Trends Neurosci. 2006 Jun 27; [Epub ahead of print]

 

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

 

Persico AM, Bourgeron T.

 

Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University 'Campus Bio-Medico', Via Longoni 83, I-00155, Rome, Italy; IRCCS 'Fondazione Santa Lucia', Department of Experimental Neurosciences, Via del Fosso di Fiorano 64/65, I-00143, Rome, Italy.

 

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 ().

 

PMID: 16808981 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 


 

 

Related Articles:

 

Home Testing & Sanitizer:
 

 

 

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT