Via genetic testing, scientists are trying to alleviate the symptoms of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as they intend to provide several kinds of treatments by subcategorizing the types of autism. Therefore, more proper care will be directed towards people suffering from this disorder.
People experiencing the ASD condition encounter daily difficulties on emotional and social levels. Their communication skills are also affected. They tend to learn differently, whereas they may repeat certain behaviors.
The study author of the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, Stephen Scherer, monitored 258 Canadian children suffering from ASD. The used the technique known as “chromosomal microarray analysis.” This technique searches for duplicated or missing patterns of a chromosome, on a genetic level.
Stephen Scherer’s team discovered that 9.3 percent of these children displayed genetic mutations that led scientists to a potential explanation of their disease. The mutations were either inherited or random.
Moreover, the information regarding these genetic mutations might help families where the child is suffering from ASD, in order to pinpoint whether any of their future kids might be at risk of developing the condition. The overall findings could lead scientists to develop more tailored care and personalized treatment plans.
Out of 95 kids belonging to the group, 8.4 percent exhibited genetic mutation. They were screened through an extensive genetic test feature known as whole-exome sequencing.
Overall, mutations were found in 15.8 percent of kids. Scientists discovered positive findings on both tests in only two children. According to Scherer, both tests were needed so that data wouldn’t overlap.
Researchers also examined the kids for physical abnormalities. The scientific team pointed out that the ASD was rather understandable in children who displayed the most abnormalities – 37.5 percent.
New York City-based Dr. Catherine Lord, the director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB) at Weill Cornell Medical College, who was not involved in the study, said that Scherer’s findings were important for families who wanted to take a closer look at these issues.
Dr. Lord finally reported that families might be encouraged to participate in larger studies, due to the recent findings, as their participation would provide further data to be analyzed by scientists who someday might be able to alleviate the symptoms displayed by people with ASD.
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