Mohawk Valley organizations explore autism

Masonic Medical Research Institute, the Kelberman Center, Resource Center for Independent Living, ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy and Upstate Cerebral Palsy recently signed off on an autism spectrum disorder research partnership.

The purpose of the agreement is to understand the mechanisms that cause ASD.

“The autism research conducted here will allow for better knowledge and understanding of this disease in Utica and around the world,” said Maria Kontaridis, Gordon K. More professor and chairperson of biomedical research and translational medicine.

The partnership will enable MMRI to acquire tissue samples from patients with ASD, giving faculty the ability to generate inducible pluripotent stem cells and genetically sequence the DNA to identify novel mutations that cause autism.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects nearly 1 in 59 children within the United States alone. While the disease is incurable, MMRI is trying to identify the possible causes of autism.

For more information about MMRI, visit www.mmri.edu.

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