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Schahram Akbarian

Autism Researchers Discover ‘Epigenetic’ Changes

Findings suggest how genes and environmental stresses may interact to cause autism
November 07, 2011

 

  In recent years, scientists have identified rare genetic mutations that in and of themselves can produce autism. They have likewise found a large number of genetic changes that increase the risk that a child will develop this disorder. However, fewer than 20 percent of those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) harbor identifiable gene defects directly related to the disease.

2000 Grants Funded (CAN)

Conditional neurotrophin knock-out mice as a model for the developmental neuropathology of autism

Schahram Akbarian, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital (Young Investigator)

2002 Research Awards (NAAR)

In 2002, NAAR continued to drive the autism research movement and elevate the science more than any other autism organization, committing approximately $4 million to fund 22 pilot studies in autism research taking place in the U.S., England, Italy and Germany; three larger, collaborative programs in the U.S., Canada and England and 12 mentor-based fellowships in the U.S. and England. Also in 2002, NAAR played a key role in funding and presenting the first Canadian Autism Research Workshop, designed to enhance and increase autism research efforts in Canada.