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Autism Patients Are Safer From Cancer: Autistic Kids 94% Less Prone To Deadly Disease

Update Date: Apr 19, 2016 05:27 AM EDT
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A study at the University of Iowa revealed that kids with autism are 94% more likely to block cancer even though they have more cancer-related gene mutations.

A person with autism is facing problems with communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. It is said that one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism and most of the children diagnosed with this condition are boys, shared Medical News Today

Dr. Benjamin Darbro, the study leader at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine stated that the new findings regarding autism and cancer are not new at all as a previous study has shown that the conditions shared risk genes.

"But what we've shown is that this overlap is much broader at the genetic level than previously known and that somehow it may translate into a lower risk of cancer," Darbro added.

They have reached their findings by analyzing exome sequencing data from the ARRA Autism Sequencing Collaboration where they get rich information of gene variants among patients with autism. The data were compared with the information that came from the Exome Variant Server database that has the data on gene variants from 6,500 patients with autism.

They have found a greater enrichment of rare, coding variants within oncogenes from people with autism compared to those without autism. Oncogenes are genes that have the potential to cause cancer; however, such enrichment was not identified in genes that suppress tumor.

They also analyzed the electronic medical records of 9,336 normal patients and 1,837 patients with autism. It appeared that patient with autism are protected against cancer as they have found that only 1.3% of patients with autism had been diagnosed with cancer and 3.9% of normal patients had been diagnosed with the disease.

Children with autism ages 14 and below were most protected against cancer, with 94% lower risk as compared to children at the same age that were not diagnosed with the condition.

The researchers have analyzed the rates of some conditions among people with autism like diabetes, hypertension, allergies, eczema and heartburn but no link has found. This finding suggests that effect of the autism against cancer is not because of "technical artifact" but because of genetic architecture" of autism.

While autism is known to lower the risk of cancer, the condition cannot stop the patients with autism from reaching their dreams. Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent; Stanley Kubrick, a renowned filmmaker; Ladyhawke, a famous singer and songwriter and Tim Burton, a famous director were diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism, The Richest reported.

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