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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2010 Feb;52(2):130-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03523.x. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Genetic causes of syndromic and non-syndromic autism.

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Kayseri Education and Research Hospital, Department of Medical Genetics, Kayseri, Turkey.



Over the past decade, genetic tests have become available for numerous heritable disorders, especially those whose inheritance follows the Mendelian model. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) represent a group of developmental disorders with a strong genetic basis. During the past few years, genetic research in ASDs has been successful in identifying several vulnerability loci and a few cytogenetic abnormalities or single-base mutations implicated in the causation of autism.


In this study the literature was reviewed to highlight genotype-phenotype correlations between causal gene mutations or cytogenetic abnormalities and behavioural or morphological phenotypes.


Based on this knowledge, practical information is offered to help clinicians pursue targeted genetic testing of individuals with autism whose clinical phenotype is suggestive of a specific genetic or genomic aetiology.


Comprehensive research into the molecular mechanism of autism is required to aid the development of disease-specific targeted therapies. In order to transfer this recently acquired knowledge into clinical practice, it is critical to define a set of phenotypic inclusion criteria that must be met by affected probands to justify their enrolment in a specific genetic testing programme.

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