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Girls With Autism May Need Different Treatments Than Boys
Date:5/1/2013

ve that may be protective," Dawson explained. "The idea is that if you have this protective mechanism in place you may need more risk factors to overwhelm that protective effect and cause autism, and that's exactly what they found."

"To develop autism in a girl requires more genetic mutations," Dawson said. The type of mutations they found are called "de novo" mutations, she added. This means that the genetic change occurs in the sperm or the egg. It isn't a gene that's passed down from the parents. These mutations can occur randomly, or they can be caused by an environmental trigger.

Because these studies are being presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

Learn more about autism from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., chief science officer, Autism Speaks, and research professor, department of psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ami Klin, Ph.D., director, Marcus Autism Center, and professor and chief, division of autism and related disorders, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; May 4, 2013, presentations, International Meeting for Autism Research, San Sebastian, Spain


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