sexta-feira, 6 de março de 2015

Environmental factors as important as genes in understanding autism

Posted on 06/05/2014

Environmental factors are more important than previously thought in understanding the causes of autism, and equally as important as genes, according to the largest study to date to look at how autism runs in families. 
The study also shows that children with a brother or sister with autism are 10 times more likely to develop autism; 3 times if they have a half-brother or sister; and 2 if they have a cousin with autism, providing much needed information for parents and clinicians for assessing individual risk. 
The study, which looked at over 2 million people, was led by researchers at King’s College London, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Mount Sinai in the US, and is published in JAMA today. 
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder defined by impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of restrictive and repetitive behaviours. The exact causes are unknown but evidence has shown it is likely to include a range of genetic and environmental risk factors. 

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