This entry was posted on Friday, July 8th, 2011 at 2:29 pm and is filed under Autism Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
A study that examined twins found that environmental factors may be as important as genes when it comes to identifying what causes autism. Researchers did not identify specific environmental factors, but experts agree that this study sheds light on factors outside of genetics. The researchers looked at 192 pairs of identical and fraternal twins. In each pairing, one twin displayed classic symptoms of Autism and the other had Autism spectrum disorder, like Asperger’s syndrome.
Autism research concerning twins is important because identical twins share 100 percent of their genes and fraternal twins share 50 percent. This set up a clear control: if all the genetic material is the same, why does one twin develop more “severe” autism than the other? Mathematical modeling suggests that only 38 percent of the instances of autism studied in the twins can be attributed to genetics, meaning that there is a high likelihood of environmental factors as the root cause.
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