The use of genomic microarrays to study chromosomal abnormalities in mental retardation

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7 Scopus citations


Mental retardation affects 2 to 3% of the US population. It is defined by broad criteria, including significantly subaverage intelligence, onset by age 18, and impaired function in a group of adaptive skills. A myriad of genetic and environmental causes have been described, but for approximately half of individuals diagnosed with mental retardation the molecular basis remains unknown. Genomic microarrays, also called array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), represent one of several novel technologies that allow the detection of chromosomal abnormalities, such as microdeletions and microduplications, in a rapid, high throughput fashion from genomic DNA samples. In one early application of this technology, genomic microarrays have been used to characterize the extent of chromosomal changes in a group of patients diagnosed with one particular type of disorder that causes mental retardation, such as deletion 1p36 syndrome. In another application, DNA samples from individuals with idiopathic mental retardation have been assayed to scan the entire genome in attempts to identify chromosomal changes. Genomic microarrays offer both a genomewide perspective of chromosomal aberrations as well as higher resolution (to the level of approximately one megabase) compared to alternative available technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Array comparative genomic hybridization
  • Chromosome
  • Mental retardation
  • Microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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