Thursday, October 12, 2006

Time to Give Up on a Single Explanation for Autism

"We argue that there will be no single (genetic or cognitive) cause for the diverse symptoms defining autism. We present recent evidence of behavioral fractionation of social impairment, communication difficulties and rigid and repetitive behaviors. Twin data suggest largely nonoverlapping genes acting on each of these traits. At the cognitive level, too, attempts at a single explanation for the symptoms of autism have failed. Implications for research and treatment are discussed."

Three psychiatrists have written an opinion piece arguing for researchers to look at autism as a more complex, less monolithic thing. Here is a cogent summary, courtesy of MindHacks, and here is the full-text of the article.

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