Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex brain development disorders that can affect social, communication and behavioral skills. There are no two people with the same ASD symptoms. Autistic people may interact with others and learn but in different from most people’s ways. Some of them need more help and some of them need less help with their daily lives. Since there is still no cure for autism, scientists try hard to understand what causes autism and how to prevent it.
The new study by Dr. Christine Ecker and her colleagues from Goethe University in Frankfurt, found that male-like brain structure is linked to a higher risk of autism than female-like. Thus, brain structure difference can also be a factor causing autism. The researchers focused on cortical thickness. This is one of the brain structure features that differs between males and females, beside the volume of the brain. The reports were based on the team of 98 right-handed adults (49 male, 49 female) with high-functioning ASD, matched with 98 adults (51 male, 47 female) without ASD (the controls). The participants ranged in age from 18 to 42 years old. The results of this study showed that female participants whose brains were anatomically more male-like were around three times more likely to have ASD than female participants whose brains were anatomically more female-like.
“Our study demonstrates that normative sex-related phenotypic diversity in brain structure affects the prevalence of ASD in addition to biological sex alone, with male neuroanatomical characteristics carrying a higher intrinsic risk for ASD than female characteristics,” concludes Dr. Ecker.
Source: Medical News Today