“It affects a surprisingly large number of children,” said Dr Olivier Lichtarge, who said 1 in 54 children are currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
HOUSTON — More and more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and researchers are trying to figure out why.
Now, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine say they have identified a gene linked to autism that predicts a patient’s IQ. This could be an important step forward in figuring out how to identify and treat ASD.
“It affects a surprisingly large number of children,” said Dr. Olivier Lichtarge, professor of molecular genetics and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.
According to Dr. Lichtarge, about 2 percent of 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism.
“It’s a growing fraction for reasons we don’t understand,” said Dr Lichtarge.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. it can affect speech social interaction and the ability to communicate
Doctors aren’t sure what caused it.
“The basis of autism is not very clear. It is clearly hereditary. It may also interact with the environment,” Dr Lichtarge said.
Although it is hereditary But autism is not always hereditary. Autism is called a complex disease. This means that it is not caused by a single gene mutation. but caused by multiple genes in multiple genes That’s why it’s hard to find all the answers.
“You can’t fix the problem. If you don’t know where it is,” Dr Lichtarge said.
But now is a bright step forward: Dr. Lichtarge and his team say they have identified a dangerous mutation in a specific gene set linked to autism.
“Especially for autism. We were able to identify a set of genes,” said Dr Lichtarge. “Now we have those genes. We can start looking at patients and doing profiles. and hope to be able to try to learn As we classify those patients Which is a group of symptoms they have, which patients respond more to treatment?”
Dr Lichtarge said this was the key to identifying the types and subtypes of autism so scientists can develop the best treatments.
“There is every reason to hope that we can understand it better in the near future,” he said.
To read more about what Dr. Lichtarge and his team discovered, click here.
According to the CDC, “ASD begins before the age of 3 and can last throughout a person’s life. although symptoms may improve over time. Some babies show symptoms of ASD within the first 12 months of life. Some symptoms may not show until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD acquire new skills. and achieve the development goals Until about 18 to 24 months of age, then stop acquiring new skills. or loss of skills
To learn more about the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, click here.