Genome-Wide Association Study of Autism Reveals a Common Novel Risk Locus

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether autism is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations. Vanderbilt and University of Miami researchers have identified a small nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on chromosome 5 which associates with autism. This SNP could be developed for early detection of this disease. Diagnosis of autism can be difficult and typically not done until children have difficulty with social interactions. If autism could be identified at an earlier stage then behavior modifications could be introduced to help children preventing many of the restrictive behavior these children have.

Jonathan HainesMargaret Pericak-Vance
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Taylor Jordan

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