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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Study says DNA Flaw May Raise Risk for Autism

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Autism is definitely a hot topic right now. I found another recent study that I wanted to mention while we were on the subject. Results from a study released online by the New England Journal of Medicine are based on the most comprehensive DNA scan ever performed in families of autistic children. It found that a rare genetic flaw that deletes Chromosome 16 near or during conception may sharply increase the risk that a child will develop autism.

The study involved dozens of researchers from several institutions who concluded that the genetic alteration turned up in less than 1% of about 1,500 children with the disorder, compared to one in 10,000 in normally developing people. This suggests a link between the alteration and autism, although it will take more research to determine which precise alterations lead to autism or other neurological problems, but it is a start.

Photo Credit: lesliemiperry
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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