From guardian.co.uk, Scientists have found the first substantial evidence that autism may be caused by genetic differences that damage the connections in the brain in early childhood. Three studies have identified genetic variations which may help explain the origins of the condition, including one that could account for as many as 15% of autism cases.
The researchers believe the findings could help the process of identifying people with an autistic spectrum disorder, improve medical treatments, and potentially lead to diagnostic tests for the condition. About 500,000 people in Britain are autistic, including some 133,500 children, according to the National Autistic Society (NAS), which campaigns on their behalf. People with autism have difficulty relating to those around them and often have higher than usual rates of mental illness, unemployment and social exclusion.