More: Researchers find a link between depression and genes in autism spectrum disorder
More: A team of scientists has found a link linking depression to autism spectrum disorders in adults with autism.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University College London in the UK have analysed a large dataset of autism diagnoses and have found a strong link between a genetic mutation that makes the gene responsible for serotonin receptors, known as SERT1A, and autism.
“These findings are important for understanding how genes play a role in autism, which may have implications for prevention and treatment,” lead researcher Dr James D. Smith, a PhD student at Oxford, told Business Insider.
“There is some speculation that this mutation might contribute to a greater risk of autism spectrum conditions such as autism spectrum condition, as the serotonin transporter gene has been linked to depression in other studies.”
SERT2, the second gene on the serotonin receptor family, was previously linked to autism.
The Oxford study compared data from people diagnosed with autism spectrum disease with people diagnosed without autism spectrum traits.
SERT3, the third gene on SERT, was not linked to any autism traits.
The research was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The study found that the people with the SERT mutation were more likely to have autism traits such as repetitive behaviors, difficulty focusing and anxiety.
In addition, they had a higher prevalence of depression.
Dr Smith said he was surprised by the findings because SERT is not well understood.
“Previous studies have suggested that depression may be linked to the serotonin receptors and SERT gene,” he said.
“But we didn’t know whether depression was linked to SERT alone.”
He said that the SENS Foundation, which is working to understand the genetic basis of autism, is hopeful that the finding could lead to better treatments for the condition.
The new study also found that people with SERT mutations had a significantly higher risk of developing depression compared to people who did not have the mutation.
“Our data show that people who have the SERTS3 mutation are at increased risk of depression,” Dr Smith told Business Update.
The researchers say more research is needed to see if the new findings are linked to other disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism or autism spectrum. “
We can’t yet say whether depression is a direct result of SERT or other risk factors.”
The researchers say more research is needed to see if the new findings are linked to other disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism or autism spectrum.
“This study is a first step to unraveling the genetic architecture of autism and other developmental disorders,” Dr Jones said.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder marked by impairments in social interaction, communication and language, as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, in the face of social rejection.
People with the condition have varying degrees of cognitive impairments, including problems with language, social interaction and communication.
Some people with ASD have intellectual disabilities.
The disorder affects about one in every four children.
SENS is a non-profit organisation dedicated to understanding and treating autism spectrum illness.
Its founder and executive director, Dr David Gorski, is the author of books such as The End of Faith and How We Got Here.
He told Business Week that the findings should serve as a wake-up call for anyone with autism who is considering taking medication or seeking professional help.
“The vast majority of people with autism are not depressed,” he added.
“So the first thing to do is to stop trying to get treatment and stop trying for support.
The best treatment for depression is to have an understanding of your illness and to ask for help.”