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November 5, 2008

What Genes Are YOU Sporting?

Move over Contactin 4.  Here comes FOXP2.

More and more reports are coming out talking about the genetic anomalies that contribute to autistic behaviors.

The latest report comes from Reuters

A gene linked to autism may also play a role in the most common childhood language disorder, researchers said on Wednesday, perhaps explaining why some children develop language difficulties.

“This is the first time anyone has pinpointed a specific gene that is involved in common forms of language impairments,” University of Oxford geneticist and Wellcome Trust researcher Simon Fisher, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

The condition known as specific language impairment affects an estimated 2-7 percent of pre-school children and is as common as dyslexia, Fisher said.

The starting point for the study was a different gene called FOXP2 that regulates other genes and appears to play a role in a severe but rare form of speech and language disorder.

I, for one, am thankful whenever I read a report like this one.

I am thankful because the scientists and researchers aren’t giving up on autism.

I am thankful because they are still out there, looking for answers.

I am thankful because every study brings us that much closer to finding the cause(s).

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