Collaboration between Penn State, University of California Davis/MIND Institute, and the University of Washington gained strides towards early detection and prevention with the identification of increased genetic change in concentrated areas of the genome that influence DNA structure in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The study weighs the nature versus nurture debates among current autism research. Conducted under the umbrella of the CHARGE study, sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the research findings support the argument that genetics outweigh environment. Springing from previous research revealing rare DNA deletions or duplications among up to 10 percent of those with autism, this study found that more common DNA are also being duplicated excessively in the genome of autistic children creating concentrated areas of rapid change. Further, these researchers found that those children with the greatest DNA duplication throughout their genome had more difficulty with daily living skills, suggesting a direct correlation between this excessive DNA growth and developmental disability and shedding light on the discrepancies within the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Selleck of Penn State explains the findings in an article for Medical News Today saying, “the increased levels of both rare and common variants suggests the possibility that these individuals are predisposed to genetic alteration.” The research will be published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
For more information, visit:
“Link Between Autism And Increased Genetic Change in Regions Of Genome Instability.” Medical News Today. N.p., 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.