Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by ritualistic-repetitive behaviors and impaired verbal and non-verbal communication. Objectives were to determine the contribution of genetic variation to ASDs in the Lebanese. Affymetrix Cytogenetics Whole-Genome 2.7 M and CytoScan ™ HD Arrays were used to detect CNVs in 41 Lebanese autistic children and 35 non-autistic, developmentally delayed and intellectually disabled patients. 33 normal participants were used as controls. 16 de novo CNVs and 57 inherited CNVs, including recognized pathogenic 16p11.2 duplications and 2p16.3 deletions were identified. A duplication at 1q43 classified as likely pathogenic encompasses RYR2 as a potential ASD candidate gene. This previously identified CNV has been classified as both pathogenic, and, of uncertain significance. A duplication of unknown significance at 10q11.22, proposed as a modulator for phenotypic disease expression in Rett syndrome, was also identified. The novel potential autism susceptibility genes PTDSS1 and AREG were uncovered and warrant further genetic and functional analyses. Previously described and novel genetic targets in ASD were identified in Lebanese families with autism. These findings may lead to improved diagnosis of ASDs and informed genetic counseling, and may also lead to untapped therapeutic targets applicable to Lebanese and non-Lebanese patients.
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