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Girls Protected From Autism, Study Suggests

Released: 24-Mar-2014 11:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Simons Foundation (
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Citations American Journal of Human Genetics; Neuron

Newswise — It takes more mutations to trigger autism in women than in men, which may explain why men are four times more likely to have the disorder, according to a study published 26 February in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

The study found that women with autism or developmental delay tend to have more large disruptions in their genomes than do men with the disorder. Inherited mutations are also more likely to be passed down from unaffected mothers than from fathers.

Together, the results suggest that women are resistant to mutations that contribute to autism.

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