'Autisms' – A More Suitable Term for 'Autism'

‘Autisms’ – A More Suitable Term for ‘Autism’

In recent days, the name “Autisms” is better suited than the singular “Autism”, though the full form of ASD is already known as Autism Spectrum Disorders. The impairments or disorders caused by ASD are not one or two, but cover a huge as well as broad spectrum. It is also found that if autism or ASD is not diagnosed and treated from the early stage, then it may turn into other brain disorders with time and age. So, now it is understandable that why we can’t bind this neuropsychiatric disorder with some known regular symptoms.

This brain disease is incurable because autism is strongly genetic, but we can’t ignore the disorder. The reason is said above and that is, it can turn into other brain retarding diseases with no treatment. Dr. Stephen Scherer, the director of Center for Applied Genomics at the Hospital in Toronto said, “We believe a better term to use is ‘the autisms,’ or ‘the autism spectrum disorders’ (that is, plural)”.

The basis of saying ‘autisms’ instead of ‘autism’:

According to the researchers’ point of view, saying the plural autisms instead of autism is based on genomic studies of siblings, taken from different families.

Image Courtesy: Yahoo.com


A study was done by Scherer and his colleagues with 85 pairs of siblings having ASD, from the 85 families. The study shows an interesting data. It shows that 36 sibling pairs of those 85 families were with mutations and linked with the gene/s associated with autistic impairments.


The actual finding in this study was, only one-third siblings were with same mutations, but the rest were found with no identical mutation. This finding was published on 26th Jan in Nature Medicine journal.


Dr. Stephen Scherer said, “This emphasizes that these kids have different forms of autism (each their own snowflake) and need to be treated in their own special way”.

So, it is crystal clear that autistic siblings will not always be found with identical genome mutation. The autistic brothers and sisters from same family are also with different genome mutation, and they need individual treatment in special ways.

MSSNG database to prove why autism turns to autisms:

Scherer believes, “In the future, once there is a suspected diagnosis of autism, the (child’s) genome will be sequenced and doctors will compare it to the MSSNG database to find out what form of autism that child has”.

MSSNG database is nothing but a database to store the genomes of 10,000 individuals with autistic impairments . Whole-genome sequencing is the technique used to analyze DNA of an individual, and this technique is used to identify an autistic individual comparing that individual’s genome with the MSSNG database. Not only that, but this technique is also helpful to add the genome sequencing data of an individual with ASD in the MSSNG database.

So, a brain disease with multiple genome variants is enough to make this singular named disease Autism to Autisms.

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