Genetic Mutation Linked to Autism


By Molly Clifton

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine say they’ve found a genetic mutation that could be connected to some kinds of autism.

They point to an error in the gene CELF6 that leads to disturbances in the levels of the chemical, serotonin.

Serotonin relays messages to the brain and researchers say not having enough of it can lead to autistic behaviors, such as difficulty communicating and resistance to change.

About 30 percent of patients with autism have abnormal blood levels of serotonin.


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