ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new Wash U study finds in autism, genes drive those early eye gaze abnormalities.

Previous research has shown that babies with autism prefer to gaze at objects instead of people’s eyes and faces. Now this local study finds that where babies focus their eyes is under stringent genetic control.

“We think that this deviation from the usual patterns of eye-looking is one of the components of one of the buildings blocks of the autistic syndrome, but it’s probably interacting with something else. There’s probably some other one or two factors that if we can get our hands on all of them, that will help us to target interventions as early as the second month of life, that we can start to bring to bare and offset the normal course for these kids,” says Wash U lead researcher Dr. John Constantino.

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