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Genetic Risk Factors for Autism

Patrick Bolton and Hilgo Bruining on connecting genetic risk factors to specific symptoms in autism

Posted by Biome on 24th February 2014 –  0 Comments

Genome wide association studies, genetic epidemiological investigations and numerous gene sequencing approaches have led to a growing appreciation of a genetic component to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Genetic variations have consequently been linked to a broad spectrum of behavioural symptoms that fall within the classification of ASD. However, for the large part, these risk factors have not been correlated with specific symptomatology. Such a correlation might be important to dissect the heterogeneity of ASD, which is urgently needed to develop more targeted treatment possibilities. In a recent study in Molecular Autism, Patrick Bolton from King’s College London, UK, Hilgo Bruining from the Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, the Netherlands, and colleagues, investigate the genetics of ASD with a view to determining whether specific behavioural signatures can indeed be linked to certain genetic traits. Bolton and Bruining explain how they were able to discern behavioural symptoms unique to specific genetic disorders that are known to carry an increased risk for ASD, and moreover discuss how this machine-learning approach could be applied to idiopathic ASD.
Frequency Research Foundation has reported previously that about half the population has mercury, flouride, and measles virus in the brain along with other viruses and heavy metals. See:

However, only a subset of these people are autistic and they have particular problems with the measles virus in the intestinal tract along with heavy concentrations of mercury in the brain. This suggests genetic factors that disrupt the elimination of mercury and make the intestinal tract susceptible to the measles virus. Thus this latest research is of interest because it shows a genetic predisposition to autism.