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Neuropsychiatric Conditions and Genetic Variation – Is Autism Really a Disease?

May 17, 2021 - 12:00 pm

Daniel Geschwind M.D. Ph.D, Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Human Genetics; Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor, Precision Health; Director, Institute of Precision Health; Director, Center for Autism Research and Treatment; University of California, Los Angeles

Human traits are distributed for the most part on a continuum and, similar to metabolic and morphological features, brain functions such as social cognition and mental flexibility, which underlie autism diagnosis, are also continuously distributed in humans. This continuous distribution of traits means that we have adopted thresholds at which we define disease. Moreover, many of those who have relative disabilities have strengths in certain areas, including exceptional abilities. I will reflect on these observations and how recent advances in genetics might inform our framing of disorders like autism.

Seminar on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics

12:00- 1:00 PM Eastern Time

Center for Research on Ethical/Legal/Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, Department of Psychiatry and the Precision Medicine Resource, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

To register for this online presentation and receive the Zoom link, please send an email with your name and affiliation to janee.frankel@nyspi.columbia.edu