Solving the riddle of autism genetics will require looking beyond the growing list of candidate genes to epigenetics and personalized medicine.
Full siblings are twice as likely as half siblings to share a diagnosis of autism, according to a short report published 28 February in Molecular Psychiatry. The results suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the risk of developing autism, the researchers say.
Twin brothers who have autism carry a non-inherited duplication that overlaps with 16p11.2, a chromosomal region that has been associated with autism. Their brother, who also has autism, has a nearby deletion within 16p11.2, according to a study published 11 January in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder show genetic and neurobiological overlap, which may provide clues to the origin of both disorders, says Joel Nigg.
When twins differ in their diagnosis of autism, the twin with the lower birth weight is about three times more likely to develop the disorder than his or her sibling, according to a study published in the December issue of Psychological Medicine.
A new study of nearly 6,000 pairs of twins suggests that the three core traits of autism are inherited separately, and to varying degrees, both in individuals with autism and in the general population.
A new study of twins proposes the controversial claim that environmental influences during early development are just as, if not more, important than genetics. But the findings are not substantially different from those of previous twin studies, however, and some experts are critical of the study’s statistics.