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As is well-known, sensory hypersensitivity is common in the autism spectrum. For visual or optical challenges there are two aspects – control of the lights used to illuminate classrooms and living spaces AND protective eyewear. One of the older and frequently cited papers is D.M. Fenton & R. Penney (1985) The Effects of Fluorescent and Incandescent Lighting on the Repetitive Behaviours of Autistic and Intellectually Handicapped Children, Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 11:3, 137-141, DOI: 10.3109/13668258508998632

As it happens, there are a number of causes of visual hypersensitivity: (1) medications like tetracycline and digitalis; migraine headaches; some types of dyslexia; meningitis and lupus; as well as some types of macular degeneration and cataracts. There are certainly night blindnesses that are caused by vitamin shortages – typically of vitamin A, C, E, lutein and beta-carotene.

So I asked the grapevine for genes implicated in photophobia. So far, the count is 43.

Blues_blocker_glasses

A student wearing glasses that block some blue and white light

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