1. More than 100 genes (my list so far) can cause autism.
2. We hope my final tally is less than 200 – that’s genes can create a protein or enzyme. Alas, a small percentage of the DNA we humans have
3. There are indeed syndromes that involve genes from multiple chromosomes. Such cases are usually hideously complicated to treat.
4. I am unhappy that there’s at least one gene on each of the 23 chromosomes that causes autism.
5. I am hoping the prevalence estimates are seriously wrong – otherwise the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disability in the US and most of Europe will not be 1.5% or 2% but likely more than 4% or even 5%. In South America, Asia and Africa – who knows?
One response: “Peter – This is an accurate assessment, albeit likely to be understated somewhat. PLEASE publish these results. Those seeking a simple genetic basis for autism should be thoroughly discouraged by these figures”
The results imply
A. some small number of drugs is NOT going to get the job done.
B. the term autism may be close to useless
C. depending on what one wants to achieve, ‘one fits all’ approaches like Applied Behavior Analysis are doomed to fail in many, if not most, cases
D. Any statistical treatments are going to require much careful handling of the data and analytical methods