Causes Triggering Touch Aversion in Autism Found

A research has pointed out a defect in the brain, which explains why people with autism may avoid touching and hugs, even from their parents.

During a study in mice with fragile X syndrome, it was found that wiring in the part of the brain that responds to touch is formed late. The researchers wrote in Neuron, that “the findings may help explain why people with the condition are hypersensitive to physical contact. It also points to key stages when treatment could be most effective”.

Dr Gina Gómez de la Cuesta, from the National Autistic Society, was of the view that research into fragile X syndrome could be the key in understanding certain aspects of autism.

"Autism is common in people with fragile X syndrome, however there are many other causes of autism, most of which are not yet fully understood”, she said. "Understanding how the brain works when a person has fragile X syndrome could help put some of the pieces together about what is happening in the brain when a person has autism, but it is not the whole story”.

"Animal research can tell us a lot about genetics and the brain, but it is only a small part of the picture and further research would be required before we fully understand any links to autism", she concluded.