Walid Hleihel

Title: Research on the Genetic Susceptibility to Autism and the Identification of Pre-during and Postnatal Risk within Lebanese Society 

Duration: 2 years 

PartnershipUniversité Francois Rabelais – Tours, France, Lebanese University and UHC-OLS 

Autism, described in 1943 by Leo Kanner, is related to the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). It occurs before the age of three years and affects around 7/1000 children. Until this day, the causes of autism are not yet explained. The most common assumption is that this disease is the result of a complex interaction between environmental and genetic factors. 
Current knowledge on autism is mainly linked to the studies on Western European populations. Therefore, there is an incontrovertible scientific interest to expand this knowledge to cover the eastern Mediterranean populations. As a result, this project aims to better characterize the autism risk factors within the Lebanese population through a study of the environmental risks, genetic research and a metabolic analysis.
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