Genes / Environment – Autism Twin Study

The Relationship Among Genetic Heritability, Environmental Effects, and Autism Spectrum Disorders: 37 Pairs of Ascertained Twin Study.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders that have strong heritability. To better understand the heritable factors in twins with clinically diagnosed ASD and to discuss the relationship between social impairments and genetic and environmental factors.

In last 13 years, over 12,000 cases of ASD were diagnosed in the children’s development and behavior center, the authors review 37 pairs of these twins, in each pair, and at least 1 twin had been diagnosed with an ASD, and found that the concordance rate was 80% [95% confidence interval (CI) 51.9-95.7%] for monozygotic twins and 13.6% (95% CI: 2.9-34.9%) for dizygotic twins.

The heritability of social impairments for ASD was 60.9% (95% CI: 47.3-74.5%).

In addition, the rate of nonshared environmental factors was 39.1% (95% CI: 25.5-52.7%), and there were no shared environmental effects.

Genetics and special environmental effect play an important role on ASD social impairments.

© The Author(s) 2015.

This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Environment, Epidemiology, Genetics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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