The growing body of research on autism occasionally reveals some unusual and intriguing updates.
Recent research on the condition reveals an unusual connection between intelligence and autism. Researchers compared 40 newly discovered genes, common to human intelligence to those connected with autism and found they were present in both conditions.
This is surprising mostly because although many have noticed that some diagnosed with autism or aspergers were very adept at the sciences and mathematics, it was just anecdotal observations. This is the first time there has been a proven link.
The study by the Centre for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam was based on data from 78,000 Europeans.
There were many factors related to the 40 genes including the likelihood of being taller, a non-smoker and being on the autism spectrum. On the other hand having the ‘intelligence’ genes also meant they were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, obesity or issues with depression.
Such research is interesting in and of itself but mostly because it’s a sign that researchers are making some headway in finding a possible treatment or cure for those on the autism spectrum as well as Alzheimer’s.
I have clients with children on the autism spectrum and see some of the challenges this brings to their lives when planning for their children’s future as well as their own.
The progress may be slow but research like this is at least a sign that progress is happening regardless of the specifics.