HEALTHATHON: Question 6: Will There Be A Cure For Autism

Do you think there will ever be a cure for autism and if so when?


Dr. Kari Miller:

The term cure is problematic.  Some people on the spectrum do not desire a “cure” and do not view autism as a “disease”, but instead, see it as part of who they are. However, some individuals with autism do experience troubling symptoms, such as extreme sensitivity to environmental stimuli, and may value improvement in the symptoms.  Clearly, research will continue and more will be learned about the risk factors, treatment and educational approaches that benefit people with autism—that is certain.  If history is any guide, then a great deal will be discovered that we can not even speculate about at this point, and our perspectives and beliefs about autism will undergo significant reorganization through time.

Amy Hummel:

We certainly hope so. Scientific research is moving fast and it seems there are constantly new developments. The science page on the Autism Speaks website helps keep the information filed and up to date.

Abby Twyman:

No, I don’t. Autism is a genetically-based, neurobiological disorder for which I do not believe there is a cure. Right now there is a lot of research being dedicated to understanding the genetics and neurobiology of autism. This is the first step to identifying what genetic abnormalities are implicated in the brain connectivity abnormalities seen in individuals with autism. Will this research lead us to a “cure”? I think this is highly unlikely. What it will do, however, is help us identify specific abnormalities and potentially help us develop interventions to address the issues these abnormalities in brain function cause.

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  1. Thanks for the post, I hope they do find a cure for autism in the near future.