Blogizdat (Don't Think About It): Autism News


Friday, May 11, 2007

Autism News


From Science Daily:



Study Finds Regions Of DNA That Appear Linked To Autistic Spectrum Disorders

May 10, 2007

Science Daily — Using an innovative statistical approach, a research team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, Los Angeles, has identified two regions of DNA linked to autism. They found the suspicious DNA with a much smaller sample of people than has been used traditionally in searches for autism genes.

Autism -- a disorder that involves social deficits, language problems and repetitive, stereotyped behaviors -- affects around one in 1,000 children. And the combined incidence of autism spectrum disorders, which include Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, brings the total number of affected children to one in every 150 births. Boys are affected three to four times more often than girls.

There's clearly a genetic component to autism, according to John N. Constantino, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and a co-principal investigator on this latest study. If one child in a family is autistic, there's a 10 percent chance a sibling also will have autism. Past research has isolated a few regions of DNA linked to autism, but very few of those studies have been replicated, so no specific autism genes have yet been identified.

"Those older studies used what's called an 'affected sib pair' design that looks for genetic markers in siblings with autism," says Constantino. "That approach has worked well for single-gene disorders, but autism is a complex disease that may involve many genes that each make very small contributions. When that's the case, it's harder to find genetic markers."

So Constantino's group, in collaboration with the other co-principal investigator, Daniel H. Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., and neuropsychiatric and genetics researchers at UCLA, is using a different approach. They report their findings in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.



Read the rest here.

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1 Comments:

At 5/12/2007 02:30:00 PM, Blogger concerned heart said...

I have read that the risk factor if one child has autism is 22% Here is the study that has the figures:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16108999&query_hl=20&itool=pubmed_docsum




1: J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Sep;46(9):963-71. Links
Effects of familial risk factors and place of birth on the risk of autism: a nationwide register-based study.Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, Mortensen PB.
Centre for Basic Psychiatric Research, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. mbl@psykiatri.aaa.dk

BACKGROUND: The etiology of autism is unknown. A strong genetic component has been detected but non-genetic factors may also be involved in the etiology. METHODS: We used data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register and the Danish Civil Registration System to study some risk factors of autism, including place of birth, parental place of birth, parental age, family history of psychiatric disorders, and paternal identity. RESULTS: A total of 943,664 children younger than ten years were followed from 1994 to 2001; of those, 818 children developed autism. The highest risks of autism were found in siblings of children with autism, or Asperger's syndrome and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), with relative risks of 22 and 13, respectively. The relative risk of autism in the child was about twice as high if the mother had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. The risk of autism was associated with increasing degree of urbanisation of the child's place of birth and with increasing paternal, but not maternal, age. An increased relative risk of 1.4 was found if the mother was born outside Europe, and in children of parents who were born in different countries. CONCLUSIONS: The highest risk of autism was found in families with a history of autism, or Asperger's syndrome and other PDDs in siblings, supporting the commonly accepted knowledge that genetic factors are involved in the etiology of autism.

http://autism-prevention.blogspot.com/

 

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