New research, developed to try to understand the causes of autism , has revealed that a genetic deficiency is linked to the disorder. The study was led by Brazilian scientist Alysson Muotri at the University of California, San Diego, and published in the journal Nature Translational Psychiatry .
During the research, the team analyzed the behavior of the Setd5 gene, a gene linked to intellectual retardation.
It was found that when cells have only one functional copy of this gene, there is less interaction between neurons. This causes developmental damage to the brain, a problem characteristic of people with autism.
To prove this relationship, the researchers performed tests on mice and observed that the animal’s behaviors were similar to those found in patients with the disorder, such as hyperactivity, cognitive impairment and altered social interactions.
As a result, the team was able to better understand the problems in the brain and how the Setd5 gene influences it.
Autism has no cure and its causes are still being investigated by researchers. Therefore, new studies are always important in combating the disease.