The past decade has given scientists a wealth of new information about autism spectrum disorder and how it affects people. A new article published by the Huffington Post highlights some of the newest and most important discoveries.
1. There may soon be a way to genetically test for the Autism Spectrum Disorder
This past decade has yielded the discovery of a genetic basis for ASD. Now it seems that scientists are very close to developing a blood test for ASD. The hope is that these recent scientific breakthroughs will lead to more research on how environmental and genetic factors of autism.
2. Researchers are developing new medications to address more symptoms of autism
Scientists are working on medications that can target specific neurotransmitters and help control some of the biggest symptoms of autism, such as difficulty communicating and repetitive behavior. These medications are very different than antidepressants and stimulants because they are engineered specifically for those with autism. They will also have less harmful side effects.
3. Children with ASD may have a higher chance of developing obesity.
Some of the factors that create a higher chance of obesity within the autistic community are delayed motor development, sleep problems, a picky palate, and side-effects of medications.
4. Severe stomach pain can cause children to exhibit stronger symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Treatment of gastrointestinal issues could lessen the severity of symptoms of children on the autism spectrum. This opens the door for a new type of microbe-based therapy to treat ASD.
5. Children with autism spectrum disorder can be both over-sensitive or under-sensitive to sounds, touches, tastes, or smells.
This means that children with ASD may be annoyed or uncomfortable by certain types of fabric, or do not feel pain as quickly, leading to worse injuries. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that children with ASD have different brain structures than those without.
6. More high-functioning children with autism are going to college than ever before.
Unfortunately, they are also at a higher risk for depression, and are dropping out of college more often. Research on students with autism is currently a top priority for scientists.
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