Researchers create “formula” that will determine which mutations are likely to lead to ASD

geneticsHospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Applied Genomics, Toronto – Genome research has allowed scientists to identify around 100 altered genes associated with autism.

Stephen Scherer, director of the Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Applied Genomics and his team of researchers have created a “formula” that will determine which mutations are likely to lead to ASD and which are not.

The new research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, suggests that autism begins in the womb. This new research will help clinicians diagnose ASD earlier.

Kathryn Roeder, a statistical geneticist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who was not involved in the study said the research was a tremendous stride forward.

The formula flagged 3,955 exons in 1,744 genes. Stephen Schere told The Star:

“What we think we’ve found in these 1,744 genes that have these characteristics is a set of genes involved in human cognition,”

“A subset of those are already known to be involved in autism, and we think the remaining ones will in the future be found to be involved.”

What this research does is add weight to the suggestion that autism begins prenatally.

The original article by Kate Allen on The Star website can be found here