Today in Science magazine, Harvard neurologist Mustafa Sahin and MIT brain scientist Mriganka Sur summarize scientific progress toward delivering precision treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
“Given the large number of genes that potentially confer ASD risk, the genetic heterogeneity of ASD presents a substantial obstacle to development of one-size fits all therapies,” they write. “Biomarkers can be crucial for predicting subjects most likely to respond [to tailored treatments].”
Biomarkers can include the results of genetic testing, blood work, brain imaging and other medical assessments. In particular, Drs. Sahin and Sur call for research aimed at identifying individual differences in the brain signaling molecules and brain networks that likely produce autism symptoms.