Autism’s Genetic Drivers May Differ by Sex

January 10, 2020

(Spectrum) – Autism may stem from a different — and larger — set of genetic mutations in women than it does in men, according to a new study. The findings support a growing body of evidence suggesting that women require a bigger genetic hit than men do to have conditions that affect brain development, including autism. Autism affects about four men for every one woman, according to a comprehensive analysis from 2017. The cause of this sex bias is an “outstanding question in the field,” says Tychele Turner, assistant professor of genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who led the new work.