MENTAL ABNORMALITY AND SOMATIC MUTATION – A HYPOTHESIS
E. M. NICHOLLS *
Department of Safety Science, University of New South Wales, Australia
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Many babies are born with mental or neurological defects suggestive of a genetic aetiology, but with no family history which could support a genetic mechanism. It is hypothesized that somatic mutation defined in its broadcast sense could explain many such cases. The generally greater incidence in boys rather than girls is explained by the fact that mutations in their single X chromosome are more likely to be expressed phenotypically, whereas such expression would be much rarer in girls.
Keywords: Somatic mutation, mental underdevelopment, Two hit hypothesis