A 44-year-old member asked:
Disclaimer

why would there be a huge increase in autism and retardation in the population?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Glen Elliott
42 years experience Child Psychiatry
Don't know: To be clear, there is no increase in retardation; in fact, if anything, mr as a diagnosis has nearly disappeared, as many of these individuals now are called autistic. Why autism and related disorders has become so much more common remains an area of intense study. Part of it was a broadening of the criteria, so many more were included; but, many argue that other factors are at play.
Answered on Jan 30, 2014
1
1 thank
Dr. Lisa Rankin
24 years experience ADHD and Autism
Multifactorial: Because the presentation of autism spectrum disorders is so varied and the incidence is increasing significantly the effect of environmental factors on genetics is proving to play a big role. They are many subtle ways the environment can afffect the expression of certain genes and we are learning of new genetic variants constantly. Protect your environment to protect your genes.
Answered on May 12, 2016
1
1 thank
Dr. Johanna Fricke
49 years experience Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Genetic & epigenetic: Factors (that alter function but not structure or sequence of fetal genes) can cause the set-up for autistic spectrum disorder. Though atypical white matter changes on brain mri's & ⬇ed eye-to-face gaze are found in 6-mo.-olds, overt clinical symptoms may present 12-18 mos. Later. Daily Folic Acid supplements & flu vaccine at least 3 mos. Prior to conception ⬇ the risk of having a child with asd.
Answered on Jun 25, 2014

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
Unlimited visits
$10/month

Related questions:

A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Kevin Windisch
24 years experience Pediatrics
No: Many autistic patients have above average intelligence where as mentally retarded people have below normal intelligence. This lower intelligence will ... Read More
A 26-year-old male asked:
Dr. Anthony Pollizzi
35 years experience Anesthesiology
No: Autism presents with a spectrum of symptoms. Some can function in society quite well. Some are quite proficient in math studies
2
2 thanks
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. J. Kirk Clopton
31 years experience Psychiatry
Probably not: The cause of autism remains unclear. However, there is no current evidence for a genetic link.
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Ed Friedlander
43 years experience Pathology
Maybe not: It may be that some children outgrow what is now being diagnosed as autism (& this may explain some of the "success" of costly interventions). It may ... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
Unlimited visits
$10/month