The gene mutations are extremely rare and together account for a tiny fraction of autism cases, suggesting that the search for therapies will be a long one, and that what is loosely known as autism may represent a broad category of related but biologically distinct conditions. There are likely hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rare mutations that could disrupt brain development enough to result in social and developmental delays.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Gene Studies of Autism Point to Mutations and Parents’ Age
Three teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly the father.