Nearly one percent of children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism, but the cause of the disease’s staggering growth rate these past decades has been hotly debated. Up until recently, research on twins seemed to put the blame largely on genetics. A new study out of UCSF, though—the largest twin study of its kind—appears to be undermining this theory. From a piece in the San Francisco Gate:
The study, published in Monday’s issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at 192 pairs of twins in California and, using a mathematical model, found that genetics account for about 38 percent of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for about 62 percent.
Other recent research out of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system found an increased risk when mothers had taken anti-depressants in the year before or during pregnancy. This does not mean that the drugs caused the autism, but everyone seems to agree that more research needs to be done on potential environmental factors.
Have you had any experience with autism?