Autism risk higher for females with ‘male-like brains’

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One feature of brain anatomy that is characteristic of males is associated with an increased risk of autism, according to a [recent study].

Women with male characteristic brains are three times more likely to have autism than women with more “female” brains, the researchers say. Yet the reverse was not been proven true; no evidence indicates that men with more female-trait brains are less at risk for autism than men with typical brains.

Autism spectrum disorder is two to five times more common in males than in females, according to Christine Ecker, a professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany…[Some researchers] hypothesize that sex-related variations in brain anatomy may contribute to the higher risk among males.

“For example, it is known from previous studies that females tend to have a thicker cortex than males in various regions of the brain,” Ecker [stated]. Previous studies have also shown thickness to be significantly altered in people with autism.

According to Dr. Tuong-Vi Nguyen, an assistant professor at McGill University in Montreal, the new study is “provocative” with “good methodology.”

“Given that the authors’ predominant theory is that a male-typic brain represents a predisposition to autism, their results only partially confirm this,” she said.

[The study can be found here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: ‘Male brains’ linked to higher autism risk in women, study says

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