far, scientists speculate that there may be as many as 6 main family genes and 30 additional family genes known to cause autism. However, these numbers are only theories, as scientists point out that the actual number of family genes could exceed their theory. Nevertheless, despite the number of family genes that may be involved, researchers admit that it is still far too early to state how these family genes may lead to autism.
Currently, phase II of the Autism Genome Project has been announced. The promising findings found in phase I makes scientists hopeful that discovering the family genes that cause autism will provide new steps toward autism understanding. With greater understanding, more effective methods of identification, preventing and treating the disorder can be taken.