Autism and Related Disorders in the Hispanic Population

The following paper deals with the investigation of symptoms of autism in the racial minority of Hispanic people. The comparative analysis provides the data in the southern states of the USA. The analysis involves the physiology of the organs and studying of the causes of autism as well as the progress achieved in its treatment. It attempts to sum up the general characteristics of the illness, find out the disorders related to it, and the treatment suitable for it. Immune and genetic resistance of Hispanic inhabitants of the Southern States shows that they have lower rates in autism, which serves as the assumption that racial minorities may have higher resistance to the sickness. The paper also describes the special programs directed at the cure for autism.

The treatment of genetic diseases connected with mental disorders is a vital issue of modern medicine. Medical workers and biochemists have made substantial investigations of suitable medicines, but it remains essential to find and avoid the reasons of illnesses and the ways to prevent them. Autism refers to the diseases the appearance of which is often impossible to predict as it often appears in the period of embryonic development on the genetic level (Berg & Dobyns, 2015). Even if the doctor informs the patient of the future malady, it is difficult to cure it during prenatal period. Nursing practice requires more investigation in psychological spheres of children psychology and psychiatry. Although the medical workers manage to overcome the illness phenotypically, its consequences remain and influence further development of a child.

The genetic nature of autism-related disorders made the scholars consider the genetic peculiarities and phenotype of the representatives of Hispanic population on the example of the US southern states. The study of Hispanic population showed differences in the rate of people sick with autism as compared to whites. Particularly, the investigation of Texas schools with higher percentage of Hispanics showed fewer reports on autism (Palmer, Walker, Mandell, Bayles, & Miller, 2010). The symptoms of autism appear in later years in both races’ representatives. The lack of medical insurance in Hispanics does not reflect on their state; thus, it disregards socioeconomic facts and assumes better genetic resistance for autism-related disorders. Hispanic population tends to have fewer reports of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) because of stronger genetic resistance and better adaptive mechanisms connected with climate factor, which objects the socioeconomic factor as that influencing the ratios.

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The Diagnostics of Autism Spectrum Disorders

There are different cases associated with autism known as a developmental disorder (Berg & Dobyns, 2015). It is not a unified malady with the standard set of symptoms. Psychiatrists consider it a neurodevelopmental problem. The genetic factor making an impact on further growth and phenotype adds more difficulties in determining the diagnoses connected with autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The unification of their symptoms is necessary for defining the exact diagnosis to ease the choice of medications and apply the correct treatment. That is why physicians and psychiatrists associate autism with the group of diseases connected by some typical behavior patterns and phenotype.

Autism spectrum disorders encompass the notion of deficits or impairments of social and communicative ability and repetitive stereotypic behaviors (Chaidez, Hansen, & Hertz-Picciotto, 2012) and language and communicative problems (Coghlan et al., 2012). The scholars understand ASD as unified health problem, but Berg and Dobyns (2015) argue that these maladies are homogeneous. They include into the ASD group such illnesses as intellectual disabilities, epilepsies, and brain malformations (particularly agenesis of the corpus callosum, cerebellar hypoplasia, and megalencephaly).

When considering the cases of epilepsy, physicians concentrate more on genetic synapses causing the illness and less on the phenotype. The combined phenotype-genotype approach proved to be complicated because the scientists had to consider separate cases of development with the substantial number of epileptic genes (Berg & Dobyns, 2015).

Etiology and pathology of the illness remain difficult to understand. Retardation in the development and the speech is the problem of signals, possible reason of which is the signaling of gamma aminobutyric acid in the brain. The releasers of the acid are small inhibitory interneurons. The size and cytoarchitecture of the cells are small but their kinds differ in many aspects. The substantial number of proteins and molecules involved in the synthesis of the inhibitory makes the GABA system vulnerable to genetic changes in any case of mutation (Coghlan et al., 2012).

Another etiological assumption explains the illness as the problem of synaptic combination with one another or their dysfunction. The examples of ASD Phelan McDermid, Fragile X Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Rett Syndrome fall under the category of such a type. In their cases, the mutation of one gene allows developing cell models and study molecular pathways that enable to reveal the synaptic malfunctions (Carboneto & Bourgeoin, 2014).

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The third conception anticipates the spine disgenesis as the principal reason of the sickness (Philips & Pozzo-Miller, 2015). Coghlan et al. (2012) remain of similar opinion with Carboneto and Bougeoin (2014) in the conception that the main problem is synaptic connections. The detailed characteristics of Down syndrome, Angelman disease Fragile X and Rett sicknesses showed that dendric spine disgenesis is coherent to the problems causing ASD. They remain the site of neuronal plasticity of excitatory synapses with critical point of convergence in m-TOR regulated transmission. In TS and FXS cases, rapamycin inhibits m-TOR and reverses ARD phenotypes in experiments.

Gene therapy is a relatively new methodology of treating autism. It is also applicable in some cases of the cancer treatment programs. Cases of the gene therapy implementation for neurological diseases have demonstrated its effectiveness (Gray, 2013). Although, some ASDs such as Rett syndrome and Fragile X disease have proved relatively less workability of the method.

Similar kind of such a therapy is oxytocin injections (Young & Barrett, 2015). Oxytocin is a peptide and hormone produced by hypothalamus. It influences a wide range of metabolic process and influences the secretion of other glands that also produce their hormones. The cases of its application also provide mixed results, differing in experimental animals and particular treatment ways (Young & Barrett, 2015).

Autistic disorders prove to be both genetic and neurological maladies, each case of which is unique because of different phenotype-genotype combination. The medications chosen for it include rapamicyn, vigabatryn, and gene therapy as the ways of treatment ASD. Early diagnostics of the illness during the first months of postnatal period or embryonic one can promote its further and quicker cure. The special programs similar to those conducted with the white population could also increase the indices of healthy population of Hispanic descent. Still, the appearance of symptoms in later postnatal periods creates obstacles for proper etiology and learning the pathological processes the illness can cause. Genetic factor of the frequent cases of autism remains more important than neurological peculiarities of the human body and synaptic distortions conveying the disease. The generalization of different genetic and neurological problems helps choose the suitable treatment and learn the etiology of ASD better.

The Disorder Rates at Hispanic Population

The understanding of ASD as the genetic problem rather than the neurological one makes the disease difficult to cure. The genetic laws prove the likelihood of appearance of the disease in the healthy families, and the child having autism requires constant care and urgent treatment. Yet, the racial peculiarities in this aspect can resolve the problem of the outspread of autism among Hispanics and white population. Learning the genetic structures of the representatives of different races can be an effective solution for the cure for ASD. Thus, gene therapy in this case can prove to be more effective than the customary hormones or other medications.

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The acuteness of the problem of autism lies in increasing rates of American children with the disease. Particularly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that one out of 68 children is sick with autism (Young & Barrett, 2015). The drugs necessary for treating debilitating social deficits of ASD are not available. Online programs and the work with psychiatrists and social psychologists for children with autism are costly for most American families. In particular, the material costs spent for an individual with autism during the lifespan was $2.4 million in the United States (Buescher, Cidav, Knapp, & Mandell, 2014). In addition, each particular case requires individual approach in following the dynamics of recovery and choosing the special educative and developmental programs. Such methods can help a child adapt to social life despite the sickness and improve the social behavior patterns. Yet, the influence of socioeconomic factor upon the rates of the sickness’ outspread is insufficient (Buescher et al., 2014).

The demographic investigation of children with autism held in different years showed that in 2007 the frequency of sickness at Hispanics was higher than in 2010 (Palmer et al., 2010) and it decreased until 2014 (Windham et al., 2014). Hispanics represent a large group of population in many states. Their groups have grown demographically in the recent years all over the USA. California belongs to the states with the highest number of Hispanic inhabitants. Texas also has a substantial amount of the individuals of Hispanic descent. The reports on projects held in 2014 in the USA show lower rates of illness at Hispanic and Latino children (Windham et al., 2014).

Over the past 25 years, Hispanic population in America has increased substantially by more than twofold (Windham et al., 2014). The screening held by the scholars concerned mostly Californian polyclinics and the nearest communities of the state. The patients belonged to low-income families covered by governmental insurance. The reports of 2002 and 2006 show lower prevalence for illness at Hispanic population rather than Non-Hispanic one (Chaidez et al., 2012). Still, the scholars are considerate in defining such a phenomenon as disregarding the social factors. Poorer families of the states have high rates of illness in the investigated groups, and the Hispanic children require more frequent visits of the doctors (Chadez, et al., 2012).

Unlike previous projects, the statistical data of Texas represent higher rates of healthy Hispanic children as compared to the white population coming from the poorer families. The tables show drastic differences in the availability of doctors per 10,000 population at Hispanic districts as compared to those inhabited by whites. Therefore, climatic conditions and stronger genetic resistance can be the reasons promoting the resistance to genetic illnesses and further developmental problems.

Cardiovascular diseases remain the reasons of deaths for Hispanics. The insufficiency of the media for the diagnostics of such types of illnesses and the lack of information about preventing the disease comprise the principal problems of health care.

The poor technological and medical progress of Hispanic communities provides the obstacle for proper health service among the population. Although the white communities remain less resistant to autism and mark higher likelihood of the disease, their medical service is more developed due to their social status.


Autism related disorders belong to the most complicated issue for the world in general and America in particular. The rates of children having genetic and developmental disorders increase every year. Despite the sufficiency of medical care and the possibilities of different kinds of therapy and communication and development improvement programs it is possible to eradicate the complications.

Numerous online programs in medical universities provide positive results on the development of children. Still, ASD remains the sickness difficult to cure and requires further investigations. The numerous cases of the disease require drug and communication therapy aimed at overcoming the disease in phenotypic spectrum.

Hispanic population has more resistance to the disease due to its stronger gene resistance. Climatic conditions of the southern state allow disregarding the importance of socioeconomic factor. The perspective to cure autism makes the scholars think of newer natural technologies and alternative non-drug ways of reducing its rates.


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