Friday, February 28, 2014

Genes May Give Girls Developmental Edge

New research adds to the theory that girls are more naturally protected than boys from developing autism and other developmental disorders. While a small number of genetic mutations seem to be enough to manifest symptoms in boys, a new study published Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics suggests that far more extreme genetic anomalies must be present in girls to warrant a diagnosis. The finding could help explain why autism is nearly five times more common in boys. “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,” said S├ębastien Jacquemont of the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, the study’s lead author. “The study suggests that there is a different level of robustness in brain development, and females seem to have a clear advantage.”

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