Multiple Genetic ‘Flavors’ May Explain Autism

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ScienceDaily.com reports: In a pair of studies, the researchers identify and characterize a number of mutations in the gene that regulate brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in breathing, digestion, sleep, appetite, blood vessel constriction, mood and impulsivity. About 25 percent of people with autism have elevated levels of serotonin in their blood. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) drugs improve some of the symptoms of the disorder. These findings have led scientists to propose that serotonin plays an important role in autism.

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