Scottish scientists have paved the way for potential new treatments for autism
after discovering a link between the condition and abnormalities in a gene important for learning and memory.
The link was established by researchers at Aberdeen University following a study of four children with severe autism in the North-east of Scotland. They discovered that the children each had a rare re-arrangement of chromosomes that had disrupted a gene known as EIF4E.
A spokesman for Aberdeen University said: “The resulting imbalance makes the brain more prone to the repetitive thought processes seen in autism.
“The detection of a link between the gene and autism opens up a potential new target for treatment in the future.”
The findings appear in the Journal of Medical Genetics.