Genetic Mutation Linked to Autism Risk

— Business Week

Newly found gene mutations tied to autism may one day help scientists classify types of the developmental disorder and shape treatments based on their DNA profiles, researchers said. The mutations aren’t found in parents of autistic people, and don’t guarantee children will have autism, the scientists found. Some, though, are more common in children of older fathers, with the risk rising as the men age, according to one of three papers reported in the journal Nature.

One in 88 U.S. children have autism spectrum disorders, according to a federal report issued in March. Although the disorders are classed together, symptoms are frequently different and DNA may hint at ways to group similar patients, said Evan Eichler, a professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle and a study author.

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