There has always been the lingering question of whether autism was an inherited condition or a condition that happened multiple times by chance in some families. But according to a new study, a gene associated with autism appears “spontaneously” during the developmental stage. And that would lead to the conclusion that autism is then not hereditary. Something that could upend everything the scientific community thought it knew about autism in its head.
Yale researchers have found that the gene, DDX3X, which has been linked to autism in the past, may now serve as the key to making healthy neurons instead, according to Large news network.
So, instead of a DDX3X mutation being an automatic sign that a child will have autism, it is how and when DDX3X is damaged that will determine what, if any, developmental problems children will suffer as they age.
The study, which was published in the journal, eLife, found that when DDX3X is changed early in development, it results in the gene not being able to fire as many neurons or allowing cells to divide when they are supposed to during development. ‘a baby. Instead, the process takes longer.
And when the process takes longer, the brain doesn’t develop as it should. This is where things like cognitive and developmental disabilities are produced when the brain “falls behind” and is unable to catch up on the developmental path it was meant to be on.
DDX3X is a fairly recently discovered genetic mutation, according to a 2021 study. It is associated with developmental delays that cannot be explained otherwise, intellectual disability in women, causes motor delays and language delays, and those whose the gene is damaged are placed on the autism spectrum. But to date, there wasn’t much information known about when the gene mutates. And that’s why the Yale researchers decided to dig.
To date, it was believed that DDX3X only affected women, according to Large news network. And while DDX3X is the cause of 1-3% of “intellectual disabilities” that women face, men can also be affected. But this is the result of the DDX3Y gene mutation. Both still need to be studied further to determine how much a person’s development changes depending on when genes mutate.
But what is known so far is that families who feared they were at higher risk of having autistic children when the DDX3X gene mutation was located may no longer need to worry. But since DDX3X research is still in its infancy, there is still a lot to learn.
Source: Big News Network, Molecular Autism, eLife