Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kids of Older Dads Face Higher Autism Risk

Children of older fathers are more likely to be diagnosed with autism, schizophrenia and a number of other neuropsychiatric or developmental disorders, and a new study reveals why this may be.
The results show that older male mice are more likely than younger males to have offspring with mutations in genes that correspond to human genes associated with these neurological conditions. The genomes of mice and men are roughly 85 percent identical.
"Mice do not get schizophrenia or autism," said Dr. John McGrath, senior author of the study published today (Aug.30) in the journal Translational Psychiatry. "But, we have found previously that the offspring of older mice have subtle changes in brain structure and behavior."

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