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Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of heritable mental retardation, affecting approximately 1 in 4000 males. The syndrome arises from expansion of a trinucleotide repeat in the 5'-untranslated region of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene, leading to methylation of the promoter sequence and lack of the fragile X mental retardation(More)
A functional polymorphism (the upstream variable-number tandem repeat region, or uVNTR) in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) promoter region has been reported to be associated with behavioral abnormalities as well as increased serotonergic responsivity. We examined the relation between MAOA-uVNTR alleles and the phenotypic expression of autism in 41 males(More)
Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex mode of inheritance. It is one of the most highly heritable of the complex disorders, although the underlying genetic factors remain largely unknown. Here, we report mutations in the X-chromosome PTCHD1 (patched-related) gene in seven families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in three(More)
Organophosphates (OPs) are routinely used as pesticides in agriculture and as insecticides within the household. Our prior work on Reelin and APOE delineated a gene-environment interactive model of autism pathogenesis, whereby genetically vulnerable individuals prenatally exposed to OPs during critical periods in neurodevelopment could undergo altered(More)
A polymorphic trinucleotide repeat (CGG/GCC) within the human Reelin gene (RELN) was examined as a candidate gene for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This gene encodes a large extracellular matrix protein that orchestrates neuronal positioning during corticogenesis. The CGG-repeat within the 5' untranslated region of RELN exon 1 was examined in 126(More)
An imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex has been suggested as a possible etiology of autism. The DLX genes encode homeodomain-containing transcription factors controlling the generation of GABAergic cortical interneurons. The DLX1 and DLX2 genes lie head-to-head in 2q32, a region associated with autism susceptibility. We(More)
Previous researchers have reported autistic features in children with fragile X syndrome. We compared 21 children with pervasive developmental disorders (autism group) to 15 with fragile X syndrome on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the Reiss Scales for Children's Dual Diagnosis. The 7 children (47%) with fragile X who scored above the Childhood(More)
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have impairments in executive function and social cognition, with males generally being more severely affected in these areas than females. Because the dopamine D1 receptor (encoded by DRD1) is integral to the neural circuitry mediating these processes, we examined the DRD1 gene for its role in(More)
The heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) confounds attempts to identify causes and pathogenesis. Identifiable endophenotypes and reliable biomarkers within ASDs would help to focus molecular research and uncover genetic causes and developmental mechanisms. We used dense surface-modelling techniques to compare the facial morphology of 72 boys(More)
There has been little evidence to support the hypothesis that diagnostic substitution may contribute to increases in the administrative prevalence of autism. We examined trends in assignment of special education codes to British Columbia (BC) school children who had an autism code in at least 1 year between 1996 and 2004, inclusive. The proportion of(More)