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Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence- Autism (6).docx

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Richard B Day

October 12 , 2012 Psych 2AP3: Abnormal Psychology – Major Disorders Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence: Autism (6) Genetics - clear that there is a genetic component - high heritability coefficients, newer studies have lowered that coefficient - how genes contribute: hundreds of genes that could be involved with the symptoms of autism - multiple genes are involved: no one gene that is lead gene in autism - minimum suggested: 3-5 genes - variable expressivity - pleiotropy - contribute to diatheses of other disorders Environmental Risk Factors - stressors in the diatheses stress model or part of the pre-disposition depending on when they operate on the individual - maternal smoking in 1 trimester: elevated risk that child will have the symptoms of autism, maternal anxiety, relationship between the two - caesarean delivery: whatever it is that required a caesarean is what’s contributing to symptoms - baby small for gestational age: premature or smaller babies are at higher risk for autism - older fathers: 40+, older you get the higher the risk, something in an older fathers sperm production is iffy, changes in the genetic make-up of the sperm - mother exposed to pesticides: or population, effects are on the developing foetus - mother exposed to air pollution - prenatal German measles infection (rubella): higher number of antibodies in the bloodstreams or auto-antibody in individuals with autism, auto- antibodies attack parts of the cerebellum - growing interest in relationship between immune system and
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