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Researchers at Hebrew University identify genetic systems disrupted in autistic brain
Date:5/1/2012

wed them to discover groups of genes with shared function in the brain. Next, based on genetic data from thousands of families with autistic children, the researchers studied the contribution of different groups of genes to autism.

To their surprise, they found -- when looking at mutations found in autism as well as thousands of common gene variants that are more frequently seen in autistics -- that these mutations and variations are located in specific functional groups.

When looking at families with one autistic individual (sporadic cases), and in families where there is more than one affected individual (multiplex cases), the same variants were seen acting in both cases. These groups of genes are highly active in the first year of life, and are involved in processes of learning, memory, and sensory perception.

The Hebrew University scientists believe that their work could pave the way for large-scale genetic scans in the future that could allow for early diagnosis of autism. Further, the results of their study provide a ray of hope that by concentrating on specific gene groups, it will one day be possible to design drugs which could alleviate sympto


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Contact: Jerry Barach
972-258-82904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert  

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