Expatriates could soon be able to discover whether or not their child is likely to develop autism, following a study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that identified the genetic systems that tend to be involved in the disorder.
Previous investigations have found that a variety of genes are responsible for the neurodevelopmental syndrome among different people with the condition, which has made it difficult to ascertain the common DNA shared by individuals with autism.
Being able to do so could help medical experts tell whether or not a youngster has autism, which might determine if they require assistance with international health insurance policies to enable them to reach their full potential.
However, the new study, which was published in the journal PLoS Genetics, has shown the range of biological markers associated with autism appear to be involved with specific mental processes.
This can explain the large spectrum of the disorder, as well as similarities autistic people share in their behavioural patterns.
Scientists at the university intended to discover the impact rare genetic mutations had on the condition, as well as more commonplace DNA variants among the population, to discover the relationship between various biological risk factors.
Rather than testing solitary genes, they looked into collections of these substances to understand the pathways that could be involved in autism.
To the surprise of the experts, they discovered the variations and mutations are typically found in specific functional groups.
It is thought this could pave the way for large-scale scans in the future that could enable an early diagnosis of the condition, which is particularly important if children with the neurological disorder are to reach their full potential in adulthood.
Furthermore, the groups of genes discovered are particularly active in the first year of a human's life, dealing with processes such as sensory perception, memory and learning.
It is believed autism is significantly more commonplace than had previously been thought, with as many as one per cent of all people having the condition in certain regions.
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