A new Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center study links regions of two chromosomes to susceptibility for a type of autism characterized by regression in development. Developmental regression can include the loss of previously acquired language, social skills or both.
Moreover, the study is the first to identify involvement of chromosome 21 in this type of autism. This may explain the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children with Down syndrome, who have an extra copy of chromosome 21 and are 10 times more likely to have an ASD than the general population.
The findings represent "the important first step in identifying genetic variants that may contribute to susceptibility to this specific type of ASD," says Cindy Molloy, M.D., lead author of the study. Dr. Molloy is a physician at Cincinnati Childrens in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics and in the division of developmental disabilities.
Jim Feuer | EurekAlert!
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