We’ve all heard of autism, and most of us know someone who is autistic. However, the cause of autism has eluded doctors and scientists, and there are as of yet no definitive treatments. In this lecture, we will talk about neurogenetics – the science of using the tools of genetics to understand the brain – and look at what this emerging field can teach us about the biology of autism.
First, we’ll briefly review how autism is currently defined, and learn about how we know that autism has a major genetic component. Then, we’ll discuss the genetics of specific types of autism, and the results of DNA sequencing of autism patients. Finally, we’ll examine the big picture of autism research today, and talk about the future of research in neurogenetics.