Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Study on Autism Spectrum Disorder focusing on Chromosome 11

NASHVILLE, TN Every Year.. Thousands Of Familes Learn One Or More Of Their Children.. Has An Autism Spectrum Disorder. For Years.. Not Much Was Understood About The Biology Of Autism.But Genetic Researchers Have Zeroed In On Some Clues.Autism Gene Study/Nashville, TNIt's A Genetic Treasure Hunt.. Finding The Biological Roots Of Autism.Jonathan Haines, PhD/Vanderbilt University"What We're Trying To Identify Are The Few, The Very Few Of Those Several Million Simple Changes That Make The Difference Between Someone Who Has Autism And Someone Who Doesn't Have Autism."With Access To Thousands Of D-N-A Samples From Familes With Two Or More Kids With The Condition.. The Autism Genome Project Is Making Breakthroughs.Jonathan Haines, PhD/Vanderbilt University"The Findings On Chromosome 11 Are Particularly Promising. We Feel Like We've Got A Strong Lead, So We Are Actively Trying To Weed Through The Genes In That Region To Find That Proverbial Needle In A Haystack."Another Needle In That Haystack Is A Gene Called Neurexin One.It's Within These Areas.. That The Loss Or Gain Of Genetic Material.. Alters The Function Of The Gene.James Sutcliffe, PhD/Vanderbilt University"The Mutations That We See Are Not Present In A Large Number Of Normal Individuals, Therefore There Is Significant Evidence Then, That They Are Likely To Be, If Not Causal, Then Significant Risk Factors."Ultimately.. The Result Of This Continuing Project May Be A Predictive Test.James Sutcliffe, PhD/Vanderbilt University"We Are Hoping That At Some Point, And This Will Be A Number Of Years Into The Future, That We Will Be Able To Take A Blood Sample Perhaps, And Predict Whether Somebody Is, Not If They're Going To Get Autism Or Not Get Autism, But If They're Likely To Develop Autism."In The Meantime.. Phase Two Is Getting Underway.. Inspired By The Families.Jonathan Haines, PhD/Vanderbilt University"There's So Much Urgency In The Part Of These Families, Especially Those With Multiple Affected Children, That Uh, It Really Inspires Us To Really Wanna Push These Studies Forward As Quickly As Possible."Because The Genetic Changes Within These Genes Can Be Very Slight.. The Researchers Aren't Hopeful That A So-Called "Genetic Engineering" Treatment For Autism Will Be Possible. But They Do Think The Development Of A Blood Test In The Future Is Likely.. As Well As Finding Better Drug Therapies.. All Based On These Genetic Breakthroughs.