The Role of Epigenetic Modifications in Autism Spectrum Disorder

2017-05-16 14:38:21 | BioPortfolio


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social communication and repetitive or stereotyped behaviors. According to the World Health Organization , the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is one person in 160.


Genetic and non-genetic factors would contribute to the development of autism. However, the molecular mechanisms of ASD are not clear and successful treatments are still under research. Autism Spectrum Disorder can occur due to exposure to environmental pollutants which lead to epigenetic changes like DNA methylation, acetylation and post-translational modifications. However, the role of epigenetic changes in Autism Spectrum Disorder is still debated.

Epigenetic mechanisms represent a link through which environmental factors interact with the genetic factors resulting in modification of Autism Spectrum Disorder risk through changes in gene expression. DNA methylation and histone deacetylation are two major epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the gene expression at successive stages of brain development.

Brain derived neurotrophic factor is responsible for brain development. Altered BDNF levels and expression may be closely associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. . Glial fibrillary acidic protein is the hallmark intermediate filament protein in astrocytes, the main type of glial cells in the central nervous system. Interestingly, Glial fibrillary acidic protein is a marker of astroglial activation and the recent data indicated that Glial fibrillary acidic protein could be implicated in the pathophysiology of autism. However, the underlying mechanisms for the role of brain derived neurotrophic factor and glial fibrillary acidic protein in autism spectrum disorder are poorly understood.

Study Design


Autism Spectrum Disorder


DNA methylation and Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction Analysis, Gilliam Autism Rating Scale Arabic version


Not yet recruiting


Assiut University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-05-16T14:38:21-0400

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Autism affects half a million people in the UK. Men are affected more than women. People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable a...

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