Mount Sinai study published in American Journal of Human Genetics
A substantial proportion of risk for developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD), resides in genes that are part of specific, interconnected biological pathways, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who conducted a broad study of almost 2,500 families in the United States and throughout the world.
The study, titled "Convergence of Genes and Cellular Pathways Dysregulated in Autism Spectrum Disorders," was first published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics on April 24.
ASD affects about one percent of the population in the United States and is characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as by repetitive and restricted behaviors. ASD ranges from mild to severe levels of impairment, with cognitive function among individuals from above average to intellectual disability.
Previously, ASD has been shown to be highly inheritable, and genomic studies have revealed that that there are various sources of risk for ASD, including large abnormalities in whole chromosomes, deletions or duplications in sections of DNA – called copy number variants (CNVs), and even changes of single nucleotides (SNVs) within a gene; genes contain instructions to produce proteins that have various functions in the cell.
The researchers reported numerous CNVs affecting genes, and found that these genes are part of similar cellular pathways involved in brain development, synapse function and chromatin regulation. Individuals with ASD carried more of these CNVs than individuals in the control group, and some of them were inherited while others were only present in offspring with ASD.
An earlier study, results of which were first published in 2010, highlighted a subset of these findings within a cohort of approximately 1,000 families in the U.S. and Europe; this larger study has expanded that cohort to nearly 2,500 families, each comprising "trios" of two parents and one child. By further aggregating CNVs and SNVs (the latter identified in other studies), Mount Sinai researchers discovered many additional genes and pathways involved in ASD.
"We hope that these new findings will help group individuals with ASD based upon their genetic causes and lead to earlier diagnosis, and smarter, more focused therapies and interventions for autism spectrum disorders," said first author Dalila Pinto, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Pinto is a Seaver Foundation Faculty Fellow, and a member of the Mindich Child Health & Development Institute, the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, and the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; other Mount Sinai researchers on this study include Mafalda Barbosa, Graduate Student in Psychiatry; Xiao Xu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatry; Alexander Kolevzon, MD, Clinical Director of the Seaver Autism Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics; and Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, Director of the Seaver Autism Center, Vice Chair for Research in Psychiatry, and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences.
This study was jointly supported through the main funders of the International Autism Genome Project: Autism Speaks, the Health Research Board (Ireland), the Hillbrand Foundations, the Genome Canada, the Ontario Genomics Institute, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Sid Dinsay | Eurek Alert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses