Why men are more likely to have autism: Their brains are more prone to genetic flaws, study finds

Girls require more extreme genetic mutations than boys do to develop autism

ByEmma Innes

.Girls require more extreme genetic mutations to develop the condition
.So, it is less likely they will be pushed over the diagnostic threshold
About 1.8% of boys have autism compared to 0.2% of girls

Researchers claim to have  discovered why autism is more common in boys than girls.

A study, published in the American Journal of  Human Genetics, suggests girls require more extreme genetic mutations than boys  to develop the condition.

As a result, it is less likely that they will  be pushed over the diagnostic threshold for autism.

Study author Dr Sébastien  Jacquemont, of the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, said: ‘This  is the first study that convincingly demonstrates a difference at the molecular  level between boys and girls referred to the clinic for a developmental  disability.

‘The study suggests that there is a different  level of robustness in brain development, and females seem to have a clear  advantage.’

Research has previously shown that autism and  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are both more common in  boys.

Indeed, about 1.8 per cent of boys have  autism compared to just 0.2 per cent of girls.

Some researchers have suggested that there is  a social bias that increases the likelihood of diagnosis in boys, whereas others  have proposed that there are sex-based differences in genetic susceptibility.

However, past studies investigating  biological explanations for the gender bias have proved  inconclusive.

To examine this question, Dr Jacquemont  teamed up with Dr Evan Eichler, from the University of Washington School of  Medicine, to analyse DNA samples from 16,000 people with neuro-developmental  disorders – impairments in the development of the brain and central nervous  system – and from 800 families affected by autism…

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2570106/Why-men-likely-autism-Their-brains-prone-genetic-flaws-study-finds.html#ixzz2ucYwg0TK Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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