Dr. Eric Fombonne, from the Research Institute of the MUHC at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, is involved in a multi-site consortium to gather DNA samples from 2,000 autism patients and their families over the next three years. The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) is a coordinated effort to create a database of genetic and behavioral information about cases where there is only one family member with autism.
This group, which represents the great majority of autism spectrum disorders, Is expected to lead to the discovery of new genetic factors that increase the risk of autism. In addition, this database will be accessible online by the scientific community and will represent an invaluable tool for future research projects.“This database will link state-of-the-art genetic analysis to very detailed behavioral assessments. This is an unprecedented project that could greatly enhance our understanding of underlying biological processes,” explains Dr. Fombonne. “This is an important step towards the unraveling of genetic mechanisms and understanding the pathophysiology of this disorder of brain development.”
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