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ERIC Number: EJ1042950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 97
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
The Contribution of Epigenetics to Understanding Genetic Factors in Autism
Hall, Layla; Kelley, Elizabeth
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v18 n8 p872-881 Nov 2014
Autism spectrum disorder is a grouping of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social communication and language, as well as by repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. While the environment is believed to play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorder, there is now strong evidence for a genetic link to autism. Despite such evidence, studies investigating a potential single-gene cause for autism, although insightful, have been highly inconclusive. A consideration of an epigenetic approach proves to be very promising in clarifying genetic factors involved in autism. The present article is intended to provide a review of key findings pertaining to epigenetics in autism in such a way that a broader audience of individuals who do not have a strong background in genetics may better understand this highly specific and scientific content. Epigenetics refers to non-permanent heritable changes that alter expression of genes without altering the DNA sequence itself and considers the role of environment in this modulation of gene expression. This review provides a brief description of epigenetic processes, highlights evidence in the literature of epigenetic dysregulation in autism, and makes use of noteworthy findings to illustrate how a consideration of epigenetic factors can deepen our understanding of the development of autism. Furthermore, this discussion will present a promising new way for moving forward in the investigation of genetic factors within autism.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A