Comedian Jerry Seinfeld stepped into a minefield when he diagnosed himself as being on the autism spectrum – "on a very drawn out scale." He complained of problems with social engagement and understanding figures of speech. Were these faint whispers of autism he described similar to the Broad Autism Phenotype?
Genetics and autism
Raphael Bernier wanted to help people with their day-to-day lives. Could he do that from an autism research lab?
What plays a bigger role in autism, genetics or environment? Scientists don't agree on the answer, but the debate just got more attention with the arrival of a new study of twins. When you look at extreme autism symptoms, genetics plays almost the only role, it concludes.
Scientists often make discoveries by starting with a set of symptoms and looking for the cause. But some autism researchers worked in reverse: they began with a mutated gene and then looked for its symptoms. In so doing, they found a subtype of autism with its own traits.
Dr. Wendy Chung, director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, presented What We Know About Autism at a TED2014 conference. Listen to what she had to say.
Scientists have taken a close look at the protein-coding portion of the DNA of families in the SSC and have identified a number of genetic errors that are strong risk factors for autism. Scientists are making strides in the understanding of the biological origins of ASD in the developing brain.
Noted autism researcher Dr. Wendy Chung responds to frequently asked questions about autism spectrum disorder and the state of autism science research. Dr. Chung gave a recent TED talk on autism.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes have other medical conditions. One of those possibilities is Down syndrome, which is marked by intellectual disability.
Many cases of autism or autism spectrum disorder are idiopathic - which means they have no known cause.