International researchers along with academics from three institutions have established the fact that the genes that are responsible for causing autism are present in all human beings, according to a news report. The team comprised of representatives from the University of Bristol, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and the Massachusetts General Hospital, according to the report.
The researchers had teamed up to study the relationship between ASD and the traits of the condition exhibited by those, who do not have it. Their findings suggest that the genetic risk factors underlying autism include the variants which a child inherits from the parents as well as those that are not seen in them.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that inhibits children from communicating effectively in social life, causes peculiar and repetitive behavior patterns, and its influence remains for the lifetime. These are the traits that define the varying degrees of severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which roughly affects 1 in 68 children in the United States.
The recent advances relating to genome sequencing have helped researchers make out what the genetic map of ASD looks like. Research has also revealed that most of the risk factors pertaining to ASD are polygenic, meaning that they stem from the integrated effects of thousands of genetic variations, circulated across the genome. Some cases were connected with uncommon variations of genes of large effect.
The co-director of the Medical and Population Genetics (MPG) Program of the Broad Institute, Dr Mark Daly, said that multiple strong evidences have been found to suggest these findings. “Once we had measurable genetic signals in hand – both polygenic risk and specific de novo mutations known to contribute to ASD – we were able to make an incontrovertible case that the genetic risk contributing to autism is genetic risk that exists in all of us, and influences our behaviour and social communication,” he was quoted as saying according to the news report.
The researchers are also hopeful of using the approach to study the link between genetic risks and behavioral traits with regard to other neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.