Autism - Essay Example

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The disorder itself falls along a spectrum of severity, with the least severe form – Asperger’s Disorder – occurring in highly functional adults. Still, more severe forms of autism are…
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Download file to see previous pages Generally individuals afflicted with this neurological condition have difficulty in social interaction and communication. Repetitive and obsessive behavior frequently occurs, as individuals with autism will oftentimes develop intense and focused interests in specific subject matter.
A number of theories have emerged regarding the origins and causes of autism. One of the newly emergent theories involves considerations of the individual’s biological clock. Within this mode of understanding, autism is understood as a timing disorder wherein individuals have difficulty determining communication timing. One important consideration in this context of investigation is that of the biological clock. Theorists have explored notions regarding biological clock genes regulating neuronal oscillators in the brain that potentially affect the timing problems of autism. There has been research that has supported this hypothesis, with findings noting that, “Two Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are enriched in clock genes in DNA obtained from autistic children” (‘Autism’, ppt). The two nucleotides referred to are the Period-1 (Per-1) and the NPAS2. Still, these nucleotides are in non-coding segments, complicating their potential as causing a disorder.
Recognizing the challenge of non-coding nucleotide mutations contributing to a disorder such as autism, researchers have explored the microRNA ("Micrornas provide new," 2011). In these regards, RNA forms secondary nucleotide structures. The miRNA functions through recognizing a seed sequence, as 7 nucleotides at 5’ end binds to a 3’ end of target. Notably, there are basepairing consequences that occur in relation to the microRNA functioning. Among these consequences include the degradation of the mRNA target, a block in translation resulting in new mechanisms of action, and subsequently new data that can activate translation. This is central to the understanding of autism as related to the human’s biological ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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