Thursday, February 21, 2013

Girls may be protected against autism, new study finds

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 four to one. What has never been clear is the reason for the gender imbalance: were males more biologically suspectable, or were females somehow insulated from the disorder and its suite of communication and behavioral problems? In a study published Monday, scientists studied thousands of pairs of twins and found evidence that supports the idea that females are protected.
What remains to be done is the difficult task of pinpointing the biological reasons that underlie the gender imbalance, which could provide clues about how to prevent or treat the disorder.

Check out the whole story at Boston.com

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