Scientists Find First Definitive Genetic Links to Autism

Scientists have uncovered several gene mutations that sharply increase the chances of developing autism. Its the first time researchers have pinpointed a specific genetic component with the spectrum of disorders, which includes Aspergers.They also found that the risk is higher in older parents, in particular new fathers over 35. The findings are published in three papers in the journal Nature.A Genetic Autism RoadmapThe mutations are rare and account for a small number of actual cases, which have reached the alarming rate of one in every 88 children, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last week. Despite the small numbers, the discovery of the mutations is significant because it gives scientists a road map to further explore Autisms biology. Follow-up research, The New York Times reports, could uncover enough rare mutations to account for up to 20 percent of Autism spectrum cases.

via Scientists Find First Definitive Genetic Links to Autism.

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