Monday, January 30, 2006

Article Suggests Genetic Cause of Autism

Here are some excerpts from this article in the Telegraph, a British newspaper:

"In a new study, Prof Simon Baron-Cohen believes the impaired ability of people with autism to communicate, recognise emotions and socialise is linked with the same genes that enable a person to systemize - find the laws that govern how a system works...

...According to a survey of 1,000 members of the National Autistic Society, fathers and grandfathers of children with autistic spectrum conditions are twice as likely to work in a systemizing profession such as engineering...

When all the evidence is taken together it suggests a genetic cause of autism, with both parents contributing genes that ultimately relate to a similar kind of mind: one with an affinity for thinking systematically...[Prof Baron-Cohen] thinks the key characteristic is "exactness"[italics are mine] in their style of thinking."

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