Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Twin study of autism

A study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine looked at 210 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs and 67 monozygotic (MZ). All were under 18 and had at least one twin diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Pairwise ASD concordance was 31% for DZ and 88% for MZ twins. Female and male MZ twins were 100% and 86% concordant, respectively, and DZ twin pairs with at least 1 female were less likely to be concordant (20%) than were male-male DZ twin pairs (40%). The hazard ratio for ASD diagnosis of the second twin after a first-twin diagnosis was 7.48 for MZ vs DZ twins (95% confidence interval, 3.8-14.7). Affected DZ individual twins had an earlier age at first parental concern and more frequent diagnoses of intellectual disability than did MZ twins; MZ twins had a higher prevalence of bipolar disorder and Asperger syndrome and higher concordance of the latter. Results of autism screening correlated with parent-reported ASD status in more than 90% of cases.
Another indication of the genetic or epigenetic nature of autism.

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