As many as 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism. It's a mysterious brain disorder that takes its toll on social interaction and communication. In most cases, it shows up early before the age of three.
The current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reveals a new clue about the disorder. It has found that in some people with autism, chromosome 16 is either missing or duplicated. Dr. Mark Daly says, "This could be valuable as an identifying tool for children at risk at an earlier age when early intervention could be valuable."
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi says, "A solid lead like this provides a solid biological target for therapeutics and drug discovery, and this is something we really didn't have for autism before this discovery."Researchers admit this is just one piece of a larger puzzle but since there's no cure for the disorder, every clue adds to understanding and the chance of better therapy.