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Autism & Genetics
Autism isn’t just frustrating for parents. It’s also frustrating for scientists too.
There is clearly a genetic part to autism, it tends to run in families and identical twins who share the same genes are more likely to both have autism than are fraternal.
So, genes are involved but isn’t easy to nail down what is going on genetically with autism.
Autism and its entire spectrum of disorders is actually pretty common 1 in 166 people have it.
Another way to explain a lot of these results is if autism weren’t in some of these folks trees to begin with. In some families autism just appears out of nowhere.
Mount Sinai school of medicine in New York City, for example is offering a new blood test that examines 30 different genes for mutations known to be associated or autism or developmental delays.
Some autism related genetic disorders also carry a high risk of cancer, siezures, heart diseases or other health problems, so knowing about them allows families and physians to be vigiliant for such issues.
If a genetic mutation is found, researchers can also test the parents’ DNA to see if the problem was inherited or if it occurred spontaneously, in which case the risk of having another child with autism is no greater in the general population.
Another possible outcome: The test could find abnormalities in those 30 genes- or find no “Variations of the unknown significance”
Researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, have developed a test that looks for 237 genetic markers called single nucleotide-polymorphisims, some are thought to raise the risk of autism with more than 70% accuracy in people of central European descent, but only 54% in those of Chinese descent, according to a study in the journal molecular psychiatry this…...

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