Relevância da genética na etiologia do autismo

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Estécio, Marcos Roberto Higino [UNESP]
Fett-Conte, Agnes Cristina
Silva, Ana Elizabete [UNESP]

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Autism constitutes one of the most important pathologies of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). It has early age-onset and is characterized by delay and deviance of social, communicative and cognitive development. Today, the presence of genetic factors in its etiology is well known, with familial recurrence of autism and other psychiatric conditions. Autism does not have usual Mendelian inheritence and presents genetic heterogeneity. Strong association has been found between autism and the fragile X syndrome (FMR-1 gene) and with tuberous sclerosis (Bourneville's syndrome). However, many different chromosomal abnormalities were recently described in autistic patients, mainly of chromosome 7 and 15. There are some genes on 15q11-q13 whose products have expression in the central nervous system, mainly synapses, which are subunits of neurotransmitters or ion channels (UBE3A, GABRA5, GABRB3, GABRG3, CHRNA7 e ITO). Some regions of chromosome 7 also have important developmental genes, as EN-2 and HOXA, which act on central nervous system formation. There seems then to exist genes associated with autism etiology on chromosomes 7,15 and X. The detailed study of these chromosomes can produce knowledgment about the biological mechanisms involved in this disturbance.



Autism, Chromosome 15, Chromosome 7, Fragile X syndrome, Genetic

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Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria, v. 49, n. 7, p. 239-246, 2000.