The causes of autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes delays in language used in social communications, social interaction, and even imaginative play, have not as yet been definitively determined. There are a variety of possible causes of autism. Autism studies are ongoing and is increasing, as the numbers of people being diagnosed with autism seem to increase yearly. Part of the problem is that symptoms can vary greatly between subjects, making a definitive study difficult to conduct. However, many researches and studies have shown that genetics are likely to play a big role as a determining factor.
If a child has a sibling who is autistic, it is much more likely that he or she might also suffer from the disorder. The cause of autism is being heavily researched. Some researchers are looking for one gene as the primary cause, while others believe it is three to five genes linked together which cause this disorder. Genetic research has widened to include looking at other body systems. Some studies show that a cause of autism may be a depressed immune system while others connect it to family members with depression or dyslexia. With these disorders on both sides of the family tree, the chances of having an autistic child appear to increase.
Some studies have shown a link in people diagnosed as autistic and unusually high heavy metal levels in their blood. If the body's ability to eliminate or diffuse certain metals is defective, a high concentration can build up and this seems to block some social solving skill areas in the brain. This heavy metal retention creates an imbalance in the ratio of glutathione, which is the body's tool for detoxifying or eliminating metals. One in five measurements of autistic children showed an impairment in their ability to properly eliminate metals. Other environmental factors have also been shown to contribute to the causes of autism. These include use of solvents, alcohol, phenols(used in products made of plastic) and illicit drugs.
There are studies which find a connection between the rubella illness in the first trimester of pregnancy and autism. These include studies on the effects of being vaccinated during the first trimester of pregnancy. Concerns are for the MMR shot, especially the measles portion as well as the pertussis aspect of the DPT vaccine. Although not yet conclusive, researchers are informing women not to be vaccinated while pregnant. As you can see, there are not yet conclusive answers to the causes of autism. However, targeted research into the many possible causes of autism is ongoing and there is hope for a breakthrough in the future.