- Autism runs in families with history of brain conditions
- Relative risk:
- We thought we were just a family of eccentrics. Now we know we’ve ALL got Asperger’s…
- What grandmothers can teach scientists about autism’s inheritance
- In the family:
- What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Asperger’s Syndrome?
- What Are the Possible Causes of Asperger’s Syndrome?
Autism runs in families with history of brain conditions
Family ties: Children with an autistic parent or siblings have nine times the usual odds of having autism.
Ken Wiedemann / Getty Images
Children in families with a history of brain conditions are at increased odds of being autistic, a large study in Sweden suggests1. The more closely related the family members with these conditions, the greater the child’s chances of having autism.
Other studies have reported similar trends: A child’s odds of having autism increase if she has a sibling with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or intellectual disability, or a parent with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety2,3,4.
The new study looked at family history of these conditions, as well as epilepsy and more than a dozen others, and included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
In autism studies, scientists tend to focus on older siblings, “but many people with autism don’t have an older sibling with autism,” says lead investigator Brian Lee, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “Family history, in nearly every aspect of medicine, is an incredibly strong determinant of outcome.”
Lee and his colleagues examined records from 10,920 children with autism and 556,516 typical children enrolled in the Stockholm Youth Cohort, an ongoing study of children born in that city. The researchers used national registries to identify the children’s more than 8 million relatives and those relatives’ diagnoses.
Children who have a first-degree relative — a sibling or parent — with a brain condition other than autism have up to 4.7 times the usual odds of having autism, the study found. And they have up to 7.6 times the odds of having both autism and intellectual disability.
The results jibe with evidence linking risk factors for autism with those for other conditions, says James Crowley, associate professor of genetics and psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the study. “Genes that predispose to one psychiatric or neurologic disorder often predispose to another,” he says.
The risk of autism — with or without intellectual disability — decreases as the genetic distance between the child and the affected family member increases.
“This is really telling us that there seems to be a general liability factor, which is genetically transmitted, to having a variety of different psychiatric and neurological disorders,” says Alan Brown, professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University, who was not involved in the study. The findings appeared in March in JAMA Network Open.
The study also found that the 8,354 children who have autism alone are more likely to have a relative with one of these conditions than are the 2,566 children who have both autism and intellectual disability.
Children with an autistic parent or sibling have 9 times the usual odds of autism and 4.1 times the odds of having autism with intellectual disability. But children who have a parent or sibling with both autism and intellectual disability have 14.2 times the usual odds of also having both conditions and 3.8 times the odds of having autism alone.
These findings support the idea that the genetics of autism with intellectual disability differs from that of autism alone, says Jakob Grove, associate professor of biomedicine at Aarhus University in Denmark, who was not involved in the study.
Lee and his colleagues are analyzing records in national registries in Denmark to look at autism’s relationship to family history of brain and other health conditions.
We thought we were just a family of eccentrics. Now we know we’ve ALL got Asperger’s…
- BAFTAs 2020: Emilia Clarke opts for vampy chic in a low-cut gown while Zoe Kravitz shimmers in a metallic floor-length dress as they lead the glamour
- PICTURED: Roxanne Pallett marries firefighter Josh Carrion in New York in front of 10 family and friends just TWO months after their engagement
- Caprice Bourret ‘deeply disgusted’ by ex DOI partner Hamish Gaman as she sensationally QUITS show… while ITV are forced to refute bullying claims
- Love Island SPOILER ‘He’s been lying to my face!’ Siannise is left RAGING as Rebecca reveals she enjoyed bedtime cuddles with Luke T
- Khloe Kardashian shows off her plump pout with sister Kourtney as she leaves ‘birthday party of the year’ for Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi
- Time for a spring refresh? 5 homeware hacks you NEED to know Ad Feature
- BAFTAs 2020: Naomie Harris and Jessica Chastain lead the stars getting ready for the red carpet with glam behind the scenes snaps Pamper time
- BAFTAs 2020: Taron Egerton looks dapper in a purple velvet tuxedo as he joins his stunning girlfriend Emily Thomas on the red carpet Seeing double
- Lady Gaga takes on J Lo as she busts out SEVEN different looks for Super Bowl party performance… before joking ‘I better hear no lip syncing!’
- Dancing On Ice: Holly Willoughby channels her inner princess in a beautiful blue gown as she prepares to host Fairytale Week
- Nadine Coyle puts on a VERY raunchy display in a busty latex mini dress and knee-high leather boots as she struts her stuff during sizzling performance
- Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez ‘is dating RHOC star Dawn Ward’s daughter Taylor after splitting from his ex-model wife Rita’ New couple?
- Lucy Mecklenburgh displays her blossoming bump as she is joined by her nearest and dearest for swanky baby shower
- Love Island SPOILER: Jess opts to KISS Mike during challenge… prompting furious partner Luke M to brand her ‘disrespectful’
- How to be the best version of YOU: Top 10 solutions to health and wellbeing problems that will leave you feeling AND looking good Ad Feature
- Love Island SPOILER: TWO Islanders have been dumped from the villa… as they make way for 12 new bombshells in Casa Amor Four couples were at risk
- Vanessa Bryant shares fan art of tragic Gigi saying ‘seeing my babygirl smile and happy again warmed my heart’
- Can glycolic acid give you brighter, smoother skin in just seven days? Meet the supercharged treatment that delivers professional results at home Ad Feature
- Jack Fincham looks tense as he has a very animated chat on the phone before taking his newborn baby girl Blossom out in her pram for the first time
- Chloe Ferry pours her curves into a perilously low-cut unitard and mesh stockings as she hits the town with PVC-clad Sophie Kasaei Looking good
- Dancing On Ice star Libby Clegg forced to PULL OUT of latest show after being struck down with vomiting bug Caprice has also quit the show
- Miley Cyrus looks carefree as she steps out after finalizing her divorce from Liam Hemsworth Was taking care of business
- Victoria Beckham spends the night in her childhood bedroom (complete with creepy dolls!) as Brooklyn and David stay in the US
- A ray of sunshine! The Queen brightens up an otherwise rainy day in a baby blue ensemble as she attends church service in Norfolk Radiant
- ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’: Watch Blake Lively transform from girl next door into deadly assassin in her toughest role to date Ad Feature
- Paloma Faith looks every inch the villain for her role as Bet Sykes in Batman spin-off Pennyworth while filming scene in prison warden costume
- Nick Lachey insists Jessica Simpson ‘did not reach out to me’ before publishing memoir about doomed marriage
- Halsey stops performance to call out heckler screaming ex G-Eazy’s name at Budweiser Super Bowl party
- John Cleese, 80, enjoys dinner with his wife Jennifer Wade, 47, and pals in Chelsea… after the death of his Monty Python co-star Terry Jones
- Carol Vorderman puts on an animated display as she wraps up in padded coat and blue jeans for presenting her BBC radio show in Cardiff city centre
- Cardi B puts on a VERY raunchy show in a glittering bodysuit with racy suspenders at pre-Super Bowl gig She put on an incredible performance
- Princess Eugenie looks chic in a floral dress as she arrives at London Heathrow Airport Glamorous
- EastEnders’ Jessie Wallace ‘shocked male crew members with a saucy outburst… before being suspended for boozing on set’ Shock claims
- TALK OF THE TOWN: Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo ‘is secretly engaged to millionaire aristocrat George Cottrel’ who was Nigel Farage’s right hand man
- Rebekah Vardy tenderly cradles baby daughter Olivia as she takes newborn tot to see husband Jamie play football for the first time
- Lady Gaga puts on cheeky display in black thong as she snuggles up to her mystery man ‘Michael’ in Miami ahead of pre-Super Bowl performance… after sharing a NYE kiss
- X Factor host Dermot O’Leary reveals he is expecting his first child with wife Dee Koppang… as she debuts her baby bump at BAFTA party
- Sienna Miller, 38, looks radiant in cream striped dress as she is joined by ‘fiancé’ Lucas Zwirner, 29, at Writers Guild Awards Cute couple
- Pamela Anderson SPLITS from her movie producer husband Jon Peters after only 12 DAYS of marriage as the couple ‘take some time apart to re-evaluate’
- Meet the new Casa Amor Love Islanders! A pageant queen, a butler in the buff and three models… the ‘sexiest singletons yet’ set to arrive (and almost ALL have eyes on Luke M)
- ‘We’re treated like SKIVVIES’: Harry and Meghan’s Scotland Yard protection officers ‘claim they’re sent on errands like picking up royals’ groceries
- Jay-Z turned down Super Bowl half-time show ‘on principle’… after NFL insisted he guarantee Kanye West and Rihanna make guest appearances
- Coronation Street boss hints at ‘plans to bring back Julie Goodyear’s legendary character Bet Lynch’ after a 17 year absence Legendary
- Joan Collins, 86, cuts a glamorous figure in a leather co-ord as she cosies up to husband Percy Gibson, 55, on dinner date in LA Married for 18 years
- Sylvester Stallone, 73, showcases his new silver locks as he takes daughters Sophia, 23, and Sistine, 21, to dinner Family fun
- Bill Murray finds himself back in a Groundhog Day loop during Jeep’s Super Bowl commercial This time around things were a lot more bearable
- Kimberley Garner shows off her cleavage in a sexy gold mini dress at Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party Glamorous
- Charlotte Crosby and Ryan Gallagher pack on the PDA as they return to I’m A Celebrity for finale and reveal their romance is going full steam ahead
- Kylie Jenner wheels out THAT giant inflatable toddler head as she brings back STORMI WORLD for daughter’s lavish second birthday bash
- Kaz Crossley and Anthony Joshua don their glad rags to attend rapper Krept’s 30th birthday in London (who turns the party into a gender reveal)
- The Queen blamed HERSELF for her 1992 ‘annus horribilis’: Monarch asked ‘where did I go wrong’ in year of Prince Charles and Andrew’s marriage breakdown
- Coronation Street’s Alison King ‘caught kissing MARRIED co-star Mikey North at the NTAs’… before being ‘escorted’ out amid claims she was ‘drunk’
- Lily Allen looks chic in a green and blue lace gown as she and beau David Harbour lead the stars at Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs 2020 party
- Katherine Jenkins enjoys a lunch date with husband Andrew… after schoolgirl, 15, admitted to mugging the singer when she intervened in ‘violent’ street robbery
- Katie Price RETURNS to rehab as she is spotted outside The Priory… just days after returning from visiting terminally ill mum Amy in Spain
- Heidi Klum wraps up in a huge padded coat and a tracksuit as she gets to work filming Germany’s Next Topmodel Cosy
- Zoe Kravitz wraps up warm on a low key date night with her husband Karl Glusman in London The star cut a low-key figure on Saturday
- Prince Andrew called his ‘victim’ Virginia Roberts ‘a very sick girl’ days after she described her abuse at hands of Jeffrey Epstein
- Newly-single Ashley Roberts puts on a leggy display in a patterned burgundy dress as she steps out for dinner with pals… following split from Giovanni Pernice
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle promote Instagram page which focuses on ‘acts of kindness’ and ‘uplifting stories of community from across the globe’
- BAFTAs 2020: Florence Pugh wows in a red mini dress as she joins Little Women co-stars Saoirse Ronan and Laura Dern at a Nominees Party
- Jourdan Dunn reveals she’s ENGAGED to her ‘life partner’ Dion Hamilton as she shares a glimpse of her dazzling ‘£22,000’ diamond ring
- Jimmy Tarbuck reveals he is being tested for prostate cancer after his upcoming 80th birthday and close friend Tom Jones is helping him through health scare
- Lady Gaga says she ‘better hear no lip-syncing’ during Sunday’s Super Bowl… while performing in Miami Just hours away
- Chrissy Teigen is awestruck as she brings John Legend and Luna to Stormi Webster’s ultra-luxe second birthday party Adorable
- Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand ‘front-runners to replace Sandi Toksvig on the Great British Bake Off’… after the host shockingly quit the C4 show
- Jessie J reveals she enjoys cooking and cleaning more than sex with her reunited beau Channing Tatum Jessie J revealed some of her favourite activities
- Paul McCartney’s wife Nancy Shevell, 60, dazzles in a scarlet wrap dress on dinner date with husband, 77, in Miami as the pair attend Casamigos party
- The Crown: Olivia Colman portrays a giddy Queen Elizabeth II as she joins Tobias Menzies to film Princess Anne’s show jumping scenes for season four
- Gwyneth Paltrow sizzles in sequin Ralph And Russo suit to support hubby Brad Falchuk at WGA Awards where he gets Valentine Davies prize
- Louis Tomlinson admits he ‘isn’t ready’ to make up with One Direction band mate Zayn Malik and says he thinks the singer has been ‘disrespectful’
- Caprice Bourret ‘QUITS Dancing On Ice after struggling with split from partner Hamish Gaman’… after he cryptically claimed ‘the truth will out’
- Kylie Jenner and ex-Travis Scott chat happily together at daughter Stormi’s 2nd birthday bash as they continue to amicably co-parent the tot
- Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things reveals his fourth Cleidocranial Dysplasia surgery was a ‘complete success’ The actor suffers from the condition
- Jenna Dewan shows off her growing baby bump after picking up her daughter Everly from practice Jenna looked effortlessly stylish
- SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton admits he CHEATED on Everest challenge by flying to a luxury hotel and getting ‘smashed’ – leaving his film crew in tents at 17,000ft
- Katy Perry models Marilyn Monroe hairdo and lei as she poses with Minnie Mouse and goofs off with Ryan Seacrest at Disney resort in Hawaii
- Kaia Gerber shows off her toned figure i a crop top and leggings after a weekend sweat session in West Hollywood Kaia looked incredible in the ensemble
- Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke reveals why she WON’T Google herself or take selfies… and how it’s become her ‘recipe for success’ Feeling good
- Roxanne Pallett’s honeymoon dreams are extinguished as her fireman husband Jason Carrion is called into work… after the couple married in secret
- Natasha Lyonne puts a punk chic twist on the little black dress as she matches pregnant pal Chloe Sevigny at bi-coastal Writers Guild Awards
- Caitlyn Jenner cuts a cool look in black leather jacket as she steps out for dinner with Sophia Hutchins in West Hollywood Chic
- Christie Brinkley, 66, sizzles in sexy ringmaster costume as she performs with daughter Alexa Ray Joel, 34, at Big Apple Circus in NYC
- Demi Lovato joins Dan + Shay onstage Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest… ahead of singing National Anthem The 27-year-old pop star rocked Versace leggings
- Mark Wahlberg’s wife Rhea ‘paralyzed with fear’ over him taking flights after tragic death of Kobe Bryant in helicopter crash Struggle
- Guns N’ Roses pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna and dedicates performance to the victims of the helicopter crash at the Bud Light Super Bowl Fest
- The Masked Singer: Unicorn is revealed to be The Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears and Duck is Britpop legend Skin in DOUBLE vote-off
- Madonna, 61, leaves her concert in London after apologising to fans for cancelling more shows and revealing she’s doing six hours of rehab a day
- Reese Witherspoon shows off petite curves in sports leggings during jog and later in denim mini-dress at her son’s soccer practice Taking it easy
- ‘I don’t want to put all of myself out there for the world to see’: Maddison Brown on life after being spotted kissing Liam Hemsworth
- Hailey Bieber flaunts her toned legs in denim shorts after a relaxing spa day in Los Angeles Hailey showcased her toned physique
- Paris Hilton rocks a plunging sequin dress as she takes to the decks to bust out some tunes at the Rolling Stone Super Bowl party in Miami
- Lily-Rose Depp looks effortlessly chic as she dazzles in a sheer gold sequinned dress at Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs 2020 party Chic
- Claire Foy stuns in a plunging black silk jumpsuit as she joins Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke at Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs 2020 party
- TALK OF THE TOWN: Is Jude Law, proud dad of one of this country’s most sought-after young models, about to score a six?
- Kourtney Kardashian flaunts her cleavage as she heads to the farmers market on outing with gal pal Larsa Pippen… after their ‘movie night’
- Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey get in a brisk workout session before the Super Bowl The two went for a run on treadmills
- Kristin Chenoweth shows off petite figure in black flared pants and matching crop-top with puffy sleeves as she’s honored at LGBTQ charity in NYC
- Olivia Culpo takes the plunge in fringe mini as she smolders with NFL beau Christian McCaffrey at Super Saturday Night bash in Miami
- Tina Fey is the picture of business-chic in blue double-breasted suit at Writers Guild Awards in NYC Tina exuded glamour on the outing
- Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach holds hands while looking stylish in suits at the 2020 Writers Guild Awards in New York City
- Fancy seeing you here! Locals are left stunned as Tom Hanks dines at a restaurant in rural New South Wales during downtime from filming new Elvis biopic
- That’s not very fancy! Iggy Azalea reveals she suffered an embarrassing fall while shopping in public at Sephora Oops
- Bindi Irwin takes a break from wedding planning to enjoy a family beach trip with mother Terri, brother Robert and fiancé Chandler Powell
- Peter Crouch ‘scores new BBC One prime time entertainment show inspired by James Corden’s The Late Late Show’ One to watch
- The Greatest Dancer: Cheryl shares rare insight into life at home with son Bear, 2, as she reveals he will already be copying one of her act’s moves
- Lizzo rocks a white swimsuit for yacht day and twerk competition in Miami with bikini-clad friends ahead of Super Bowl LIV Work it
- Imogen Thomas wows in a leather mini skirt and thigh-high boots as she continues to flaunt her January weight loss… after vowing she’s still got ‘more to lose’
- Kim Kardashian’s endorsement company claims to be taking offers for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and asks for commercial requests from its clients
- Princess Eugenie dons a chic printed shirt as she heads to the hairdressers… amid claims her sister Beatrice will ‘marry in London’
- Eiza Gonzalez highlights her cleavage in a low-cut blouse as she attends the AT&T Super Saturday Night concert in Miami Chic
- Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston play bartender and serve up their new mezcal brand at bar in Miami ahead of Super Bowl
- Prince Charles is caught in eco row after flying 125 miles in the Queen’s helicopter before riding in a Bentley for a speech on cutting carbon emissions
- Tamara Ecclestone is forced to close her children’s skincare company and her chain of hair salons after the US style treatment failed to catch on
- Gillian Anderson looks chic as she joins Laura Dern and Kathleen Kennedy at pre-BAFTAs Fellowship lunch at London’s Savoy
- BAFTAs 2020: Joaquin Phoenix looks dapper in a tailored suit as he joins his Joker co-star Zazie Beetz at a Nominees Party ahead of event
- Gemma Arterton oozes sartorial chic in a fitted corset top and culottes as she arrives at Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs 2020 party Glam
- Hugh Grant, 59, is every bit the gentleman in a dapper ensemble as he arrives with wife Anna Eberstein, 36, for Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs party
- Helen McCrory, 51, wows in a metallic bronze feathered dress as she joins husband Damian Lewis, 48, at Chanel’s pre-BAFTAs 2020 party
- The Real’s Adrienne Bailon reunites with co-host Loni Love at NAACP Image Awards luncheon The talented twosome looked in good spirits
- Hilary Duff is a star in a striped skirt and cream jumper as she stops by #BlogHer20 health event to promote using natural beauty products
- Jay-Z defends his partnership with the NFL ahead of Super Bowl PSA about police brutality, says he can handle ‘negative press’ from his fallout with Colin Kaepernick
- Love Island’s Francesca Allen looks effortlessly chic in a beige shirt dress as she enjoys a night out with friends in London
- Love Island: Dumped islander Eve Gale says she ‘misses Jess more than ever’ as she shares sizzling post of the pair in matching red bikinis
- Nick Lachey has ‘not read a single word’ of Jessica Simpson’s new memoir… after she let loose on their marriage and divorce
- Jodie Turner-Smith is having a girl! Actress accidentally lets the gender slip on The Graham Norton Show
- Christina Aguilera challenges Spanish songstress Rosalia to a friendly game of Mario Kart during a chance hangout in Los Angeles
- Michael Barrymore pool death ‘was MURDER’: Detective says Stuart Lubbock was ‘raped and deliberately killed’ as he launches probe into tragedy 18 years ago
- Eva Mendes, 45, takes the high road when an Instagram troll says ‘she’s getting old’: ‘Thank God I’m getting old. That means I’m still here’
- Emily Ratajkowski flaunts her taut tummy in a crop top and miniskirt as she joins the stars at Michael Rubin’s Fanatics Super Bowl Party
- Saturday Night Live: J.J. Watt is The Pilot Hunk as the NFL star parodies The Bachelor in his first hosting stint
- TALK OF THE TOWN: Catherine Zeta Jones shows off Celtic genes to visitors at her £4million mansion with Welsh trinkets
- Julianne Hough and her husband Brooks Laich share a laugh as they step out for breakfast together… amid rumours of their separation
- Kate Ferdinand breaks down in tears while Rio insists there’s ‘no manual to become a stepmum’ in teaser for stepfamily documentary
- TALK OF THE TOWN: He may not like blenders, but he’s not averse to mixing up his love life! Gavin Rossdale spotted with mystery blonde after splitting with Russian playboy model girlfriend over £1,000 blender
- Ciara hides her baby bump under textured silver blazer dress as she leads the pack of celebrities and athletes at the NFL Honors in Miami
- ‘Rude and downright embarrassing’: Jim Carrey is BLASTED by fans for joke implying Margot Robbie’s successful career is thanks to her looks
- Katie Holmes and daughter Suri Cruise bundle up in cosy puffer jackets as they enjoy a mother and daughter day out in NYC
- The 1975 cancel Laneway gig after singer Matt Healy is hospitalised and ‘too weak’ to play after coming down with a ‘serious sickness’
- Love Island’s Shaughna Phillips fails to impress MIC star Sam Thompson in VERY awkward Celebs Go Dating clip… a year before her villa stint
- Jennifer Lopez shows off her stunning abs while rehearsing for her Super Bowl halftime performance… after Bad Bunny is added to the lineup
- Off for a spin, ma’am? The Queen gets behind the wheel of her Range Rover as he prepares to end her annual Sandringham stay
- Sienna Miller, 38, gets engaged for the third time to 29-year-old toyboy Lucas Zwirner… but seems shy about showing off her ring
- Prince Andrew, the world is watching: Four of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims write an open letter to the Duke urging him to talk to the FBI for the sake of ‘your daughters’
- Mick Jagger seduced me when I was 15: Actress Rae Dawn reveals how she spent night with Rolling Stone when she was underage and he was married to Bianca
- Victoria Beckham, 45, bears an uncanny resemblance to son Romeo, 17, as she shares sweet throwback snap of her younger self
- The Greatest Dancer: Cheryl’s group The Queens and Todrick’s commercial act Ryan are the FIRST to be voted off
- Demi Lovato leaves Miami nightclub with a mystery man at 6AM… ahead of Sundays Super Bowl performance
- Ed Sheeran looks disappointed as he and wife Cherry Seaborn watch their beloved football team Ipswich Town lose 4-1 to Peterborough United
- Sarah Michelle Gellar thanks a friend for being the inadvertent reason she’s spent 20 years with her beloved husband Freddie Prinze Jr.
- ‘I was such a fraud!’: Newly-unearthed clip shows the moment Meghan Markle admits she fibbed to casting directors about being in an actor’s union so she could land a part
- ELIZABETH DAY: Andrew’s cancer ‘joke’ was bad enough… but it’s timing just days after pictures emerged of him arm-in-arm with Virginia Roberts made it even worse
- Christine McGuinness is casual in a cosy pink fur jacket as she arrives in Manchester… after urging Strictly Come Dancing bosses to sign her up
- Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill, 64, dies two months after finishing tour as band pay tribute to ‘genius’ who was ‘one of the best’
- Kimberley Garner flaunts her incredible figure in a plunging blue thong swimsuit as she takes a dip in the sea during downtime in Miami
- Love Island: Latest Casa Amor bombshell REVEALED as ripped, bikini-loving events manager Natalia Zoppa, 20, from Manchester
- Gabrielle Union flaunts her fabulous legs as she dances in the rain during Miami photoshoot
- Post Malone spills $50k cash as he hits Miami nightclub after Super Bowl weekend performance
- Revealed: Prince Andrew made sick ‘gag’ about breast cancer that is ‘too offensive to be repeated’ in boorish texts to his friend Jonathan Rowland
- Rita Ora delightedly unveils her new ‘Zog’ neck tattoo… as she reveals the Albanian word is the pet name given to her by beloved mum Vera
- Kylie Jenner says she and Stormi were ‘meant for each other’ as she shares tender throwbacks in tribute to her daughter’s second birthday
- Una Healy poses in rare loved-up snap with beau David Breen before impressing fans by speaking Swahili as they continue sun-soaked Zanzibar holiday
- Selena Gomez continues to move on from ’emotionally abusive’ relationship with Justin Bieber as she packs away bikes they rode during brief reunion
- Nicki Minaj will earn $125K to host a post-Super Bowl party… as stars cash in big on the lavish Miami football festivities Party
- Feel free to finally try a sip of alcohol’: Kate Beckinsale wishes look-alike daughter Lily a happy 21st birthday
- Montana Brown shows ex Elliott Reeder what he’s missing as she shares SIZZLING bikini-clad selfie
- Jade Thirlwall sends Little Mix fans wild after posting a cryptic snap of herself recording vocals in the studio as she teases a new sixth album
- Heavily pregnant Nicole Trunfio puts her bump on display as she poses completely nude during glamorous desert photo shoot
- Myleene Klass looks effortlessly chic as she rocks a stylish fedora and trench coat for solo commute to her radio duties in London
- Cameron Diaz keeps it casual in a cardigan as she hits up a facial spa after welcoming firstborn daughter Raddix last month
- Love Island’s Casa Amor FIRST LOOK: The relationship-testing second villa is revealed ahead of the arrival of a new batch of sexy singletons
- Aretha Franklin’s niece relinquishes role as singer’s executor due to ongoing ‘rift in the family’
- Rachel Lindsay and LaLa Anthony indulge in fast food treats at Bootsy On The Water Party With McDonald’s And Post Malone
- Friends of US attorney who slammed Prince Andrew say he’ll ‘ruthlessly pursue all leads’ in Jeffrey Epstein probe – as he’s compared to Chuck Rhoades from Billions
- Justin Bieber mourns the loss of Kobe Bryant with $1200 tribute art to the basketball legend
- ‘Wedding throwback!’ Kate Ferdinand fangirls as she attends Ashanti concert in London… five months after husband Rio surprised her with the R&B icon at their Turkey nuptials
- Kobe Bryant’s prom date Brandy says she’ll ‘never understand’ his death as she offers her condolences nearly a week after loss of the NBA All-Star and his daughter Gianna, 13
- Diddy suits up in classic black as he and others pay tribute to Kobe Bryant during Shaq’s Funhouse party for Super Bowl weekend
- Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague looks sensational as she models several different looks while shooting her latest clothing collection in LA
- Rodrigo Alves showcases the results of her latest surgery in a busty pink sequinned dress as she steps out in Istanbul
- Star Wars: Phantom Menace actor Jake Lloyd who starred as young Anakin Skywalker is struggling with paranoid schizophrenia, his mother says
- Piers Morgan blasts BBC’s Horrible Histories children’s show for ‘trashing Britain’ with Brexit-themed song
- Harry Styles CANCELS pre-Super Bowl show in Florida due to severe storm warnings… as heartbroken fans hit out at event organisers for poor safety conditions amid shock evacuation
- Fern Britton and Phil Vickery ‘often weren’t on speaking terms and their recent separation has been on the cards for years’… following the death of the TV star’s father Tony
- Tamara Ecclestone beams as she hits the ski slopes with her Jay and Sophia… after being forced to make ‘difficult decision’ to close two of her businesses
- Emily Atack and Jack Fincham ‘caught KISSING at the NTAs and couldn’t keep their hands off each other’… days after the Love Island star became a new dad
- DOI’s Caprice Bourret displays painful injuries from training with new pro Oscar Peter… just hours after ex- skating partner Hamish Gaman insisted ‘he’s not okay’ amid bitter split
- Jim Carrey reveals he WOULD be happy to portray The Mask again but only if a ‘crazy visionary filmmaker’ was making a sequel
Autism genetics expert Ivan Iossifov breaks down recent research that sheds light on how unaffected parents can pass autism onto their child.
Parents with no history of autism in their families have a child who is diagnosed with the disorder. It’s a common and upsetting story.
A quick Google search for “autism causes” is all it takes to learn that scientists believe the disorder has a strong genetic component. So if there’s no genetic history in the family, where does a child’s autism come from?
A key fact has come to light within the last couple of years: many autism-causing genetic mutations are “spontaneous.” They occur in the affected child, but in neither parent. Mutations in this category “are not directly inherited from the parents,” explains Assistant Professor Ivan Iossifov, one of several CSHL scientists who has pioneered the study of the role of spontaneous mutations in autism causation.
“Every child has some spontaneous mutations,” explains Iossifov. “But in some unlucky children these mutations severely affect the functioning of a particular gene.”
A child’s genome is a patchwork stitched together from the genetic “cloth” contained in the mother’s egg and father’s sperm. In theory, that means that children are cut from exactly the same cloth as their parents. But in reality, there are virtually always small “factory defects” in that cloth—mutations that spontaneously arise during the sperm or egg’s creation.
Spontaneous mutations cause as much as half of all autism in situations in which only one child in the family has autism. This and other analysis comes from a study Iossifov published in 2015. He and his team looked at about 2,500 families with a single affected child and investigated the causal link to spontaneous mutations.
Professor Michael Wigler explains the genetic factors at play in his “unified theory of autism”
As Iossifov says, all of us have such mutations, and usually they have no effect at all. Humans normally have two copies of every gene, even though only one working copy typically necessary for proper functioning.
“We have two copies of most genes for a reason—it’s kind of a buffer,” says Iossifov.
This buffer protects us from spontaneous mutations in many of our genes. Iossifov and CSHL collaborator Michael Wigler theorize, however, that autism “risk genes” are particularly vulnerable to mutations. One reason is that for such genes, a person must have two working copies to function normally. As a result, a spontaneous mutation in one of these autism risk genes tends to have devastating effects.
Other major potential explanations for sporadic autism are also actively being studied, Iossifov notes, including other genetic causes and the role of factors in a child’s environment.
Read this next: What do autism “risk genes” do?
Note: For the sake of simplicity, this article uses the term ‘autism’ to refer to all autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). You can find out more about the distinction between autism and ASD here.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest discoveries, upcoming events, videos, podcasts, and a news roundup delivered straight to your inbox every month.
Q: What are the chances of Asperger syndrome being inherited?
A: Although doctors and researchers don’t understand exactly what causes Asperger syndrome, there seems to be a strong genetic component associated with this disorder. For example, having one child in a family with Asperger syndrome significantly increases the risk of a second child in that family also having Asperger syndrome.
Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger syndrome typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics.
Signs and symptoms of Asperger syndrome often include engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations; displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures; showing an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects; appearing not to understand, empathize with or be sensitive to others’ feelings; and having a hard time reading other people or understanding humor.
Doctors group Asperger syndrome with other conditions that are called autism spectrum disorders or pervasive developmental disorders. These disorders all involve problems with social skills and communication. Asperger syndrome is generally thought to be at the milder end of this spectrum.
Research has shown that a child born to parents who already have one child with an autism spectrum disorder has approximately a 4 to 10 percent chance of also developing one of these disorders, including Asperger syndrome. In families without a history of autism spectrum disorders, the chance of having a child with one of these disorders is approximately 0.7 percent.
Although there appears to be a genetic component to Asperger syndrome, it’s not the type of disorder that can be detected through genetic testing. This is because Asperger syndrome is a descriptive diagnosis. That means a child is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome based on the signs and symptoms he or she has, rather than results of a specific laboratory test.
In addition, unlike some disorders directly linked to genetics such as Down syndrome, there’s no prenatal test to show if a fetus has Asperger syndrome. And, Asperger syndrome can be difficult to diagnose in infants because many of the behaviors associated with Asperger syndrome don’t become obvious until a child nears school age or enters school.
If you have a family history of Asperger syndrome or another autism spectrum disorder and you’re pregnant or recently have had a baby, talk to your doctor about signs and symptoms to watch for in your child. In particular, children born into families who already have one child with an autism spectrum disorder need to be closely monitored and their development tracked regularly. Then if signs and symptoms of these disorders do appear, effective intervention can begin as early as possible.
If you’re concerned that your child is showing signs of Asperger syndrome, make an appointment to have your child evaluated by your pediatrician or family doctor. He or she may refer you to a developmental pediatrician, child neurologist or child psychiatrist for further evaluation. In addition, if your child is school-age, talk to school staff about assessments that are available to determine if your child is eligible for special education services.
Dr. Robert Voigt, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; mayoclinic.com.
What grandmothers can teach scientists about autism’s inheritance
In the family:
Jaclyn Perry, a 20-year-old college student at the University of California, Los Angeles, has a brother with autism. Perry does not have an autism diagnosis, but she has struggled with anxiety and compulsive behaviors, including pulling out her eyebrows and eyelashes. She arranges the clothes in her closet so that each item hangs on an identical hanger, with the same amount of space between them. She has frequent panic attacks and used to obsessively check doors in her home to make sure they were locked.
Perry dismisses her mother’s idea that these quirks simply stem from the stress of growing up with a brother who has special needs. Many of the relatives on her mother’s side of the family — Perry’s grandmother and great aunts — also have anxiety, she says. “We have a lot of hard times breathing and heart palpitations and trouble sleeping,” she says. “It’s probably genetics, because a lot of people in my family have it.”
These kinds of traits may seem like random quirks in a family, but Constantino and others are betting that the mutations that underlie them also contribute to autism. So far, many of the mutations that researchers have confidently linked to autism risk were discovered precisely because they aren’t inherited: They occur spontaneously. Everyone has these so-called de novo mutations, but in people with autism, they tend to damage certain genes more frequently and severely than they do in their parents or siblings. So scientists can compare the genomes of people who have autism with those of their relatives and spot the likely culprits. “It seems to be that in families that don’t have a family history of autism, there are more likely to be these non-inherited genetic mutations,” says Jennifer Gerdts, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Family inheritance: Campbell says her son, Gregory, and his deceased father shared some autism-like traits.
Because these children with random mutations did not inherit their autism, their family members are likely to be truly ‘unaffected’ — meaning they are unlikely to have the traits that make up BAP. To confirm this impression, Gerdts is comparing these relatives with the those of people on the spectrum who have inherited mutations.
By comparison, pinning down heritable genetic variants — which are more likely candidates for BAP — has been difficult. Studying consanguineous families, in which the parents are cousins, has yielded some data. Looking at such families in the Middle East, some scientists have found children with autism who have two mutated copies of a gene, one from each parent, and identified autism risk genes.
The majority of the inherited risk for autism probably occurs via ‘common’ variants. Unlike rare de novo mutations, these variants occur in at least 1 percent of the population. Each variant may only contribute an incremental risk of autism, but inheriting a critical mass of the variants might push a person across the threshold for a diagnosis. And having less than this critical number of variants might result in BAP — enough for some quirks or behaviors to turn up, but not quite enough for a diagnosis.
So far, scientists have not been able to study anywhere near the numbers of people with autism they would need to confidently tie any particular common variant to autism. In March, a group at Harvard University reported that some common variants previously linked to autism are associated with poor social skills in children who don’t have an autism diagnosis. This finding supports the idea of a common genetic makeup for both autism and BAP. If this idea bears out, researchers may be able to learn more about autism by studying people without a diagnosis who show signs of BAP.
Because they tend to have a higher intelligence quotient and fewer secondary conditions, people without a diagnosis can be easier to study than those who do have one. This could address a persistent limitation in research. “Why only study the children who are meeting a clinical standard?” asks Angelica Ronald, reader in psychological sciences at Birkbeck, University of London. Including people with autism traits “will advance our understanding of the causes of autism faster than using the arbitrary cutoff that’s there for clinical purposes,” she says.
Expanding the study pool in this way would also allow researchers to study individual traits, such as social difficulties or restricted interests. For example, Joseph Piven has found that parents who have social difficulties have brain activity patterns that resemble those seen in people with autism. “When you don’t select out to study people who have the full syndrome of autism, like we have done forever, you basically get to study these things as they may appear independently,” says Piven, distinguished professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Others are more circumspect, saying people who have only an autism-like trait are likely to be quite different, genetically, from those who have a diagnosis. People with autism may have distinct mutations that aren’t shared by their close relatives without autism, says Thomas Frazier, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Autism. In fact, he says, these mutations may be what draw the line between having a diagnosis and not.
WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The largest study of its kind, involving more than 2 million people across five countries, finds that autism spectrum disorders are 80% reliant on inherited genes.
That means that environmental causes are responsible for just 20% of the risk.
The findings could open new doors to research into the genetic causes of autism, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says affects 1 in every 59 U.S. children.
It might also help ease fears that autism is caused by maternal factors — a mother’s weight, mode or timing of delivery, or nutrient intake, for example. The new study found the role of maternal factors to be “nonexistent or minimal.”
Instead, “the current study results provide the strongest evidence to our knowledge to date that the majority of risk for autism spectrum disorders is from genetic factors,” said a team led by Sven Sandin, an epidemiological researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
The new study might help dampen public interest in supposed — but unproven — “environmental” causes of autism, such as vaccines. Long-discredited, fraudulent data linking childhood vaccination with autism is still widely cited by the “anti-vaxxer” movement.
“The contribution of the environment to autism spectrum disorder risk appears to be much smaller than the contribution of genetics,” a team of experts said in an editorial comment on the new study, which was published July 17 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
However, genetic factors are frequently ignored, and instead environmental factors “often receive disproportionate attention from the public and the media, even when (as in the case of vaccine fears), they are debunked,” wrote psychiatrists Drs. Amandeep Jutla, Hannah Reed and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele in the editorial. They are all from Columbia University in New York City.
According to Sandin and colleagues, the new study is the largest and most rigorous yet conducted into the causes of autism. The researchers looked at the medical histories of more than 2 million children born in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel and Western Australia between 1998 and 2012. All were tracked until 16 years of age. Of the group, just over 22,000 went on to develop an autism spectrum disorder.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Asperger’s Syndrome?
What Are the Possible Causes of Asperger’s Syndrome?
Many studies have looked at possible causes for autism spectrum disorders like Asperger’s. Some have provided clues that help doctors identify potential triggers.
Genes appear to affect a person’s chances of developing Asperger’s. While no one specific gene has been found to cause Asperger’s, the disorder seems to run in families. (1)
For example, younger siblings of a child with Asperger’s are at a greater risk of developing the syndrome than other kids. Studies on identical twins have shown that if one twin has an autism spectrum disorder, the other is likely to be affected between 36 and 95 percent of the time. (2)
Additionally, certain genetic conditions, such as Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome, are linked to the development of Asperger’s. Fragile X syndrome is the most commonly known single-gene disorder, and accounts for about 2 to 3 percent of all autism spectrum disorders. (3)
Spontaneous gene mutations, or gene changes that happen for unknown reasons, may also influence a child’s risk of developing Asperger’s.
Scientists continue to study how genes are related to Asperger’s. They hope to provide more answers to help better explain this complex connection.
Imaging studies of people with autism spectrum disorders have shown differences in certain parts of the brain, especially in the areas known as the frontal and temporal lobes. (4)
Researchers are working to figure out whether these changes are due to gene abnormalities, damage during pregnancy or birth, an injury during the first few months of life, or a combination of several factors. (2)
Many experts believe environmental triggers may be a culprit for Asperger’s.
While more research needs to be done, some have theorized that certain issues during pregnancy may increase a baby’s risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. Some possibilities include:
- An expectant mother having a viral infection
- Birth complications
- In utero exposure to chemicals, such as phthalates or pesticides
- Using certain drugs, such as Terbulin (terbutaline), Depakene (valproic acid), antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers
- In utero exposure to air pollutants
It’s important to note that many children who are exposed to these risks never develop Asperger’s or another form of autism.