GRIA1-Related Syndrome

This guide is not meant to take the place of medical advice. Please consult with your doctor about your genetic results and health care choices. This Gene Guide was last updated on 2024. As new information comes to light with new research we will update this page. You may find it helpful to share this guide with friends and family members or doctors and teachers of the person who has GRIA1-Related Syndrome.
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GRIA1-related syndrome happens when there are changes in the GRIA1 gene. These changes can keep the gene from working as it should.

Key Role

The GRIA1 gene plays a key role in communication among brain cells. The GRIA1 gene codes for a unit of the AMPA receptor. The gene is called GRIA1, and the protein is called GluA1. 


Because the GRIA1 gene is important for brain activity, many people who have GRIA1-related syndrome have: 

  • Intellectual disability
  • Global developmental delay
  • Speech delay or absent speech
  • Sleep disruption
  • Seizures
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also called ADHD
  • Delayed walking
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Bipolar disorder

Our genes contain the instructions, or code, that tell our cells how to grow, develop, and work. Every child gets two copies of the GRIA1 gene: one copy from their mother, from the egg, and one copy from their father, from the sperm. In most cases, parents pass on exact copies of the gene to their child. But the process of copying genes is not perfect. A change in the genetic code can lead to physical issues, developmental issues, or both.

Sometimes a random change happens in the sperm or egg. This change to the genetic code is called a ‘de novo’, or new, change. The child can be the first in the family to have the gene change.

De novo changes can take place in any gene. We all have some de novo changes, most of which don’t affect our health. But because GRIA1 plays a key role in development, de novo changes in this gene can have a meaningful effect.

Research shows that GRIA1-related syndrome is often the result of a de novo change in GRIA1. Many parents who have had their genes tested do not have the GRIA1 gene change found in their child who has the syndrome. In some cases, GRIA1-related syndrome happens because the gene change was passed down from a parent.

Dominant Inheritance

Children have a 50% chance of inheriting the genetic change.

Child who has genetic change in GRIA1 gene

Genetic change occurs in egg or sperm after fertilization
Child with de novo genetic change in autism gene

Why does my child have a change in the GRIA1 gene?

No parent causes their child’s GRIA1-related syndrome. We know this because no parent has any control over the gene changes that they do or do not pass on to their children. Please keep in mind that nothing a parent does before or during the pregnancy causes this to happen. The gene change takes place on its own and cannot be predicted or stopped.

Each family is different. A geneticist or genetic counselor can give you advice on the chance that this will happen again in your family.

The risk of having another child who has GRIA1-related syndrome depends on the genes of both birth parents.

  • If neither birth parent has the same gene change found in their child, the chance of having another child who has the syndrome is on average 1 percent. This 1 percent chance is higher than the chance of the general population. The increase in risk is due to the very unlikely chance that more of the mother’s egg cells or the father’s sperm cells carry the same change in the gene.
  • If one birth parent has the same gene change found in their child, the chance of having another child who has the syndrome is 50 percent.

For a symptom-free sibling, a brother or sister, of someone who has GRIA1-related syndrome, the risk of having a child who has the syndrome depends on the symptom-free sibling’s genes and their parents’ genes.

  • If neither parent has the same gene change found in their child who has the syndrome, the symptom-free sibling has a nearly 0 percent chance of having a child who has GRIA1-related syndrome.
  • If one birth parent has the same gene change found in their child who has the syndrome, the symptom-free sibling has a small chance of also having the same gene change. If the symptom- free sibling has the same gene change as their sibling who has the syndrome, the symptom-free sibling’s chance of having a child who has GRIA1-related syndrome is 50 percent.

For a person who has GRIA1-related syndrome, the risk of having a child who has the syndrome is about 50 percent.

As of 2024, at least 7 people with GRIA1-related syndrome have been identified in a medical clinic.

People who have GRIA1-related syndrome might not look very different. Two people have been described who possibly have squinting of the eyes.

Scientists and doctors have only just begun to study GRIA1-related syndrome. At this point, there are no medicines designed to treat the syndrome. A genetic diagnosis can help people decide on the best way to track the condition and manage therapies. Doctors can refer people to specialists for:

  • Physical exams and brain studies
  • Genetics consults
  • Development and behavior studies
  • Other issues, as needed

A developmental pediatrician, neurologist, or psychologist can follow progress over time and can help:

  • Suggest the right therapies. This can include physical, occupational, speech, or behavioral therapy.
  • Guide individualized education plans (IEPs).

Specialists advise that therapies for GRIA1-related syndrome should begin as early as possible, ideally before a child begins school.

If seizures happen, consult a neurologist. There are many types of seizures, and not all types are easy to spot. To learn more, you can refer to resources such as the Epilepsy Foundation’s website:…t-is-epilepsy/seizure-types

This section includes a summary of information from major published articles on GRIA1. To learn more about the articles, see the Sources and references section of this guide.

There are few research publications on people with GRIA1-related syndrome. The information below includes 9 people. The oldest person included was 26 years old.

All people had moderate to severe intellectual disability and limited ability to speak or were non-verbal. Few people had seizures.

  • 9 out of 9 people had intellectual disability (100 percent)
  • 5 out of 5 people were non-verbal or had limited ability to speak (100 percent)
  • 3 out of 8 people had seizures (38 percent)
9 out of 9 people had intellectual disability.
5 out of 5 people were non-verbal or had limited ability to speak.
3 out of 8 people had seizures.

All people screened did not have abnormal findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some people had difficulty sleeping. 

  • 6 out of 6 people had no findings on MRI (100 percent)
  • 3 out of 5 people had poor sleep (60 percent)

All people with GRIA1-related syndrome were able to walk and some had a movement disorder called dystonia.

  • 5 out of 5 people were able to walk (100 percent)
  • 1 out of 3 people had dystonia (33 percent)
5 out of 5 people were able to walk.
1 out of 3 people had dystonia.

Where can I find support and resources?

CureGRIN Foundation

CureGRIN Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world with GRI Disorders (GRIA, GRID, GRIK, and GRIN) and their families through research, education, and support. We work closely with scientists and the medical community to drive patient-centered research that will lead to treatments and cures. ​

Simons Searchlight

Simons Searchlight is an online international research program, building an ever growing natural history database, biorepository, and resource network of over 175 rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. By joining their community and sharing your experiences, you contribute to a growing database used by scientists worldwide to advance the understanding of your genetic condition. Through online surveys and optional blood sample collection, they gather valuable information to improve lives and drive scientific progress. Families like yours are the key to making meaningful progress. To register for Simons Searchlight, go to the Simons Searchlight website at and click “Join Us.”

Sources and References

The content in this guide comes from published studies about GRIA1-related syndrome. Below you can find details about each study, as well as links to summaries or, in some cases, the full article.

  • Ismail, V., Zachariassen, L. G., Godwin, A., Sahakian, M., Ellard, S., Stals, K. L., Baple, E., Brown, K. T., Foulds, N., Wheway, G., Parker, M. O., Lyngby, S. M., Pedersen, M. G., Desir, J., Bayat, A., Musgaard, M., Guille, M., Kristensen, A. S., & Baralle, D. (2022). Identification and functional evaluation of GRIA1 missense and truncation variants in individuals with ID: An emerging neurodevelopmental syndrome. American Journal of Human Genetics, 109(7), 1217-1241.
  • XiangWei, W., … Traynelis, S. F. (2023). Clinical and functional consequences of GRIA variants in patients with neurological diseases. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 80(11), 345.

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