Navigation Links
Gene Plays Role in Risk of Autism
Date:1/10/2008

Three research teams found same gene raised chances of developing the disorder

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A gene that appears to play a key role in the development of autism has been identified by three different teams of researchers.

UCLA scientists found that the gene -- contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) -- is most active in brain regions involved with language and thought and that the presence of the gene may explain speech delays in children with autism.

Their study appears in the Jan. 10 online edition of The American Journal of Human Genetics.

The same issue also features reports from research teams at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University that link the CNTNAP2 gene to autism. Meanwhile, a consortium of autism researchers from the Boston area reported in the Jan. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that abnormalities on chromosome 16 seemed to raise the risk of a certain kind of autism.

The UCLA scientists noted that the gene they discovered is tied closely to language development.

"This gene not only may predispose children to autism. It also may influence the development of brain structures involved in language, providing a tangible link between genes, the brain and behavior," principal investigator Dr. Daniel Geschwind, a professor of human genetics at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

In the study, researchers analyzed DNA samples from almost 500 families that had at least one autistic child and found that CNTNAP2 showed up consistently in the samples.

The UCLA team also examined CNTNAP2 presence in early brain tissue and found that the gene was most active in developing brain structures involved in language and thought.

Researcher Brett Abrahams, a postdoctoral fellow, explained the significance of the finding by comparing the brain to a house.

"We know that different rooms in houses serve different purposes. For example, if an item only appears in the kitchen, it makes sense to assume it's involved in cooking. Or if we find an object only in the bedroom, it's likely connected to sleeping," he said in a prepared statement. "The fact that we found CNTNAP2 concentrated in the brain's structures that are involved in higher cognition gives us strong clues about how its disruption might adversely shape brain development, including speech and language."

The UCLA researchers also found that the gene was strongest in families with autistic boys, compared to families with autistic boys and girls or families with autistic girls only.

"Autism strikes boys three times as often as girls," Maricela Alarcon, first study author and an assistant professor in residence of neurology at UCLA, said in a prepared statement. "This finding may partly explain why."

In the Johns Hopkins study, researchers found that a specific variation in the structure of CNTNAP2 makes a child more vulnerable to developing autism. They looked at more than 1,300 children with autism and their parents and found that where a single segment of the genetic code of CNTNAP2 could contain either the chemical base adenine or thymine, children with autism tended to have the thymine variant.

The researchers also found that children with autism were about 20 percent more likely to have inherited the thymine variant from their mothers than from their fathers.

"This is a common variant. People inherit it all the time. Our finding that it's associated with autism more often when it's inherited from mothers is intriguing, but needs to be replicated," Johns Hopkins researcher Aravinda Chakravarti said in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Jan. 10, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Laboratory at UI plays major role in diagnosing cancer
2. Environment plays key role in childrens readiness for school
3. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
4. The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Expected to Draw 10,000 Walkers and Raise $1 Million to Help Find Answers About the Nations Fastest-Growing Developmental Disorder
5. Rain Man mice provide model for autism
6. Houston Texans Star Players Ahman Green and Matt Schaub Help Easter Seals, Avondale House and Local Families Tackle Autism
7. Study shows autism symptoms can improve into adulthood
8. Brain Imaging Expert Recruited to Study Autism at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
9. USC granted $8.4 million for autism research
10. Autism Speaks Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Families Right to Challenge IEPs Without First Trying Out School District Proposed Placement
11. Reliant Energy, Houston Texans Ahman Green and Matt Schaub Team to Hold News Conference, Book Signing to Raise Awareness about Autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Gene Plays Role in Risk of Autism
(Date:8/22/2017)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... advisor. Mr. Stewart is the Founder and Managing Member for t4 Leadership Development ... have become critical to his definition of “success”: physician leadership development, servant leadership, ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... Although Labor Day is ... many communities have begun providing weekend displays, and numerous households celebrate the unofficial end ... can be downright terrifying for pets. , Kris Zambo, owner of Dynamite ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... Stevens as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... SportsEngine, Inc. , ... Official Technology Partner of North Country Region Volleyball and will power registration, scheduling, ... along with providing sport management software to their member clubs. , ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Duncan Insurance ... serving the people of Michigan. The new initiative fundraises for the Kalamazoo Humane ... very forefront of animal protection and welfare by addressing the root causes of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/7/2017)...  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the nation,s largest independent ... 30, 2017.  All comparisons, unless otherwise noted, are to the ... Second Quarter 2017 Highlights include: ... increase of 3.5% Total prescriptions dispensed of ... 7.5% versus 7.6% Gross profit per ...
(Date:8/3/2017)... DIEGO , Aug. 3, 2017  Opioid addiction ... diseases driving up healthcare costs and threatening outcomes, were ... lab supply and IVD industry that support them, met ... care market researcher said that drugs of abuse, procalcitonin ... and sessions at the organization,s 69th meeting in ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... , Aug. 2, 2017 CaryRx, a next-generation full-service ... delivery service for patients in the Washington D.C. ... retail pharmacy by providing delivery of medications through the convenience ... future delivery or delivered within one hour to any location ... excited to bring this invaluable service to Washington ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: