ABSTRACT: During a genetic study of autism, a female child who met diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder, but also exhibited the cognitive-behavioural profile (CBP) associated with Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) was examined. The WBS CBP includes impaired visuospatial ability, an overly friendly personality, excessive non-social anxiety and language delay.
Using array-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH), a deletion corresponding to BAC RP11-89A20 in the distal end of the WBS deletion interval was detected. Hemizygosity was confirmed using fluorescence in situ hybridisation and fine mapping was performed by measuring the copy number of genomic DNA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
The proximal breakpoint was mapped to intron 1 of GTF2IRD1 and the distal breakpoint lies 2.4-3.1 Mb towards the telomere. The subject was completely hemizygous for GTF2I, commonly deleted in carriers of the classic approximately 1.5 Mb WBS deletion, and GTF2IRD2, deleted in carriers of the rare approximately 1.84 Mb WBS deletion.
Hemizygosity of the GTF2 family of transcription factors is sufficient to produce many aspects of the WBS CBP, and particularly implicate the GTF2 transcription factors in the visuospatial construction deficit. Symptoms of autism in this case may be due to deletion of additional genes outside the typical WBS interval or remote effects on gene expression at other loci.
Journal of Medical Genetics 03/2007; 44(2):136-43. · 6.36 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We are conducting a genetic study of autism in the isolated population of the Central Valley of Costa Rica (CVCR). A novel Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) missense variant (exon 11 G>T) was recently associated with psychosis and schizophrenia (SCZ) in the same population isolate.
We genotyped the NRG1 exon 11 missense variant in 146 cases with autism, or autism spectrum disorder, with CVCR ancestry, and both parents when available (N = 267 parents) from 143 independent families. Additional microsatellites were genotyped to examine haplotypes bearing the exon 11 variant.
The NRG1 exon 11 G>T variant was found in 4/146 cases including one de novo occurrence. The frequency of the variant in case chromosomes was 0.014 and 0.045 in the parental non-transmitted chromosomes. At least 6 haplotypes extending 0.229 Mb were associated with the T allele. Three independent individuals, with no personal or family history of psychiatric disorder, shared at least a 1 megabase haplotype 5' to the T allele.
The NRG1 exon 11 missense variant is not associated with autism in the CVCR.
BMC Psychiatry 02/2007; 7:21. · 2.55 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Autism is a heritable developmental disorder of communication and socialization that has not been well studied in Hispanic populations. Therefore, we are collecting and evaluating all possible cases of autism from a population isolate in the Central Valley of Costa Rica (CVCR) for a clinical and genetic study.
We are assessing all subjects and parents, as appropriate, using the newly translated Spanish versions of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) as well as tests of intelligence and adaptive behavior. Detailed obstetric and family medical/psychiatric histories are taken. All cases are tested for Fragile X and will be extensively evaluated for cytogenetic abnormalities.
To date we have obtained clinical evaluations on over 76 cases of possible autism referred to our study and report data for the initial 35 complete cases. The mean age of the probands is 6.7 years, and 31 of the 35 cases are male. Twenty-one of the cases have IQs <50 and only 6 cases have IQs > or = 70. Over half of the mothers had complications during pregnancy and/or delivery. No cases have tested positively for Fragile X or PKU. Chromosomal G-banding is not yet complete for all cases.
Diagnostic data gathered on cases of autism in the CVCR using Spanish versions of the ADI-R and ADOS look similar to that generated by studies of English-speaking cases. However, only 17% of our cases have IQs within the normal range, compared to the figure of 25% seen in most studies. This result reflects an ascertainment bias in that only severe cases of autism come to treatment in the CVCR because there are no government-sponsored support programs or early intervention programs providing an incentive to diagnose autism. The severity of mental retardation seen in most of our cases may also be exaggerated by the lack of early intervention programs and the use of IQ tests without Costa Rican norms. Still, we must formally train healthcare providers and teachers to recognize and refer autistic cases with normal or near normal IQs that are not seen in treatment.
BMC Psychiatry 01/2005; 5:15. · 2.55 Impact Factor