Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Has Evolution Increased Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk?

Image: Shuttershock

A study conducted by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium found that genetic variants linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders could be caused by evolution favoring traits for enhanced cognitive capabilities. Their research showed that variants linked to ASD seemed to have been positively selected rather than negatively selected as previously believed (meaning more traits for ASD were retained in populations). Scientists believe that the selected cognitive enhancement trait is beneficial, it has also come with the cost of increased risk of falling on the Spectrum. 
Hopefully scientists will be able to identify which genes are affected by this selected variant and can utilize it to find the cause of Autism disorders. As someone with a brother who is cognitively impaired, it would be interesting to see this come to life.

No comments:

Post a Comment