Twin Studies on Autism: Less Genetic, More Womb Environment
August 2, 2011 · Posted in Autism, Parenting, The Environment · Permalink
A recent study conducted by Joachim Hallmayer, M.D., from Stanford University School of Medicine, indicates that contrary to the common belief that Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is chiefly inherited, the prenatal environment seems to play a larger role.The study, which looked specifically at identical vs. non-identical twins, showed that non-identical twins, or dizygotic twins, who do not share the exact same genetic material, were highly likely to both have ASD. This was a very thorough and stringent research model, the first to “include structured clinical assessments by both parental interview and direct child observation, which is the contemporary standard for establishing the diagnosis of autism or ASD”.

Ramifications of this study are profound. Most money for autism research is directed towards understanding underlying genetic factors. This study shows that research into the womb environment is critical. Genetics are unchangeable, but if we can identify toxins in the womb we can hopefully change the rising trend of autism.

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