WHY ARE MALES MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO AUTISM THAN FEMALES? – Autism Blog

In the headlines, questions and studies are often quoted that relate genetics and autism. For example, why is it that there are more males with autism than females? here are often hypotheses made that the 4:1 male to female ratio in developing autism is from higher testosterone levels in males…

In the headlines, questions and studies are often quoted that relate genetics and autism. For example, why is it that there are more males with autism than females?

There are often hypotheses made that the 4:1 male to female ratio in developing autism is from higher testosterone levels in males when they are in the mother’s womb, or from different maturity times. However, ASD is in fact very closely related to science, particularly genetics. The Centre for Disease Control estimates that 1 in every 68 children have autism. There is a 4:1 ratio between males and females when it comes to developing autism. The study below explains the reason for this male gender bias.

A study at the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) studied 2000 individuals with autism, and compared them to healthy subjects. The results indicated that 1% of males with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) had a mutation on their X-chromosome, which was not present in the thousands of unaffected males. Also, sisters of the males carrying the mutation were unaffected by the autism symptoms. The reason for this is because males have one X-chromosome given to them from their mother, and one Y-chromosome, given to them by their father. Females, however, have two X-chromosomes. Hence, if one of their X-chromosomes is mutated, the unaffected X-chromosome will hide the mutation. What this means is that mothers who have a mutated X-chromosome may predispose autistic symptoms on their sons. This is what results in a gender bias for males developing autism.

For more information please refer to the Toronto Star Article: Why More Boys Than Girls are Autistic

Summarized By Rohini Pasricha

 

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