Possible Link Between Autism And Oxytocin Gene Via Non-DNA Sequence Mutation

Science Daily released a report today about researchers at Duke University Medical Center who discovered a genetic signature that doesn’t involve actual changes to the DNA sequence itself  but by the way the genes are turned on and off.

“We are excited about our findings because they represent one of the few occasions in which a mechanism other than genetic susceptibility or genome instability is implicated in the development of autism,” said co-lead author Simon G. Gregory, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Duke Department of Medicine. The work appears in BMC Medicine journal online.

“These results provide a possible explanation of why social isolation forms part of the autism spectrum — because an autistic individual’s ability to respond to oxytocin may be limited,” Gregory said. ” Oxytocin has been tied to levels of trust and ability to read social cues.”

Ultimately researches hope these findings will help in better diagnosis and treatment of children with autism.

To read the full report, click here.

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