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Narrowing Down Autism
Autism has become an increasingly prevalent issue within the medical community. There is some question as to whether the number of cases of autism has increased over the last twenty to thirty years, or whether the recognition and diagnosis of autism has increased. Either way, study of the developmental disorder, and its related disorders - autism and pervasive developmental disorder, has intensified.
Recently, a group of researchers working at UCLA chose to focus their research on a genetic mutation in the MET receptor tyrosine kinase gene. It is widely known that genetic mutations are often the reason for the range of issues associated with autism and its related disorders. However, what is less understood is how each particular mutation acts on the body.
The researchers at UCLA were able to make a connection between one mutation and how it affected the individual. They were able to show that the “C” variation, a mutation that affects MET protein expression, had a direct impact on the parts of the brain that determine social behavior, especially with regards to expression recognition. While many “normal” people also have the “C” variation, it seems to have less impact than in those people who are autistic. Since autism manifests itself in a wide range of ways, it has been difficult to formulate a codified method of treatment. Studies and findings of this type create the possibility of narrowing down an area to treat, thereby potentially achieving appreciable success.
To learn more about the mechanism of receptor tyrosine kinase, visit our website at www.picscience.net/animations/Receptortyrosinekinases.php