Nerding out

I really must quickly blog about this, nerd or not, I think it is very interesting and educational. As most of you know, I am fascinated with the brain, in specific, neurological disorders.

Autism is one of the disorders that has most intrigued me. And since I frequently peruse the National Institute of Health’s website, I was pleased to see the latest study on Autism.

Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues

In short, the article discusses the link between this disorder and chromosome 11.
“A site on chromosome 11 most strongly linked to autism in this study harbors genes for proteins that shuttle glutamate across the synapse.”

Chromosome 11 only represents 4 to 4.5 percent of your DNA make-up. It, unfortunately, is already known to be one of the most disease ridden chromosomes in our genetic make-up. Chromosome 11 has been linked to things ranging from breast cancer to more rare diseases like beta-ketothiolase deficiency. The specific gene that is being looked into is neurexin 1. Neurexin belongs to a family of genes that help nerve cells communicate.

Anyway, basically, being able to pinpoint this is huge in the study of autism. Scientists and doctors have always thought that autism might have something to do with a person’s genetic make-up, but until this study have been unable to prove that theory. Yay for the Autism Genome Project!