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Autism is a disorder that is characterized by its repetitive actions combined with difficulties in communication and social interaction. Autism and its spectrum of disorders (ASD) are not uncommon. Actually, 1 in 166 people have autism.

For being such a common disorder, the knowledge on whether or not autism is genetic is very low. This is not because enough scientific research has been performed but rather because the results have been difficult to pin down. While there is not a clear understanding on whether autism is genetic, there’s enough evidence to guide scientists to continue digging deeper.

One research team in particular, headed by Dr. Hakon Hakonarson at the Center for Applied Genomics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has been searching to see if autism is present in any other syndromes. Some diseases in particular that Dr. Hakonarson has found autism’s presence in are 22911.2 syndrome (DiGeorge syndrome), Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis. The reason this medical finding is so significant when it comes to linking genetics with autism is that while autism may be a challenging disorder to understand, diseases like Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis are much better understood.

Therefore scientists can now focus on these diseases to learn more about complicated autism spectrum disorders. The team stated that their investigations could play an important role in future research not only for autism but other neuropsychiatric conditions.

For more information regarding Dr. Hakonarson and his team’s study on autism, stay up to date on their website!

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