SNPwatch: Genetic Variation Linked to Autism Risk In Boys

SNPwatch gives you the latest news about research linking various traits and conditions to individual genetic variations. These studies are exciting because they offer a glimpse into how genetics may affect our bodies and health; but in most cases, more work is needed before this research can provide information of value to individuals. For that reason it is important to remember that like all information we provide, the studies we describe in SNPwatch are for research and educational purposes only. SNPwatch is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice; you should always seek the advice of your physician or other appropriate healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of any disease or other medical condition.

Researchers have identified yet another common genetic variation that appears to be associated with autism.  The results, published this week in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, show that each copy of an G at rs12603112 in the CACNA1G gene increase the odds of autism in boys (but not girls) by about 2.2 times.

(23andMe customers can check their data for rs12603112 using the Browse Raw Data feature.)

But Stanley Nelson, senior author of the study and a 23andMe scientific advisor, points out that the G version of this SNP is actually fairly common.

“Most people with the risk genotype will not develop autism.”

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