WEEKLY UPDATE: September 12, 2019
SUMMARY: Identification of novel genetic variants linked to autism spectrum disorder.
DESCRIPTION: Autism spectrum disorder affects cognitive development in childhood, often leading to impaired social skills, compulsive behavior, and obsessive interests. While autism spectrum disorder is thought to be highly heritable, only a few genetic variants have been linked to it. This genome-wide association study on 46,350 individuals of European ancestry identified 12 novel variants associated with autism spectrum disorder. The genetic variants help explain about 12% of the heritability of autism spectrum disorder. Several of these genetic variants have been previously linked to other psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression and are located in and around genes involved in brain development and function.
DID YOU KNOW? While autism spectrum disorder cannot be prevented, an early clinical diagnosis can help reduce symptoms. Therapies typically aim to aid the development of social skills. [SOURCE]