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Autism: Genetic or Environmental cause?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018


The cause of autism has been a much debated topic in the science community in the recent years. There are those scientists and researchers that have implicated dozens of genes as the cause of autism. According to the Spectrum News, the “interplay between genetics and the environment” that is the true cause of autism. The real question is, to how much of an extent does the environment influence the chance of autism?



Risk Factors:

Some of the “risk factors for autism include being born prematurely, soon after an older sibling, or to a mother with diabetes,” said Spectrum News. These are among the hundreds of factors that have been researched to determine their connection with autism. However, most scientists have not been able to come up with definitive proof to determine exact causality for all of these factors. This does not mean that there is no connection though. The most commonly accepted risk factors for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) occur during the birthing process, through various pregnancy complications and a combination of many mechanisms.


There is a strong connection between genetic and environmental factors in determining if a person has autism. There are so many genes and environmental factors that could affect a person that it would mostly be impossible to exactly determine what happens because it is unique in every person. However, certain activities could lead to an increased chance. An example of this would be that you could get lung cancer from smoking cigarettes everyday, or you could never smoke a day in your life and still develop lung cancer.


As autism research progresses, maybe we can get a better understanding the extent of the relationship between genetics and the environment.

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