UCLA faculty experts advisory: genes and autism

January 10, 2008

Research teams from Boston, UCLA, Yale and Johns Hopkins each have independently published studies identifying new genes linked to autism, a complex brain disorder that strikes one in 150 American children, often disrupting their behavior and ability to communicate and form social relationships. UCLA faculty experts are available to comment on the significance of the new findings and what they mean for families with autistic children. Stanley Nelson, professor of human genetics at the Geffen School of Medicine, has studied the DNA of hundreds of families with at least two siblings affected by autism in an effort to discover genes that predispose children to the disease. He can address why the disorder strikes four times as many boys as girls and possible reasons why diagnosis rates have expanded tenfold in the past decade. Nelson's lab Maricela Alarc