Monday, February 25, 2013

Girls May Be Protected From Autism, Scientists Find

A team of Boston and European scientists have found evidence for a “female protective effect” in autism that could explain why boys are at far greater risk for the disorder than girls.
For years, it’s been known that boys are disproportionately affected by autism spectrum disorders, outnumbering girls 4 to 1. What has never been clear is the reason for the gender imbalance: Were males more biologically susceptible, or were females somehow insulated from the disorder and its suite of communication and behavioral problems? In a paper published last Monday, scientists studied thousands of pairs of twins and found evidence that supports the idea that females are protected.

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