Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Sci (Paris). 2010 Jun-Jul;26(6-7):659-62. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2010266-7659.

[Autism: overestimation of the genetic origins].

[Article in French]

Author information

1
Centre de recherche médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale et société, Université Paris-Descartes, Paris Cedex 06, France. brigitte.chamak@parisdescartes.fr

Abstract

Since the 1990s the genetic causes of autism have been brought to the fore. Despite scientific efforts and huge fundings, less than 20% of cases of autism have been linked to genetic abnormalities. These results do not slow the spread of discourse on the genetic origin of autism, and the concomitant neglect of risks linked to perinatal factors. A detailed analysis of results and assertions in favour of a strong genetic origin of autism reveals methodological biases, misinterpretations and erroneous approximations, as well as an exaggerated media coverage. Studies on twins are illustrative of these biases. The recent demonstration of an excess of twins among sibling pairs with autism, and especially a 10-fold increase for monozygotic twins compared with the general population frequencies, has questioned the relevance of conclusions from earlier twin studies. Indeed, if being a twin is a risk factor for autism, then there may be an upwards bias in estimates of the genetic contribution to autism, and the intrauterine environment, including competition for nutrients, has been neglected.

PMID:
20619172
DOI:
10.1051/medsci/2010266-7659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for EDP Sciences
    Loading ...
    Support Center