Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder defined by social and communication deficits and ritualistic-repetitive behaviors that are detectable in early childhood. The etiology of idiopathic autism is strongly genetic, and oligogenic transmission is likely. The first stage of a two-stage genomic screen for autism was carried out by the Collaborative Linkage Study of Autism on individuals affected with autism from 75 families ascertained through an affected sib-pair. The strongest multipoint results were for regions on chromosomes 13 and 7. The highest maximum multipoint heterogeneity LOD (MMLS/het) score is 3.0 at D13S800 (approximately 55 cM from the telomere) under the recessive model, with an estimated 35% of families linked to this locus. The next highest peak is an MMLS/het score of 2.3 at 19 cM, between D13S217 and D13S1229. Our third highest MMLS/het score of 2.2 is on chromosome 7 and is consistent with the International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium report of a possible susceptibility locus somewhere within 7q31-33. These regions and others will be followed up in the second stage of our study by typing additional markers in both the original and a second set of identically ascertained autism families, which are currently being collected. By comparing results across a number of studies, we expect to be able to narrow our search for autism susceptibility genes to a small number of genomic regions. Am. J. Med. Genet. (Neuropsychiatr. Genet.) 88:609-615, 1999.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.