Family Magazine

Why Boys Have Autism More Often

By Newsanchormom

Why boys have autism more often
I have three boys, so the fact that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with autism is a concern for me. Fortunately, they are developing fine so far, but it still puzzles me as to why boys are more likely to have the developmental disorder. The last number I heard was one in every 94 boys, but it has probably gone up by now.
FROM ABC: We know that autism is a developmental disorder of the brain, and that it impairs social interaction and communication. What causes it? Scientists aren't really sure.
But new studies shed light on why a cause is difficult to pinpoint.
Several new studies reported in some leading scientific journals suggest that autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, may be the result of a complex combination of genetic abnormalities.
In two of those studies researchers analyzed the genes of more than one thousand families with an autistic child.
They identified a number of new genetic disorders that can---when
occuring together--- account for 5 to 8 percent of cases of ASD. In fact, they estimate up to 300 genetic abnormalities can lead to autism. But what was more striking, was that genetic abnormalities associated with boys was smaller than those in girls. This led authors to speculate that females are somehow more resistant to autism than boys, and that it takes a larger and more devastating genetic abnormality to cause autism in girls.
The reason for the disparity between the sexes remains a mystery. Reports indicate the number of genetic abnormalities associated with ASD is increasing. Authors hope more research will lead to a better understanding of their effect on the brain and to new therapies for autism.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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