The scientists at a university near Chicago have been able to make a significant step forward in their quest of understanding autism and the other disabilities related to intellect. The researchers at the school have published a Neuron study which outlines why a particular gene mutation is the reason behind autism spectrum and intellectual disability in children
This study has identified a gene which is called Usp9x. The individuals with the mutations in this gene create lesser amount of synapses in the brain. When it is fully functional, this gene has the job of protecting a protein which is called akyrin-G that is responsible for the growth of stabilizing synapses. These help the cells in their communication and are important in developing the brains for the learning in children.
When the gene known as Usp9x is mutated, it is not able to protect the said protein which makes it degrade and also destabilize. The scientists have discovered that the individuals who have a specific gene mutation have showed that there is a delay in development, learning difficulties, and an increase in the levels of hyperactivity and anxiety.
They have said that it is an important piece of the puzzle which they have been able to solve as they have understood how intellectual disabilities are caused due to the gene mutation.
The gene is also responsible for the protection of a lot of other proteins which may cause the disability and autism upon degradation. The less severe mutations of the protein have been linked to the development of bipolarity and schizophrenia.
The data has shown that 1 in every 59 children in the United States have been a victim of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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