Wednesday, April 3, 2013

DNA Hot Spots Linked to Autism

Science Daily published an article entitled “Autism Linked to Increased Genetic Change in Regions of Genome Instability” by Scott Selleck and Barbara K. Kennedy. New research has revealed areas of the genome susceptible to rearrangements of DNA, also referred to as hot spots, have higher levels of alteration in children with autism. These rearrangements of DNA are an excess of duplicated DNA segments in the hot spot areas and may increase the incidence of autism in children. In addition, these increased levels of duplicated DNA are found in normal developing children, but not at the extremely high levels that have been identified in children with autism.
This new information is a small step in unraveling the causes of autism and there is a continuing discussion in the research field regarding genetic versus environmental as to the causes of autism.

I believe that continued research in both environmental and genetic causes of autism should be collaborated because there are indications that both play a role.  Currently, there is evidence of genetic factors that influence the risk for developing autism, but recent studies have linked prenatal exposure to thalidomide and Valproic acid to autism as well.

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