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Common gene variants account for most genetic risk for autism
Date:7/20/2014

pinpointing genetic risk factors. The researchers were able to pick from all of the cases of illness within a population-based registry."

Now that the genetic architecture is better understood, the researchers are identifying specific genetic risk factors detected in the sample, such as deletions and duplications of genetic material and spontaneous mutations. Even though such rare spontaneous mutations accounted for only a small fraction of autism risk, the potentially large effects of these glitches makes them important clues to understanding the molecular underpinnings of the disorder, say the researchers.

"Within a given family, the mutations could be a critical determinant that leads to the manifestation of ASD in a particular family member," said Buxbaum. "The family may have common variation that puts it at risk, but if there is also a de novo [spontaneous} mutation on top of that, it could push an individual over the edge. So for many families, the interplay between common and spontaneous genetic factors could be the underlying genetic architecture of the disorder."


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Contact: Jules Asher
NIMHpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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