Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Trends Neurosci. 2006 Jul;29(7):349-58. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Searching for ways out of the autism maze: genetic, epigenetic and environmental clues.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University Campus Bio-Medico, Via Longoni 83, I-00155, Rome, Italy. a.persico@unicampus.it

Abstract

Our understanding of human disorders that affect higher cognitive functions has greatly advanced in recent decades, and over 20 genes associated with non-syndromic mental retardation have been identified during the past 15 years. However, proteins encoded by "cognition genes" have such diverse neurodevelopmental functions that delineating specific pathogenetic pathways still poses a tremendous challenge. In this review, we summarize genetic, epigenetic and environmental contributions to neurodevelopmental alterations that either cause or confer vulnerability to autism, a disease primarily affecting social cognition. Taken together, these results begin to provide a unifying view of complex pathogenetic pathways that are likely to lead to autism spectrum disorders through altered neurite morphology, synaptogenesis and cell migration. This review is part of the INMED/TINS special issue "Nature and nurture in brain development and neurological disorders", based on presentations at the annual INMED/TINS symposium (http://inmednet.com/).

PMID:
16808981
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk