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Any link between Autism and Downs Syndrome

(17 Posts)
daisysue2 Thu 22-Oct-09 22:20:13

Does anyone have both Autism and Downs Syndrome in the family? Just wondering if there are any genetic links. My DD who is adopted has ASD and her birth mother has just had another child with DS. I am wondering if my DD has a genetic condition as I know quite a few are connected. I am requesting that the Paed do genetic testing as she did suggest it a while ago. But just wanted to know if anyone has experience of the two.

mysonben Thu 22-Oct-09 22:27:58

A work acquaintance of DH has a ds who has autism , and they found out through amnio-testing that their second baby had DS.
Can't see how the two could be connected as i'm no expert. Maybe it's pure coincidence???

thederkinsdame Thu 22-Oct-09 23:33:30

gosh, I don't know. I've never heard of a link, but I believe that ASD and DS both increase if parents are older, so maybe that's why there's a link in some families? Just a wild guess though

Clary Thu 22-Oct-09 23:47:41

Yes I believe autism is more common among children with Down's. Can't recall the figures but it is an issue.

Quote from quick Google: "Autistic spectrum disorder occurs more often in children with Down's syndrome than in other children but less often than in other learning disabled groups. Prevalence may be as high as 5%"

Clary Thu 22-Oct-09 23:48:31

daisysue it's unlikely surely tho that yr DD has DS - I mean you would know by now?

sarah293 Fri 23-Oct-09 08:03:44

Message withdrawn

HairyMaclary Fri 23-Oct-09 09:04:17

i know a family where one son has HFA and the other has downs syndrome and autism. apparently it's not that unusual.

Marne Fri 23-Oct-09 10:27:08

I'm not sure if there is a link but i know a woman who has a Autistic son (16) and a DS son (2).

magso Fri 23-Oct-09 10:47:43

Ds (9) has ASD/LD and sounds very similar to your dd - very bouncy with SID. He also has a older half BB with DS born to a young mum. A point was made of this as if it was significant (I am never sure if SW understand genetics any more than I do!) although I have thought that DS is not a genetically passed on condition (like Fragile X ) but more a one off chromasomal mutation. I suppose DS and ASD are both quite common. I know of several people with both DS and ASD.
I will be very interested in your findings.

nightcat Fri 23-Oct-09 11:25:16

I'd venture an oppinion that it's perhaps weaknesses in genes in one/both parents that manifest themselves that way.
Anything like x-rays, medications and general aging (esp in woman's case) could lead to mutations in DNA (with older age giving longer exposure to mutating factors).
I have read somewhere that older parents run a risk of having a child who is eitehr disabled or a genius - linked to age-related mutations?

devientenigma Fri 23-Oct-09 11:57:21

There are 3 types of down syndrome...trisomy 21 which is quite common.
Mosaic downs where they have the features but not the LD.
Translocation downs which can be hereditory.

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 23-Oct-09 21:13:45

All types of DS is caused by an extra chromosome 21 - which arises when the egg or sperm is made (or in the case of mosaic early on in foetal development i.e. after conception).

Some children with DS also have autism- this is because autism can accompany learning disabilities.

I don't really see how autism (which is many things - some forms of autism will have a strong genetic component, others not so much) could be linked to DS -which is due to incorrect separation of chromosomes- other than a general thing such as age as mentioned already (although that earlier research suggesting an autism link to older fathers has I think been challenged now).

There's possibly a link between autism and autoimmune conditions. Both autism and DS are fairly common, so I don't suppose it's that surprising they occur together.

claudialyman Fri 23-Oct-09 23:17:12

DS has a dual-diagnosis (Down Syndrome & Autism).

Latest research indicates a child with Down Syndrome is up to 10 times more likely to develop autism than a child without Down Syndrome.

Autism tends to be diagnosed much later in children with Downs (can be around age 8). It is thought that autistic regression can occur later in children with Downs but it is also underdiagnosed as there is a lack of awareness that the two conditions can occur together, with some professionals still unaware. Some professionals will still unfortunately dismiss concerns about autism or other conditions as they will attribute all behaviours and issues to "well he does have Down Syndrome ..."

In terms of underlying mechanisms nothing is sure but research is ongoing. Its thought that studying the blood chemistry etc of children with Down Synrome may provide a clue to the biological markers underlying vulnerbility to developing autism in general.

If anyone is concerned that their child with Down Syndrome has regressed or is displaying autistic behaviours this website is useful

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 23-Oct-09 23:39:12

Some good point claudia - and Kennedy Krieger have been incredibly helpful to me too- we have a neurology appointment thanks to them. Although I thought the OP was talking about DS and autism being in different children(???) (just clarifying as that's how I answered my question and of course that's a very different issue to a dual diagnosis).

claudialyman Fri 23-Oct-09 23:51:41

Yeah the dual diagnoses just seem, from the reasrch so far, to be actually pointing at some similar underlying biological mechanisms which i think is what the OP is wondering about. And this may be akin to thread hijacking so apologies if so but the other info i just stuck in for anyone who is attracted to this thread now or finds it in a search for "down syndrome and ASD" later, and is in need of it grin

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 23-Oct-09 23:57:48

Oh really? Interesting. I have come across both being linked to problems processing folic acid (but needing lots of DS and needing less for ASD? have I got that right?)

claudialyman Sat 24-Oct-09 01:09:16

I think folic acid processing is involved alright, its a complex but pretty beleivable hypothesis and adds weight to the vaccine debate. I certainly found my sons autistic regression dated from the time of a severe reaction to vaccination at 4 years old, and i recognise a lot of him in the theory as it stands so far.

the "autism files" monthly journal covers a lot on it, did a specail issue around april so should be on their website now. Unfortunately i dont think anyone tests whether specific vaccines are safe for children with specific special needs diagnoses, it tends to be studies on the larger NT groups of children and vaccines that are ok for NT kids are not neccesarily ok for kids with underlying problems.

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