New research published this week in the journal Nature suggests that gene mutations, which are most common among older fathers, increase a child's odds of having autism spectrum disorder. Progress is being made in identifying the genes associated with autism, but more work needs to be done, said researcher Joseph Buxbaum of New York City's Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "As these genes are further characterized, this will lead to earlier diagnosis and novel drug development," said Buxbaum, who was involved in one of the studies.

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