Developmental disability Research from the University of Helsinki: Developmental disability is rarely hereditary

A total of 39 Finnish families participated in the study, where the reason for the family member’s developmental delay was unclear.

Developmental disability most often due to genetic changes that have occurred during early fetal development and are not found in the parents’ genome, the University of Helsinki from a study published in the journal Human Genetics in March.

Thus, developmental disability is rarely inherited, the study estimates.

Developmental disability means difficulty learning and understanding new things. It occurs in about 1-2% of the population.

In the study exom sequencing was used to determine the possible genetic background of the developmental disability. Exom sequencing refers to the sequencing of a protein-forming genome.

A total of 39 Finnish families participated in the study, where the reason for the family member’s developmental delay was unclear. The study found that 64% of the participants in the study had a pre-known developmental disability gene as the cause of the developmental disorder. The majority of these, 74 percent, were born by chance during early fetal development. A quarter of those studied found a hereditary change in the pathogen gene.

Thus, in most cases, no change was found in the inheritance of the parents, but was due to de Novo mutations that arose in the early stages of fetal development.

“Based on our results, the risk of recurrence of developmental disability for the next children in the family is low. The better we know the background and heredity of developmental disabilities, the better we can help families facing these serious illnesses, ”says the docent in a university press release Irma Järvelä.

Result according to Järvelä is in the same category as in other European populations.

“Despite the isolation of our population, Finns do not differ from other European populations in the inheritance of developmental disabilities.”

The study was conducted in collaboration with Finns, physicians treating the mentally handicapped, the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Helsinki, and Columbia University and the Baylor Institute in the United States.

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