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UK Mirror: "Autism is something you're born with"; "males more likely to inherit condition"

May 11, 2024, Mirror: Autism symptoms in boys as study finds males are more likely to inherit condition

New research has found that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more likely to be inherited by males than females - and these are the symptoms in boys you should be aware of

Autism is something you're born with, and although some signs of developmental disability might be noticed when you're young, other people find that they don't get a diagnosis until they're older. Having autism is not an illness or a disease, and just means your brain works differently from other people. Therefore, autism does not have a "cure" - but some people may find they need support to help them with certain tasks, and getting diagnosed can help facilitate this.

While autism can affect anybody, new research has found that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - which is a group of neurodevelopmental conditions of variable severity that are regarded as characteristics of autism - is more likely to be inherited by males than females.

The study, which was conducted by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, looked at "sex-specific heritability" of autism after researchers analysed data from twin siblings and cousins in Sweden who were born between January 1985, and December 1998 - following up on the results up to the age of 19 years old.

Results of the study were published in the online journal Psychiatry earlier this month, using data from 1,047,649 individuals from 456,832 families. According to Wales Online, researchers found that 1.17 per cent of the entire sample received a diagnosis of ASD. This included 1.51 per cent of males and 0.80 per cent of females.

Following the study, it was found that ASD heritability was estimated at 87.0 per cent for males and 75.7 per cent for females, with the difference in heritability estimated at 11.3 per cent.

The authors of the study said of their findings: "The skewed sex ratio in ASD may, partly, be explained by differences in genetic variance between sexes. This discovery opens up new avenues for further research aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the prevalence of ASD."



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