Autism genes discovered - Macleans.ca
 

Autism genes discovered

Genetic tests could provide early diagnosis


 

In the largest-ever genetic study of autism, researchers found several new genes involved in the disorder, the BBC reports, which suggests that genetic testing could provide early diagnosis in the future, and might help identify new drugs to fight its symptoms. Autism has long been known to have a genetic influence, but until now, only eight or nine genes were confirmed to play a role. Using a new analysis technique, they found faults in many more regions of DNA in the 1,000 patients in the study, and said they might eventually find up to 300 genes involved. Some of them play a role in the connections between brain cells, and others send signals within the cells. The team hopes to find all genes involved in autism within the next two years, which could help explain why the disorder affects different people in different ways: each has a unique combination of faulty genes.

BBC News


 
Filed under:

Autism genes discovered

  1. This is great news, to a point. The question is how such "early diagnosis" will be used: to help those with autism and their caregivers, or to terminate those with autism before they see the light of day?

    Let's hope this doesn't follow the horrible path already forged by the early diagnosis of Down's Syndrome.

    • It can go both ways. I know parents who have found out their child would have Down's. It's not something you can entirely prepare for, but having at least a few months to start dealing with it is helpful.