7 things everyone should know about autism

Autism is a widely misunderstood condition surrounded by falsehoods, half-truths, and cultural assumptions.

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  • Autism-spectrum disorder covers a wide range of neurodevelopmental conditions that are highly individualized.
  • The prevalence of autism continues to increase in the United States, not due to vaccines but increased awareness and improved diagnosis.
  • Autism awareness is crucial as treatment strategies are more effective if accessed early.
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The risk of developing autism is 80% genetic, researchers now say

The study — which involved more than 2 million children — is the largest of its kind.

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  • The study involved more than 2 million children born in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel, and Western Australia.
  • The results indicated that inherited genes accounted for about 80 percent of the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
  • Still, it remains unclear which genes are at play in contributing to autism, and also how environmental risk factors contribute to the disorder.
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New research sheds light on a possible cause of autism: processed foods

The more we learn about the microbiome, the more the pieces are fitting together.

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  • A new study from the University of Central Florida makes the case for the emerging connection of autism and the human microbiome.
  • High levels of Propionic Acid (PPA), used in processed foods to extend shelf life, reduces neuronal development in fetal brains.
  • While more research is needed, this is another step in fully understanding the consequences of poor nutrition.
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Why Are So Many Musical Geniuses Asocial? A New Study Reveals an Interesting Link

Musical savants have “enhanced pitch discrimination” and “increased auditory perceptual capacity.” But why?

Do those with autism experience music as a richer experience? Getty Images.

We often see in the media autistic savants who can write and play music like grand masters with incredible talent and flourish. In fact, of autistic savants and savants in general, having extraordinary musical talent is one of the most common advantages. A new study published in the journal Cognition, suggests a reason for it. Those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have superior hearing. 

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