Newsday - Studies Link New Gene Mutations to Autism

 – April 6, 2012  –– 

Parental age – especially that of fathers – plays a key role in whether their offspring are at risk for autism, say scientists who've uncovered new mutations linked to the condition. Although the DNA mutations are considered relatively rare, the discoveries are helping lay the groundwork for a sharper understanding of autism's genetics. "All of the studies showed that being an older parent was significant," said Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, director of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose research led to the discovery of one of the mutations. "But when you drilled down into the data it was the dad, and that finding is consistent with the epidemiological data."
- Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, Professor, Psychiatry, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Neuroscience, Director of the Seaver Autism Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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