Many cases of autism or autism spectrum disorder are idiopathic - which means they have no known cause.
Genetics and autism
Autism Research Survey Results - Live
Parents are bombarded with stories that say autism is linked to a smorgasbord of things, from mom's age to air pollution. How do we make sense of this?
Doctors have known about a link between autism and epilepsy since a psychiatrist published the first case study about children with "autistic disturbance" some 70 years ago. Still, many questions remain unanswered or controversial, including how often epilepsy occurs in people with autism. Find out who is more likely to be at risk of having both conditions, and what new research tells us about the autism-epilepsy connection.
In different laboratories on opposite sides of the U.S., two researchers were waiting.
The June 9, 2011 issue of Neuron featured three groundbreaking studies on autism genetics.
A new approach to studying genetics may permit us to understand what genetic "tweaks" have caused an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a specific individual.
Connie Anderson, Ph.D.
IAN Community Scientific Liaison
Date First Published: May 27, 2011
The psychiatric diagnostic manual published in 2013 does not include Rett Syndrome in the same category as autism spectrum disorder, although autism may co-occur in children with Rett syndrome.
The possibility that there is a form of autism that co-occurs with, or is caused by, mitochondrial disease has recently come under intense discussion.