Does autism spectrum have clear cut-off points?

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The same genes involved in predisposing people to autism appear to influence social skills in the wider population, suggesting that the autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, scientists have discovered.

Researchers have previously shown that autism is linked not just to one or two powerful genes, but to the combined effect of many small genetic changes.

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Rather than viewing a person as either having or not having such a disorder, [Dr. Elise] Robinson believes our social skills are better viewed as sitting on a sliding scale across the whole population.

“The primary implication is that the line at which we say people are affected or unaffected is arbitrary,” said Robinson. “There is no clear objective point either in terms of genetic risk or in terms of behavioural traits, where you can say quite simply or categorically that you’re affected or unaffected.”

“[However,] [w]e are certainly not saying that all social communication variation in the population is because of genetic risk for ASD,” said Robinson.

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Read full, original post: Autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, research suggests

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