November 5, 2008

What Genes Are YOU Sporting?

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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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