Environment Equally Important as Genes (Study)

It’s a question that many parents ask – ‘If I have a child with autism, what is the risk my next child will have autism too?’ This question is what prompted the largest analysis to date that looked at how autism runs in families.

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And what researchers found out was that environmental factors are

more important than previously thought –

and, based on their findings, they are actually as big of factors as genes. Their research, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggests that heritability is 50% of the story, while the other half could be related to environmental elements such as birth complications, socio-economic status or parental lifestyle.

They found that a brother or sister with autism are 10 times more likely to develop the disorder and 3 times more likely if they have a half-brother or sister with autism. To read more about this study, check out this article.

Lynsey, Community Manager