Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Scientists discover why autism affects more males

See also

Sébastien Jacquemont of the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland and Evan Eichler of the University of Washington School of Medicine reported the first evidence of genetic differences that explain why more males have autism and other neurodegenerative conditions than females in the Feb. 27, 2014, issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

More Photos

The researchers examined the gene structure of 16,000 individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and the genetic code of 800 families with autism spectrum disorder.

The scientists found that females have the ability to compensate for more individual variations in the number of copies of a particular gene and more DNA sequence variations involving a single nucleotide than males.

The female brain requires a much larger number of genetic defects to produce the symptoms of autism or other neurodegenerative diseases than the male brain.

This is the first large investigation that proves there is a difference in the brains and genes of males and females that produces a higher level of autism and neurodegenerative diseases in males.

"Overall, females function a lot better than males with a similar mutation affecting brain development," Jacquemont says.

The discovery may lead to new treatments for autism and neurodegenerative diseases based on sexual differences and chromosomal differences in males and females.



  • Al Qaeda video surfaces
    A video of an Al Qaeda meeting surfaces, concealed identities are raising suspicions
    Watch Video
  • Boston Marathon
    Boston cops shut down Boylston street after finding suspicious, unattended backpacks
    Top News
  • Death penalty for hate crime?
    Actions by the anti-Semitic gunman are being condemned by the unlikeliest of groups
    Crime News
  • New York gun control
    As many as one million New Yorkers are ready to disregard the state's new gun laws
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Hundreds of passengers are missing after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    World News
  • NYPD ends surveillance on Muslims
    The NYPD will end surveillance programs against Muslims in their own communities
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Camp Invention
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Stanford scientists Matthew Kanan and Christina Li have created an oxide-derived copper catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518178005" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!