Israel News

Israeli Breakthrough in Autism Research

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev have made a significant breakthrough to better understand autism, Israel Hayom reports. The breakthrough brings doctors one step closer to understanding the genetic mechanism for the disorder, and being able to diagnose it prior to birth.

Dr. Idan Menashe and his colleagues, Erez Tsur and Prof. Michael Friger, studied over 650 genetic variations of the 1,000 genes believed linked to autism, and found characteristics that differentiate them from other genes in the human genome, such as unusual genomic length and a genetic similarity to diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

“If we find the remaining genes out of the thousand, we will not only be able to understand autism better, but also be able to conduct a genetic test before pregnancy even, and perhaps, in the future, also find a cure to help fix the genetic distortions to prevent autism,” said Menashe. He believes this will be accomplished within five years.

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