The inability to interact effectively with others is seen as a key symptom of autism spectrum disorder, which has been popularized with stories of autistic savants like Raymond in Rain Man. Previous research has suggested that autistic symptoms, including difficulties in communicating effectively, can be passed down. This suggests that, by detecting some of the genetic factors influencing social communication, we may be able to better understand autism risk.

Previous studies have demonstrated that certain gene loci are linked to social communication impairment. For example, one genome-wide association study showed that one identified major gene locus coded for an enzyme that has been shown to interact with proteins that have been linked to autism. What's more exciting is that the finding was also validated in another population, showing that the result is possibly generalizable. Find out more about this study here:

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Social Communication Problems

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