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Gene variants in autism linked to brain development
Date:3/1/2011

esmost especially in affecting synapse function, neurotransmission and brain development," said White. "This suggested to us that there may be many differentpossibly even hundredsof genetic paths to autism, with only a few gene alterations relevant to each individual patient. But if those hundreds of genes have similar roles in the nervous system, the end result may lead to the same diagnosis: an autism spectrum disorder."

With many genes possibly involved in autism, adds White, researchers face a stronger challenge in devising gene-based diagnostic tests and eventually developing drug treatments than would be the case if fewer genes were involved.

However, the fact that the current study consistently pointed to the same functional pathways and gene sets associated with neurological processes strongly suggests these pathways could be fruitful targets for further investigation.


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Contact: John Ascenzi
ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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