Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Links To Impaired Social Behavior In Autism

Date:
May 14, 2008
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders show profound deficits in social interactions and communications and display repetitive behaviors and abnormal responses to sensory experiences. One aspect of an autistic child's impaired social abilities is their lack of affiliative behaviors, i.e., behaviors such as touching and hugging that strengthen social bonds.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show profound deficits in social interactions and communications, and display repetitive behaviors and abnormal responses to sensory experiences. One aspect of an autistic child's impaired social abilities is their lack of affiliative behaviors, i.e., behaviors such as touching and hugging that strengthen social bonds. On May 15th, Biological Psychiatry is publishing an article that reports new findings on genetic bases of these behaviors.

Related Articles


In this study, Yale University researchers recruited, genotyped, and clinically assessed a large sample of autistic children and their families. They specifically examined the genetic variants in six genes known to be involved in maternal and affiliative behaviors. Dr. Elena Grigorenko, the senior author, discusses their study, "Animal studies have taught us that genetic factors can play a crucial role in the development of close affiliative ties.

With the help of Yale's Autism Center of Excellence, led by Drs. Ami Klin and Fred Volkmar, and many families of individuals with ASD, we have registered a possible association between some of the genes identified in animal studies as controlling affiliative behaviors in ASD." The strongest statistical findings of the study implicate the prolactin gene, the prolactin receptor gene, and the oxytocin receptor gene in these affiliative behavior deficits.

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments, "We are beginning to see that molecular genetics research is creating exciting new links between research in animal models and clinical disorders. The paper by Carolyn Yrigollen and colleagues suggests that two neurohormones that have been linked to affiliative behavior in animals, prolactin and oxytocin, are linked to deficits in affiliative behaviors associated with autism." Dr. Grigorenko adds, "This work builds on the most recent advances in genomics and the developmental neurosciences, and it sets the stage for a more extensive examination of our initial hypothesis. A clearer understanding of the genetic factors involved in ASD should result in new and better interventions for these devastating disorders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Genes Controlling Affiliative Behavior as Candidate Genes for Autism. Authors: Carolyn M. Yrigollen, Summer S. Han, Anna Kochetkova, Tammy Babitz, Joseph T. Chang, Fred R. Volkmar, James F. Leckman and Elena L. Grigorenko. Carolyn Yrigollen, Tammy Babitz, and Drs. Volkmar, Leckman and Grigorenko are affiliated with the Child Study Center at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Drs. Volkmar, Leckman and Grigorenko are also with the Department of Psychology, while Summer Han, Anna Kochetkova and Dr. Chang are with the Department of Statistics, also at Yale University. Dr. Grigorenko is also with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, and the Department of Psychology at Moscow State University in Russia. Biological Psychiatry, Volume 63, Issue 10 (May 15, 2008).

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Genetic Links To Impaired Social Behavior In Autism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080513101659.htm>.
Elsevier. (2008, May 14). Genetic Links To Impaired Social Behavior In Autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080513101659.htm
Elsevier. "Genetic Links To Impaired Social Behavior In Autism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080513101659.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins