Yale study helping explain development of autism

- FILE - Autism gene map (WTNH / Jocelyn Maminta)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new autism study out of Yale University is helping explain just how the disorder develops.

Yale researchers focused on one gene strongly linked to autism, specifically, how this gene interacted with other genes also associated with autism. The focus is giving them an entree to a clearer understanding of the biology behind the neuro-developmental disorder.

The CDC says one in 68 children in the US fall on the autism spectrum disorder. Yale researchers are unlocking the mystery on how genetics could play a role in the biology of autism.

“The genetic evidence is overwhelming,” Dr. James Noonan of the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Noonan is the principal investigator of a study that focused on the gene CHD-8, strongly associated with autism.

“What other genes does it control in the brain?” said Dr. Noonan. “What we found is that it controlled other genes that show a risk for autism.”

They found it controlled a total of eight genes that show a risk for autism.

“What our results suggest is that sometime in midfield development there is some change in brain development, they maybe quite subtle, but it’s something we can study,” said Dr. Noonan.

If they can grasp a better understanding of how that happens, Dr. Noonan says there is a potential of eventually developing a treatment for autism.

“The evidence is now fairly strong the biologic-an mechanisms,” he said. “Basically what is affected in the brain is something that happens before birth when the brain is put together.”

Dr. Noonan says there are over 50 genes linked to autism that control other genes, just like CHD-8. This is just the beginning of understanding the role of genetics in autism.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s