Genes governing neurodevelopment can be modified by parental infections

Congenital neurodevelopmental disorders may be partially a result of viruses and bacteria infections.

Interference between human, viral and bacterial DNA during cell division was found to disrupt genetic regions containing genes important for early development (including in utero).

The findings were backed by 48 patient genomes. Human immunodeficiency viruses were the most often similar to essential DNA sequences.

As scientist conclude:
Neurodevelopmental disorders are proposed to begin when parental infections cause insertions or interfere with meiosis at both repetitive and unique human DNA sequences.

More: “Parental infections disrupt clustered genes encoding related functions required for nervous system development in newborns”, B. Friedenson, 2018, doi:10.1101/448845.