Thursday, December 01, 2005

Autism, communication disorders and FOXP2 mutations

The FOXP2 gene is currently thought to have been a critical factor in the evolution of human communication. It may be one of the things that allowed the pre-human primate to dominate the world.

Researchers are exploring whether mutations in FOXP2 may be associated with communication disorders, of which autism may be considered one example:
Entrez PubMed - Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Jun;76(6):1074-80. Epub 2005 Apr 22. Identification of FOXP2 truncation as a novel cause of developmental speech and language deficits.

FOXP2, the first gene to have been implicated in a developmental communication disorder, offers a unique entry point into neuromolecular mechanisms influencing human speech and language acquisition...

...Our discovery of the first nonsense mutation in FOXP2 now opens the door for detailed investigations of neurodevelopment in people carrying different etiological variants of the gene. This endeavor will be crucial for gaining insight into the role of FOXP2 in human cognition.

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