Why study genetic mutations?
One of the motivations for studying the relationship between autism and genetic mutations is that insights at this level could help physicians in providing earlier diagnoses of the condition. Because many of the symptoms of autism are behavioral, they may not present until a child is older. When it comes to treating autism, however, the earlier a child can be diagnosed and begin receiving treatment, the better off he or she will be in the long run. If researchers could discover sets of patterns at the genetic level that indicate autism, then children could be diagnosed earlier on.
Beyond providing earlier diagnoses, more information about what’s going on at the genetic level in people with autism could provide additional information that would be invaluable for developing new treatments. Genetics is a rapidly evolving field, and the potential applications for insights about the genetics of people with autism are increasingly far-reaching.