By Amy Vega - March 8, 2012

A bit of Research: Are timing genes in the brain in some way flawed in children with Autism?

Researchers (Nicholas et al, 2007) are asking whether genes responsible for timing in the brain are in some way flawed in children with Autism (including High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s). Individuals on the Autism Spectrum display a significant number of symptoms that show timing in the brain is severely disrupted, from difficulty with sleep to the brain’s ability to process information, to attention or the ability to switch from focusing on one thing to another (they often become fixated), to communicating & reciprocating in conversation, to sensory processing and integration, to motor coordination (including the muscles for vision and visual perception). The authors found that there is indeed a case to be made that “clock genes” are involved, however they urge further research. More and more professionals are including Interactive Metronome in their comprehensive treatment programs for children on the Autism Spectrum in order to improve the timing skills that are critical for development of speech & language, cognitive, social, and motor skills.

Nicholas, B., Rudrasingham, V., Nash, S., Kirov, G., Own, M.J., and Wimpory, D.C. (2007). Association of Per1 and Npas2 with autistic disorder: Support for the clock genes/social timing hypothesis. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 581-592.

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