Genetic variation and behavioral diversity in autism

Summary: The findings provide insight into how natural genetic variations affect brain development and give rise to the range of behaviors associated with autism.

Source: SfN

Research in humans and animal models points to potential biological and genetic mechanisms contributing to the diversity of behaviors seen in autism.

The results were presented at Neuroscience 2022, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging information on brain science and brain health.

Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, is a diverse group of conditions related to brain development. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, with the diagnosis occurring four times more frequently in boys than in girls.

New research offers a better understanding of how natural genetic variation affects brain development and gives rise to the range of behaviors associated with autism and may contribute to more individualized approaches to supporting people with autism.

Today’s new findings show that:

  • A group of genes that have altered activity in autism are also regulated differently in developing male and female brains, potentially contributing to gender differences in autism symptoms and diagnosis. (Donna Werling, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Analyzes focusing on behavioral and genomic differences between sibling pairs reveal genetic locations that may prove relevant to autism-related social difficulties. (Nathaniel Stockham, Stanford University)
  • In autistic humans and mouse models of autism, brain imaging reveals two dominant subtypes characterized by impaired communication between brain regions. (Marco Pagani, Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia)

See also

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Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, is a diverse group of conditions related to brain development. Image is in public domain

“Studies like the ones presented today confirm that autism is driven by sources of genetic variation that exist naturally in the human population,” says Nicola Grissom, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota who studies individual differences. and sexual in motivated and executive behavior. function in mouse models.

“A better understanding of the genetic components of autism and an appreciation for the neurodiversity that naturally occurs in people can help combat the stigma that still exists around autism.”

About this genetics and autism research news

Author: Press office
Source: SfN
Contact: Press office – SfN
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: The findings will appear in Neuroscience 2022

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