Epigenetic changes may spur autism

Recent findings suggest that certain environmental factors can influence the development of autism spectrum disorder.

About one in 100 people have a form of autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. These can involve deficits in social interactions and understanding, repetitive behavior, and interests, or impairments in language and communication development. On the spectrum of ASD, symptoms manifest themselves differently in different people.

Although ASD is highly heritable, that is, passed to children in their genes, that’s not the whole story. A team from King’s College London, UK, looked at so-called “epigenetic changes” involved in ASD, in which the environment affects the expression of genes without changing the underlying DNA.

Read the full, original story: Environment can affect gene expression in autism

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