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:1/24/2017)... ... ... The Cruise Web Inc. was recognized today as Northeast Account ... MSC True Partnerships’ Awards. , The 2016 MSC True Partnerships Awards are presented ... overall business growth in revenue and guests and continuous partnership support and innovative marketing ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... solutions, announced that it has officially formed a distribution partnership with Byers ... the industrial odor management industry. , Through the agreement, OMI Industries formulated a ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... the focus of a new report from the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute ... , Influential business leaders, academics and policy makers identified concrete solutions at the ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... Pollack, Ph.D., http://www.faculty.washington.edu/ghp , Sharon Kleyne, the nation’s foremost water advocate ... Global Climate Change and Your Health on Voice America, once again welcomed one ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , ... January 24, 2017 , ... “Speaking With God’s ... With God’s Voice” is the creation of published author, Louis A. Miraglia, a born-again ... how best to deliver God’s great, impactful Word. , “There is little doubt ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... and new case studies using its Biomedical Intelligence® Cloud ... grow knowledge from a multitude of genomic, molecular and ... These updates were presented at a session hosted by ... Mountain View, CA. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017 Trifecta Clinical , a leading ... Rick Ward to Vice President of Commercial ... also announcing the promotion of Ericka Atkinson ... Rick joins Trifecta from Greenphire where he was ... business development positions within the healthcare industry throughout his ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... - Product, Material - Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The ... CAGR of around 5.4% over the next decade to reach approximately ... that the market is witnessing include 3D medical printing is expected ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: