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Tero Toivanen

A week ago, a new study published in the Archives of General - 0 views

  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute describes how researchers using "high-throughput gene sequencing technology" were able to identify several de novo or spontaneous gene mutations in 20 children with sporadic autism spectrum disorders -- that is, their family members showed no other sign of autism.
  • The team identified 21 spontaneous mutations -- meaning they weren't inherited from either parent -- in the children's DNA. Eleven of these were mutations that would alter the protein encoded by the affected gene. In four of the 20 children, the researchers found mutations that were severe, some of which have been previously linked to autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy.
  • one child had a mutation in the GRIN2B gene, which is crucial for neuronal signaling.
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  • Another individual had an extra nucleotide in FOXP1, a gene that, along with its close relatives, has been heavily implicated in language defects.
  • These new findings support the 'multi-hit' model of autism, which suggests that having more than one mutation can cause or worsen symptoms of autism and other brain disorders. The different combinations of mutations may contribute to the heterogeneity in ASDs.
  • That such different combinations of genetic mutations contribute to a child being autistic could account for why individuals with an ASD diagnosis have some very similar, and very different, features.
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    "The Howard Hughes Medical Institute describes how researchers using "high-throughput gene sequencing technology" were able to identify several de novo or spontaneous gene mutations in 20 children with sporadic autism spectrum disorders -- that is, their family members showed no other sign of autism."
Tero Toivanen

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Evidence of Common Genes Linking Autism Spectrum Disord... - 0 views

  • genetic mutations in the SHANK2 gene, partially responsible for linking nerve cells,  and variants in the number of gene copies that were common to patients with autism and patients with mental retardation.
  • the same mutation can be present in an autistic patient with normal intelligence and in a mentally impaired patient
  • Our findings further link common genes between ASD and intellectual disability.
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    Link between Autism and intellectual disability?
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