25 New Gene Variants Linked to Autism

Not necessarily a cause, but a predictive marker


Scientists have identified 25 gene variants that may increase the chance a person will have autism.

The 25 additional copy variations (CNVs) are missing or duplicated stretches of DNA that have a "high impact" on autism. This means even though they rarely occur, they each raise the probability a person will have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

"Many of these gene variants may serve as valuable predictive markers," the study's corresponding author Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a press release. "If so, they may become part of a clinical test that will help evaluate whether a child has an autism spectrum disorder."