Autism BrainNet to perform genetic analysis of donated brain tissue

Starting this year, Autism BrainNet will be performing genetic analysis of all the brain tissue donated by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental conditions. These data will be made available to approved researchers worldwide to conduct studies that can help better understand the biological basis of ASD.

Genetic characterization of the brains in the Autism BrainNet collection will be conducted in partnership with the New York Genome Center. Whole-genome sequencing data and genetic arrays for 58 brains from donors with either a confirmed diagnosis of ASD or genetic mutations in ASD risk genes have been recently released. Data from an additional 48 brains, and whole exome sequencing data from all individuals will be made available in spring 2022.

These data add to Autism BrainNet’s existing resources, including phenotypic information about the donors, such as their medical history. Tissue biospecimens, together with genetic and phenotypic data about the donor, provide a uniquely rich dataset that researchers can leverage to better understand links between genetic changes and the cellular and molecular mechanisms affected in ASD, and to help identify potential targets for treatments.

Interested researchers can request Autism BrainNet genomic or phenotypic data, as well as brain tissue, through SFARI Base, a clearinghouse for autism and autism-related research data and biospecimens supported by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

More information about the collection can be found in the Autism BrainNet Tissue Catalogue.

More information about the tissue and data request process can be found here.