A group of Pakistani scientists have discovered 30 genes that cause mental retardation within the local population. The discovery has paved way for various preventive measures to decrease intellectual impairments in future generations
This milestone discovery is made by a group of 12 professors of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) in Islamabad that worked in collaboration with researchers from the US and Netherlands.
The research was announced by these scientists recently and the paper has been published already in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry, which a prestigious international journal.
The research was being held for the past five years by scientists from SZABMU, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Netherlands’ Radboud University Medical Centre.
The vice-chancellor of SZABMU and principal investigator of the research from Pakistan, Dr Javed Akram said, “This is a landmark discovery for Pakistan as mental retardation is comparatively high in the country owing to cousin marriages.”
The team further plans to lay proposals in front of the government to make pre-marriage screening mandatory for families with genes that cause intellectual disability, deafness and blindness.
According to him, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), has previously registered around 3,000 families from South Punjab and interior Sindh with such genes to take medical consultation before arranging marriages within the family.
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