Now we know that the unique characteristics of autism is rooted in the genome of an autistic one as autism or ASD is strongly genetic. Autism comes with multiple disorders that’s the reason why autism is also termed as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders).
Autism is the one of those listed disorders, which are not clearly understood. Apart from genetic issues, many other clinical as well as diagnostic parameters are also found in the patients having ASD. We are also focusing on those parameters to control this disorder, though autism can’t be cured without targeted gene therapy.
As autism or ASD is strongly genetic, so we should follow the path of molecular biology through the genomic stuidy to encounter this neuropsychiatric disorder. A mutated DNA with incorrect base pairs results in wrong genomic expression, which leads to produce different abnormal proteins to cause ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Nine years of research on autism discovers a couple of genetic bio-markers responsible for autistic disabilities, but that’s not enough to rip off this disorder comes with
- Impaired social skills
- Behavioral abnormalities
- Lack of eye contact
- Repetitive behavior
- Stereotyped behavior
- Cognitive disabilities
According to the current CDC data report, it is reported that 1 out of 68 children is found with autistic disabilities, though the data report is of 2010.
There is no CDC report about the autistic adults, but autism can be transformed to other neurological disorders at the later stage, if it is not properly treated at the early stage of life. So early diagnosis is very important to control this disorder before autism is going to transform another mental disorder like epilepsy (most common autism transformed disease).
Besides supporting the autistic patients with behavioral interventions and medications, we have to continue our research through different proteomic and genomic studies. It was previously discussed that a wrong genomic expression can lead to produce an abnormal protein. So we have to establish the relation between the misfolded protein and the mutated DNA responsible for that protein. As NrCAM gene is recently discovered responsible for increasing the dendritic spine count, so a question should arise that which protein is encoded by NrCAM to enhance the synapse density.
Image Courtesy: http://dornsife.usc.edu
Researchers of Columbia University suggest that MTOR (Mammalian Target of Rapamycin) protein may be responsible for the overabundance of the dendritic spines. They have concluded this on the basis of successfully decreasing the synapse density by inhibiting MTOR.
There may be a link between NrCAM gene and MTOR, but it needs more study to find out whether NrCAM gene is somehow responsible for encoding the abnormal MTOR or both NrCAM gene and MTOR follow different pathways.
So, it needs further study to get a targeted therapy and to unlock the door of this incurable brain disease.