NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 24, 2014) A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic testing offers an important tool in individualized diagnosis and treatment of autism.
Funded primarily by Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, the Autism Genome Project involved more than 50 research centers in 11 countries. The report, published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics, delivers on the 10-year project's objective to provide practical methods for earlier diagnosis and personalized treatment of autism.
"With the publication of this study, we should step back to recognize and celebrate the pioneering achievements of the AGP and what they have accomplished in helping to launch the field of genomic risk discovery in autism," says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Rob Ring. "The AGP has generated information that holds the potential to guide medical care for certain individuals with autism today. They have demonstrated that science can work for families, and Autism Speaks is proud to have been a supporter of the work all along the way."
The study involved CNV testing of 2,446 families affected by autism and 4,768 individuals unaffected by neurologic or psychiatric disorders. Overall, CNVs were significantly more common in the participating families affected by autism. And, the CNV testing uncovered dozens of cases where autism-linked gene changes were associated with additional health risks warranting medical attention.
In nine of the families affected by autism, CNVs involved a gene that indicates elevated risk for seizures and epilepsy.
|Contact: Steffanie Marchese|