AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Researchers Uncover New Potential Genetic Links to Common Brain Disorder

Five-year study could lead to screenings, therapeutic options

An international group of researchers has for the first time identified a set of 30 inherited genes that play a role in intellectual disability (ID), a neurodevelopmental disorder that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), affects as many as 213 million people around the world. ID becomes apparent in children before the age of 18. The disorder, which is measured by an intelligence quotient below 70, significantly limits an individual’s intellectual ability and practical skills. ID can also be a significant burden to families, society and the health care system. According to the CDC, the lifetime cost for caring for a person with an intellectual disability is over $1 million. Currently, about 1-3 percent of the world’s population possess some form of ID. While about half of all ID cases can be linked to environmental causes like poor nutrition, unknown genetic factors, such as gene mutations, are responsible for the remaining 50 percent. To read more, click here.

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