Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarker progress offers hope for early autism spectrum disorder detection

Date:
November 30, 2012
Source:
IOS Press
Summary:
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders typically characterized by difficulties in social interactions and delayed or abnormal language development. Although ASD reportedly affects 1 in 88 people in the United States, to date there have been no distinctive biomarkers to diagnose the disease. Investigators now report on the current understanding of ASD genetics and the possibilities of translating genetic research toward biomarker development in ASD.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders typically characterized by difficulties in social interactions and delayed or abnormal language development. Although ASD reportedly affects 1 in 88 people in the United States, to date there have been no distinctive biomarkers to diagnose the disease. In a special themed issue of Disease Markers, investigators report on the current understanding of ASD genetics and the possibilities of translating genetic research toward biomarker development in ASD.

"Although some individuals with ASD are highly functional, many are severely impaired and require permanent care. The significant level of impairment combined with the fact that no specific therapy is yet available for ASD, make ASD a devastating illness for patients and families, and a heavy financial burden for the healthcare system," says guest editor, Irina Voineagu, MD, PhD, RIKEN Omics Science Center, Yokohama, Japan. "The most effective intervention for ASD has proven to be early behavioral therapy. Thus the identification of biological markers for ASD, allowing very early detection, even before the onset of symptoms, would be of tremendous value."

Five articles comprise this comprehensive issue, providing an overview of ASD genetic models, an exploration of several key emerging concepts in understanding ASD's molecular basis, and discussion of current biomarker development, focusing on genomic data.

Following an introduction by Voineagu, Yuri Bozzi and colleagues review the phenotype characteristics of currently available mouse models of ASD. Carmen Panaitof then discusses the role of the songbird as an experimental model system for investigating the genetic basis of human language and its ASD-related impairments. Michael Bowers and Genevieve Konopka further explore language deficits and provide new evidence for the role of the FOXP gene to regulate language. Alka Saxena, Dave Tang, and Piero Carninci focus on the functional roles of the gene MECP2, which is mutated in most cases of Rett syndrome, one of the ASDs.

A review rounding out the issue is "Subphenotype-Dependent Disease Markers for Diagnosis and Personalized Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders," by Valerie W. Hu, PhD, The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, PhD, which discusses current progress toward identifying ASD biomarkers based on genome-wide data.

"Without genetic or molecular markers for screening, individuals with ASD are typically not diagnosed before the age of 2, with milder cases diagnosed much later," writes Dr. Hu. "Because early diagnosis is tantamount to early behavioral intervention, which has been shown to improve individual outcomes, an objective biomarker test that can diagnose at-risk children perinatally is a medical imperative."

Hu demonstrates the possibility and importance of developing ASD subtypes to help identify relevant disease markers, which can ultimately aid in developing specific targeted therapies.

Voineagu concludes, "It is exciting times for genetic research and although the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of ASD often seem to be a daunting conundrum, well-defined diagnostic criteria, larger cohort sizes for genetic studies and integrative approaches of genomic and epigenomic data already delineate a promising avenue for elucidating the mechanisms of ASD."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

IOS Press. "Biomarker progress offers hope for early autism spectrum disorder detection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130110700.htm>.
IOS Press. (2012, November 30). Biomarker progress offers hope for early autism spectrum disorder detection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130110700.htm
IOS Press. "Biomarker progress offers hope for early autism spectrum disorder detection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130110700.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. 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:
from the past week

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