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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 843027, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/843027
Research Article

Screening of 50 Cypriot Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Autistic Features Using 400K Custom Array-CGH

1The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, P.O. Box 23462, 1683 Nicosia, Cyprus
2The Cyprus Paediatric Neurology Institute, 2047 Nicosia, Cyprus
3Archbishop Makareios III Hospital, 2012 Nicosia, Cyprus

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 12 September 2013

Academic Editor: Sarah H. Elsea

Copyright © 2013 Ludmila Kousoulidou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) comprise a distinct entity of neurodevelopmental disorders with a strong genetic component. Despite the identification of several candidate genes and causative genomic copy number variations (CNVs), the majority of ASD cases still remain unresolved. We have applied microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) using Agilent 400K custom array in the first Cyprus population screening for identification of ASD-associated CNVs. A cohort of 50 ASD patients (G1), their parents (G2), 50 ethnically matched normal controls (G3), and 80 normal individuals having children with various developmental and neurological conditions (G4) were tested. As a result, 14 patients were found to carry 20 potentially causative aberrations, two of which were de novo. Comparison of the four population groups revealed an increased rate of rare disease-associated variants in normal parents of children with autism. The above data provided additional evidence, supporting the complexity of ASD aetiology in comparison to other developmental disorders involving cognitive impairment. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the rationale of a more targeted approach combining accurate clinical description with high-resolution population-oriented genomic screening for defining the role of CNVs in autism and identifying meaningful associations on the molecular level.