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Most Autism Cases Can Be Explained by Faulty Genes, New Research Confirms

We understand it better than ever.

9/27/2017 3:49:36 PM

mother and her son and bubbles flying around them

MIKE MCRAE

A fresh look at data from earlier research has reaffirmed what many researchers had thought – autism is primarily in the genes.

Other studies have shown autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to cluster in families and is associated with particular genes, but nailing down the risks with precision is a complex task. This new research has put a figure on the chances, claiming 83 percent of autism cases are inherited.

The study led by researchers from the Ichan School of Medicine in New York reanalysed a Swedish longitudinal study that involved over 2.6 million pairs of siblings, 37,570 pairs of twins, and just under a million half-sibling pairs.

Of these, 14,516 children had an ASD diagnosis.

Autism and its associated spectrum of conditions is a rather complex disorder, distinguished by difficulties in communicating and engaging in social interactions.

The signs usually aren't all that clear until a child might be expected to develop advanced communication skills, around age 2 to 3, making it hard to untangle genetic and environmental causes.

In fact, as recently as just half a century ago, physicians thought it could be the result of a lack of maternal love and affection.

Studies that have focussed on finding links between family relationships have come up with a variety of figures on the genetics of ASD.

 

 

 

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