New Genes Linked to Autism Discovered – Breakthrough Autism Discovery
The discovery of 37 new ‘autism genes’ brings scientists one step closer to solve the autism enigma.
More than one in 100 British children are affected by Autism and related conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome. The number of children affected is ten times more than just 30 years go. Around one in 68 children are affected in the US.
Getting a diagnosis is still stressful and lengthy despite the rise in the number of children affected because the condition is still little understood.
Children have had to go through several psychological tests forcing families to often attend multiple hospital appointments.
There is still no cure for the disorder and only the symptoms such as hyperactivity or aggression can be controlled by giving drugs.
Now, this breakthrough discovery paves way for new tests and treatments.
At 50 hospitals around the world, more than 35,000 DNA samples from autism patients were collected and analyzed in the largest-ever study of its kind by an international team of researchers.
Then, in New York City at the Mount Sinai Health System, scientists scoured the DNA for mutations. Around 102 gene mutations impacting the brain function or development which can result in autism were identified.
The number of key genes increased from 65 in 2015 to 102 today as this study had a larger sample size allowing the research team to find more information.
The director of the Seaver Autism Centre for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, Professor Joseph Buxbaum, a world-renowned psychiatrist said that based on the findings of this study, there can be new drugs developed.
He said, “This is a landmark study, both for the large international collaborative and for its size, great effort is required. We can begin to consider novel treatment approaches and begin to understand what brain changes underlie ASD [autism spectrum disorder] with these identified genes.”
The research team suggested that in causing autism, despite the findings, there could be as many as 300 genes may be involved.
Autism patients who have a condition where they find it difficult to socialize and communicate with others, require support throughout while there are many sufferers who are able to lead relatively normal lives.
The Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC), an international group of scientists who share ASD samples and data made it possible to obtain such a large sample.
With many such genes that play a small part in the disease being discovered, the answer to why the disorder manifests itself differently in individuals can be tried to understand.
The journal Cell published this study.
New Genes Linked to Autism Discovered Breakthrough Autism Discovery SOURCE