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Scientists Discover How Dozens of Genes May Contribute to Autism

These disorders affect about one in every 36 Americans

Using a host of high-tech tools to simulate brain development in a lab dish, Stanford University researchers have discovered several dozen genes that interfere with crucial steps in the process and may lead to autism, a spectrum of disorders that affects about one in every 36 Americans, impairing their ability to communicate and interact with others.

The results of a decade of work, the findings published in the journal Nature may one day pave the way for scientists to design treatments that allow these phases of brain development to proceed unimpaired.

The study delves into a 20-year-old theory that suggests one cause of autism may be a disruption of the delicate balance between two types of nerve cells found in the brain's cerebral cortex, the area responsible for higher-level processes such as thought, emotion, decision-making and language.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post.

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