Friday, November 12, 2010

Study: Chromosome change points to autism

People who possess a specific change in one of their chromosomes are nearly 14 times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia than those without this change, according to a new study. The change, which is called a deletion, happens when a section of chromosome 17 is missing. The deletion is found only in people who have an autism spectrum disorder, a developmental delay or schizophrenia, said study researcher David H. Ledbetter, a genetics professor at Emory University."This is just adding one more to that rapidly growing list of genetic mutations" associated with autism that doctors could use to measure autism and schizophrenia risk in children, Ledbetter told MyHealthNewsDaily. Not all people with autism, a developmental delay or schizophrenia have this deletion. But all people who have the chromosome change will develop some form of the disorders, whether it's mild or strong enough for a diagnosis, he said.

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