There have been several autism research and studies seeking to identify the genetic and environmental causes for autism. There has also been an ongoing debate on how autism occurs, whether it is a single disorder or a collection of different disorders.
According to recent genetic research, hundreds of different genes lead to autism. Another discovery has established that there could be a common link in most autism patients.
Relationship Between Epigenetics and Autism
Genetic and environmental factors like stress, pollution, lifestyle, and diet can affect the switches for our genes. Epigenetics is the switch that turns our genes on and off.
Recent studies suggest that some of the switches were closely linked to autism. Also, a group of researchers from the USA, UK, and Singapore has studied the brains of individuals with autism after they had died. They focused on an epigenetic known as acetylation, which helps to increase gene activity.
They did a comparison of the acetylation patterns in individuals with autism and those without autism. During the study, they established that 400 genes in autism brains had a different switch pattern compared to that of non-autism brains.
The Common Link in Autism Spectrum Disorder
The researchers established a specific switch pattern that was common in most autism brains. This led the researchers to believe that they had found the epigenetic signature of autism.
This means that, although there are many causes of autism, it is both a single and many disorders.
Hence, tests and therapies that target a common epigenetic pathway can be developed.