Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Mitochondria Connection

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Ya Wen, PHD
Yuan Yao, PHD


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are considered neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by restricted patterns of behavior and difficulties with communication and social interaction. Cumulative evidence suggests ASD have a wide range of co-occurring multisystemic conditions beyond the primary diagnosis. However, the etiology of ASD still eludes us. Finding a key cellular process responsible for the cognitive features, specific behaviors, and abnormalities in multiple systems presents major challenges to researchers. Mitochondria are multifaceted organelles involved in many cellular functions. The relationship between mitochondria and ASD has been studied for many years. Mitochondria may play a crucial role in ASD pathophysiology. By reviewing the connections between mitochondria and ASD from genes, pathways, biological activities, and clinical manifestations, we hope to provide clues for future studies that elucidate the biological basis of ASD symptoms and behaviors.


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Chapter 7