26 July 2005

Recent autism updates

http://www.aboutweblogs.com/genetics/item/2005/7/19/prkcb1-gene-and-autism :

A new gene for autism has been identified on chromosome 16. The PRKCB1
gene is found in the brain and the protein it encodes appear to be involved in
the communication of granule cells in the brain cerebellum with Purkinje cells;
both granule and Purkinje cells transmit messages in and out of the brain.
Researchers are touting the potential of genetic tests for autism based on these
limited results.* Poster comments: "*Can you see me rolling my eyes? "

Money quote in my opinion:

The genes may be neither necessary nor sufficient to cause autism on their own.

That's a fact, Jack. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Autism is like Cancer. It's not just one disease, and it doesn't have just one cause, and it won't have just one cure.

More here on Autism genetics. Good stuff, including this quote which is spot-on, and which I really wish the media and many in the autism community would get through their heads:

Generally speaking, most experts agree that autism is likely due to
numerous and complex genetic factors, many of which may be acted upon by
environmental influences. Perhaps it will even be determined one day that some
of these genetic factors predispose some autistics to particular sensitivities,
maybe even to heavy metals, casein, gluten, loud noises, bright lights,
infectious diseases, or any of the countless other environmental influence that
have been associated with autism. And perhaps awareness of these sensitivities,
all of which should be researched, will be the basis for the alleviation of
symptoms. But the fact will remain that these factors are not causative in and
of themselves.