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Üsküdar University identified a new gene that plays a role in autism


Turkish scientists performed a very important study on autism which is one of the most common neurological disorders today. Üsküdar University identified a new gene that plays a role in the emergence of autism. The study being a beacon of hope for the early diagnosis and treatment of disease was published in Neuroscience Letters, an internationally respected journal.

Neuroscience graduate student Zeynep Kalkan from Üsküdar University, Turkey’s first thematic university in the field of behavioral sciences and health, identified a new gene related to autism.

Today, autism is one of the most common neurological disorders. In the U.S.A., according to the 2012 data of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, autism is seen in one in every 88 people. Recent studies revealed that TNFa cytokine level in patients with autism increases and leads to toxicity in the nerve cells.

Üsküdar University using neuro technology in the treatment of brain diseases identified a new gene that plays a role in the emergence of autism.

Neuroscience graduate student Zeynep Kalkan from Üsküdar University showed in her thesis that TNFa is causing this by suppressing the GRID2 gene. This is the first study showing that GRID2 gene, one of the glutamate receptors, plays a role in the development of autism. The thesis of Zeynep Kalkan was published in Neuroscience Letters, an internationally respected journal.

Providing information on the study, Assist. Prof. Belkis Atasever Arslan, lecturer of Üsküdar University Faculty of Molecular Biology and Genetics, emphasized the importance of the study in terms of early diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and said:

“Autism’s genetic sub-structure and the mechanism of action is still not fully known. Therefore having identified a new target gene for early diagnosis and treatment of the disease is quite important. The neurons are damaged in autism (neurodegeneration), we found the gene that plays a role in the degeneration of these neurons. For the use of the results in the clinic, we started our specific research. Our goal is early diagnosis of autism, effective treatment and enhancing the quality of life of the children with autism.