As the leading childhood developmental disorder in the United States, autism affects approximately one out of every 150 children, a statistic that rested at two out of every 10,000 just ten years ago. This neurological disorder generally appears within the first three years of life, impairing the child's intuitive thought, as well as their language and social development facilities. Autism's underlying cause is not known and no biological diagnosis currently exists. TGen's comprehensive research program is geared toward uncovering the genetic basis for autism.
The research program to date has focused on developing a blood-based diagnostic for autism and identifying new druggable targets for autism treatment, by identifying biological differences between autistic individuals and healthy controls. We have taken a three-armed approach by scanning the (1) DNA (the genetic code we are born with), (2) RNA (the messages from transcribing our genetic code), and (3) protein (the machines produced when the genetic code is translated), for autistic individuals and for healthy controls. TGen's partnerships with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) have provided greater opportunities to collaborate more robust genetic studies to identify the genetic mutations.
TGen's goal is to develop better diagnostics for earlier behavioral intervention and identify new pharmaceutical targets for treatment.
Autism Research at TGen
Facts about Autism (pdf file)
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
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To discuss ways to become involved and support research at TGen, contact the TGen Foundation at Foundation@tgen.org, or call 602.343.8411.