A Journal of Postdoctoral Research.
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Making a case for the role of DNA repair in autism
Aditi Nadkarni
New York University
Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by behavioral and social impairments and genetic predisposition. The genetic heterogeneity of autism and the complexity of the disease have made it difficult to delineate one mechanism or diagnostic biomarker that influences ASD risk. Mounting evidence points towards exposure to DNA damaging environmental pollutants as a major ASD risk factor. Studies have also identified genomic instability, defective DNA repair and greater oxidative DNA damage using ASD animal models and patient samples. This review highlights the salient findings that connect defective DNA repair with ASD risk and makes a case for the need of functional DNA repair assays characterizing the role of DNA repair mechanisms in autism etiology.

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