Moving Toward Personalized Autism Treatment

Researchers aim to leverage new insights into the underlying causes of the disorder to better help patients. 

By | August 1, 2016

Physicians gather behavioral, physical, and genetic data from a large number of patients with autism and their families.© ISTOCK.COM/MATHISWORKS/NEYRO2008

More than 800 genes are suspected to be involved in autism, and researchers today attribute 30 percent of cases to known copy number variations (CNV)—large deletions or duplications in the genome—or spontaneous genetic mutations in a protein-coding gene. For the other 70 percent of cases,
the causes remain unknown.


Right: Researchers use the genetic information to classify patients into molecular subtypes based on a genetic mutation or CNV.
Left: Often, phenotypic data and gene expression data will be added to the genetic data to more accurately group patients.

If a treatment proves effective for a particular subtype, doctors can then classify new patients based on biomarkers for that group.© ISTOCK.COM/MATHISWORKS/NEYRO2008As researchers learn more about the underlying causes of this diverse disorder, they are beginning to think about developing personalized treatments for patients with specific genetic subtypes of autism. While a drug for a single subtype may only be applicable to less than half of 1 percent of patients, such an approach might increase the chances of finding a successful treatment for larger groups of patients.

Read the full story.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  2. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax
  3. Putative Gay Genes Identified, Questioned
    The Nutshell Putative Gay Genes Identified, Questioned

    A genomic interrogation of homosexuality turns up speculative links between genetic elements and sexual orientation, but researchers say the study is too small to be significant. 

  4. Can Young Stem Cells Make Older People Stronger?