Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasingly recognized as a common disorder that usually leads to life-long difficulties, with no current treatments that are based on the underlying neurobiology. Emerging genetic findings in ASD point to opportunities to develop treatments in small subgroups of children, each less than 1% of the ASD population, who share common genetic risk that can be studied in cellular or animal models. Parallel emerging neuroscience findings suggest brain systems that underlie social and repetitive behavior across species and could provide opportunities for treatments that benefit a larger group of children with ASD but likely have a smaller impact. Dr. Veenstra-VanderWeele will discuss examples of these opportunities, as well as challenges, to develop new treatments in ASD.
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