Changes in the brain precede conditions such as autism and Schizophrenia

A new study has found that children with specific genetic variants could be susceptible  to multiple psychiatric impairments where early intervention therapies could be beneficial.

These conditions such as autism, dyslexia and schizophrenia are heralded by subtle changes in the way the brain processes information, and children with the genetic variant would benefit from early intervention therapies and techniques, researchers say.

The research was conducted by Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, closely affiliated with the University of Heidelberg and looked closely at genetic copy number variants, or CVN’s. These are basically part of the DNA sequence that have multiple numbers of copies, but can be translated slightly differently in some copies.

These copies do not always mean that the brain is changed by the genetics, but in some specific cases, it warrants more investigation into the predecessors of psychiatric conditions.

Co-author Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg of the CIMH said:

“In psychiatry we always have the problem that disorders are defined by symptoms that patients experience or tell us about, or that we observe.”

The fellows looked at an Icelandic sourced population, focussing on 26 different types of gene variations, all of which increase the chance of an autism or Schizophrenia diagnosis. Carriers were narrowed down to an 18-65 age group finding that 1,178 people, or 1.16pc of the original sample, carried one or more of these CNVs.

They used cognitive testing and MRI to spot subtle differences in cognitive function.

People with the genetic variants performed below average in the cognition tests.

Jonathan Sebat, a human geneticist at the University of California in San Diego who was not involved in the research said:

“It’s not as if [the variants] are just one incremental factor in your risk for psychosis and by themselves are not doing much. They actually are impacting cognition in a significant way.”

The article is published in January’s NATURE journal.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 Autism Daily Newscast

Top Stories and Breaking News

Researchers hope to revolutionize autism diagnosis through Autism & Beyond app

New York — A team of researchers from Duke are hoping to revolutionize how autism is diagnosed in young children through an iPhone app called ‘Autism & Beyond’. The researchers are working closely with Apple in hopes of improving how autism is diagnosed in children today. Due to the surge of the number of children […]

The damage of Chlorine Dioxide also peddled as Miracle Mineral Solution

For those of you that do not know there’s a very real threat to our autistic children in the world today. Naive parents and carers are being told that parasitic worms are the cause of autism in their children. They are being told that if they remove these worms with CD (Chlorine Dioxide) treatments the […]

Blogging mother, Temporary Tourist, shares her experiences of Disney’s Guest Assistance rule change

We’ve had mixed responses on Disney’s decision to change the Guest Assistance Card system. We reported Autism Hippie’s experiences on October 11. Disney implemented a change in their guest assistance cards for children and adults with special needs on October 9 after reports that people were flagrantly abusing the old system. Cards called Disability Access […]

About Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.