by David L. Lewis, PhD
Persistent DNA damage causes new mutations to occur during prenatal development that can lead to the types of neurological problems associated with autism. Error-prone DNA repair processes can create new mutations that never existed in either parent. These changes, which are called somatic mosaic mutations, are only present in a subset of cells and can be passed down by either parent. Traditional genetics studies fail to detect these types of mutations, which are not as rare as once thought.
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