Dr. Anthony Torres, director of the Biomedical Laboratory at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD), recently presented a seminar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., on research that suggests a link between the immune system and autism.
It was recently published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity and reported by the Center for Persons with Disabilities.
There is strong evidence that autism runs in families, said Torres, which has been interpreted by many scientists to indicate that autism is inherited, but little evidence has been found that links genes to autism. Another explanation for familial clustering may be that family members have similar exposures to microorganisms or environmental chemicals, he said. Instead of scanning hundreds of thousands of genetic polymorphisms across the entire genome, Torres and his team took a more targeted approach and examined very specific genes on chromosome 19 called the leukocyte receptor complex, in particular the KIR genes.
Read more on the CPD blog.