Autism Spectrum Disorders: Genomes to Outcomes
Genome Canada and CIHR-funded research has already led to some exciting breakthroughs in our understanding of autism spectrum disorder, a complex condition that affects normal brain development, social relationships, communication and behaviour. Among these breakthroughs is the identification of specific DNA anomalies associated with the illness. Now, Drs. Stephen Scherer, Peter Szatmari and team are going to the next level, aiming to identify the remaining genetic risk factors. This ground-breaking work will mark Canada’s contribution to an ambitious international initiative that aims to sequence and analyze the genomes of 10,000 people with autism spectrum disorder. With a more complete understanding of the genetic elements of autism, doctors will be able to make earlier diagnoses, provide better, more personalized care to patients and reduce the enormous cost autism imposes on our health care system.