Posted Friday, June 15, 2012
When autism was first described by Leo Kanner in the early 1940s, much less was known about the disorder than we know today. Even then, however, it was clear that there was a strong genetic component in autism susceptibility. A major clue that suggested that genes were involved was the co-occurrence in identical twins who share their entire genome as compared to non-identical twins.
Unlike many other disorders, it is not one single gene that causes autism. There have already been dozens of different genetic changes found that are implicated in autism, and researchers are working towards identifying many more. Currently, less than 10% of autism cases are found to have a known genetic cause.
The human genome has given us a new understanding of human health, and is continuously providing us with new tools to identify, treat, and prevent disease. Genes also regulate response to environmental factors, and therefore, studies of genes are an important step in beginning gene-environment interaction studies.
The Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP) is investigating genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying autism and intellectual disability. We use genome-wide strategies to identify patterns in genes and chromosomes that may be associated with these disorders.
The long-term goal of this research is to improve genetic diagnosis and treatments, with the hope of improving outcomes for affected individuals.
We are inviting families to participate if there is at least one member affected by autism, or a related condition. Participation in the study consists of a one-time interview during which we go over the individual’s medical and developmental history, as well as construct a family tree. We may also ask children to participate in a short evaluation. Finally, we will ask all family members in attendance to provide a DNA sample.
By participating in the study, you can help future families like your own who are affected by autism, and contribute to their diagnosis and treatment.
Eric M. Morrow, MD, PhD
In association with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Bradley Hospital, and Hasbro Children’s Hospital
To learn more about our program or to enroll and schedule an interview, contact us:
For more information, please visit: http://biomed.brown.edu/labs/morrow/Welcome.html
Filed under: BHCRC Clinical Trials,