INFANTILE AUTISM: A GENETIC STUDY OF 21 TWIN PAIRS

Susan Folstein, Michael Rutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

869 Scopus citations

Abstract

A systematic study was made of a representative group of 21 same‐sexed twin pairs (11 MZ and 10 DZ) in which at least one twin showed the syndrome of infantile autism. There was a 36 per cent pair‐wise concordance rate for autism in MZ pairs compared with o per cent concordance in DZ pairs. The concordance for cognitive abnormalities was 82 per cent in MZ pairs and 10 per cent in DZ pairs. It was concluded that there were important hereditary influences concerning a cognitive deficit which included but was not restricted to autism. In 12 out of 17 pairs discordant for autism, the presence of autism was associated with a biological hazard liable to cause brain damage. It was concluded that brain injury in the infancy period may lead to autism on its own or in combination with a genetic predisposition. Uncertainty remains on both the mode of inheritance and exactly what is inherited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-321
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1977

Keywords

  • genetics
  • infantile autism
  • twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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