DNA Scan Uncovers 18 Genes Newly Associated With Autism – NBC News
A new genetic analysis of people with autism and their relatives has uncovered 18 genes associated with the disease.
People with autism often had dozens of mutations that may have caused their symptoms — an average of 73 unique mutations, the team at Autism Speaks found.
Some of the mutations might be affected by medications, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The study adds to the considerable evidence that autism is a condition caused by genetics, and also adds to a growing body of evidence that each person with autism has his or her own pattern of DNA changes.
“It’s noteworthy that we’re still finding new autism genes, let alone 18 of them, after a decade of intense focus,” said Mathew Pletcher, vice president for genomic discovery at Autism Speaks.
“With each new gene discovery, we’re able to explain more cases of autism, each with its own set of behavioral effects and many with associated medical concerns.”
Dr. Stephen Scherer of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and colleagues studied the DNA of more than 5,000 people in 2,066 families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, including 2,600 affected children.
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