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Surprise: Assessing genes linked to autism

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posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 08:20 PM
Study surprise yields new target for assessing genes linked to autism
October 21st, 2009 Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have uncovered a new genetic signature that correlates strongly with autism and which doesn't involve changes to the DNA sequence itself. Rather, the changes are in the way the genes are turned on and off. The finding may suggest new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Transfection Experts: Broad Spectrum & Cell Line Specific In Vitro Transfection Reagents -

The researchers found higher-than-usual numbers of gene-regulating molecules called methyl groups in a region of the genome that regulates oxytocin receptor expression in people with autism.

"In both blood samples and brain tissue, the methylation status of specific nucleotides in the oxytocin receptor gene is significantly higher in someone with autism, about 70 percent, compared to the control population, where it is about 40 percent," said co-lead author Simon G. Gregory, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Duke Department of Medicine. The work appears in BMC Medicine journal online.

Although the methylation status of the OXTR gene is not a definitive diagnosis of autism by itself, a test for methylation might be used along with other clinical tests for diagnosing autism. Gregory said that methylation-modifying drugs also may be a new avenue for treatments.

Little Girls Autism Story - Amazing Autism success story from a little girls mother is at the above link.

I believe that Autism is caused by chemicals in our diet plus vaccines, it is a devastating disease, thank goodness no one in my family has it but years ago I worked with young children with Autism, it was a major challenge to say the least but well worth it.


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