A newly discovered gene may help scientists determine the causes behind several intellectual disabilities. This knowledge, they say, can lead them towards finding out the cure for those conditions as well.
Found by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the newly discovered gene has been named AP1G1. The study was recently published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. It concluded that this was the first step towards developing targeted therapies for those with intellectual disabilities.
“Our goal is to find as many of these genes required for brain function and take this knowledge back to patients and families to provide a clinically relevant genetic diagnosis,” said the lead researcher Dr Saima Riazuddin, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at UMSOM in a press release.
The release also stated that 3% of the world population has intellectual disabilities, of which half have underlying genetic factors. However, since many genes affect brain development, it was difficult to determine the causative factor in every individual case.
This study involved participants from countries like Pakistan, Italy, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and the United States of America. They were all from families with several members who had intellectual disabilities.