The high heritability, early age at onset, and reproductive disadvantages of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are consistent with an etiology composed of dominant-acting de novo (spontaneous) mutations. Mutation detection by microarray analysis and DNA sequencing has confirmed that de novo copy-number variants or point mutations in protein-coding regions of genes contribute to risk, and some of the underlying causal variants and genes have been identified. As our understanding of autism genes develops, the spectrum of autism is breaking up into quanta of many different genetic disorders. Given the diversity of etiologies and underlying biochemical pathways, personalized therapy for ASDs is logical, and clinical genetic testing is a prerequisite.


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