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Brain Dev. 2007 Jun;29(5):257-72. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Childhood autism and associated comorbidities.

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  • 11st Department of Pediatrics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Egnatia St. 106, 54622 Thessaloniki, Greece.


Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with a variety of different etiologies, but with a heritability estimate of more than 90%. Although the strong correlation between autism and genetic factors has been long established, the exact genetic background of autism is still unclear. This review refers to all the genetic syndromes that have been described in children with pervasive developmental disorders (tuberous sclerosis, fragile X, Down, neurofibromatosis, Angelman, Prader-Willi, Gilles de la Tourette, Williams, etc.). Issues covered include prevalence and main characteristics of each syndrome, as well as the possible base of its association with autism in terms of contribution to the current knowledge on the etiology and genetic base of pervasive developmental disorders.

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