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Genome-wide Association Study of Autism Characterized by Developmental Regression

State/Province Full: 
United States

By some estimates, up to 30% of children with autism experienced developmental regression characterized by the acquisition and subsequent loss of social and communication skills. Dr. Molloy plans to explore the genetic component of this devastating phenomenon by analyzing and comparing the genetic “profile” of children with autism affected by regression with normally developing counterparts. By focusing on a more homogenous subset of the population, she and her colleagues hope to identify autism susceptibility genes, especially those that might be related to regression. What this means for people with autism: If the subset of children who are likely to experience regression can be identified genetically, it could provide biomarkers for earlier diagnosis and aid in the development of intervention strategy related to those gene changes.