Causes

The exact causes of ASD are still unclearal though it is thought that several complex genetic and environmental factors are involved. However, recent research suggests that Autism may result when a child with a genetic susceptibility and/or abnormal Omega-3 fatty acid profile in cell membranes is exposed to one or more environmental insults (heavy metal exposure, virus or bacteria) resulting in malfunctioning cells (often in the gut and brain). This can happen “in utero” (during pregnancy) or after birth (post-partum).

The causes of ASD can be described in two ways:

  • Primary ASD (also known as idiopathic ASD) – where no underlying factors can be identified to explain why ASD has developed.
  • Secondary ASD – where an underlying medical condition or environmental factor thought to increase the risk of ASD is identified.

About 90% of cases of ASD are primary, and about 10% are secondary.