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Kathy Marshack News

How Genes Impact Autism

Friday, October 12, 2012


Autism is a mystery that’s slowly being uncovered by the tireless work of researchers around the globe. Current research is zeroing in on whether genetics plays a role in autism and how genes impact the brain. 

 

Researchers at UCLA have focused their attention on a genetic mutation in the MET receptor tyrosine kinase gene that has proven to cause susceptibility to Autism. According to an article in UCLA’s newsroom here is what they found:

 

"For the first time, the researchers showed that the so-called "C" variant, which reduces MET protein expression, specifically impacts the network of connections among different areas of the brain involved in social behavior, including recognizing emotions shown on people's faces. While this gene variation is commonly found in the brains of both health individuals and those with ASD, the study showed that the gene has a bigger impact on brain connectivity in children with ASD. 

 

Their findings provide new insight into understanding ASD heterogeneity — the considerable individual differences in how ASD symptoms present — which has challenged the field in developing more effective diagnostic tools and biologically based interventions for all affected children. Eventually, genetic information may be useful in identifying subgroups of individuals with ASD who may better respond to different types of treatment."

 

The more information scientists uncover, the easier it will be to find the right kind of treatment for ASD. For more information on a high functioning form of ASD - visit Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions.

 




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