The University of California-Davis released a study this week that shows the risk of younger siblings of children with autism have a higher risk of developing autism than first thought. Previous studies showed a risk of 10%. This study reports a risk of almost 20%. This means younger siblings have a risk of autism about 20 times greater than children in the general population.
If this study is supported after further review, it suggests younger siblings of children with autism should also be carefully screened. The study, however, does not report whether genes are responsible. Although siblings share bother DNA and a similar environment, researchers cannot say--at this time--which plays a greater role (to date, approximately 15% of autism has been attributed to genes and researches will undoubtedly find more in the future). 664 children took part in this study.
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