New mutations in any of 100 or more genes may be related to sporadic cases of autism, according to findings by a multi-institution team of researchers (Sebat J et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1138659 [published online March 15, 2007]).
Genetic analyses were used to detect differences in copy number variants (deletions or duplications of large segments of DNA) between children and their parents in 118 families with a single case of autism and 47 families with multiple cases. About 10% of children with sporadic autism had new copy number variants in any of a wide variety of genes, compared with just 2% of patients with familial autism and 1% of 99 controls.
Kuehn BM. Mutations in Autism. JAMA. 2007;297(16):1764. doi:10.1001/jama.297.16.1764-d