Study reveals sex differences in Autism

Ani Torosyan

Researchers have found the reasons why autism affects boys more frequently than girls, as it is a well-known fact that boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

The recent study shows that autism may develop in different regions of the brain in girls than boys and that girls with autism have a larger number of genetic mutations than boys, suggesting that they require a larger “genetic hi”' to develop the disorder.

45 girls and 47 boys with autism, aged 8-17, and  45 typically developing girls and 47 typically developing boys have been participating in the study. Before this, studies were based mainly on male-predominant samples, so having the same amount of people in the study helped the researchers to find the reasons.



In the study, it is mentioned that “using a brain imaging technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that the accepted wisdom that the posterior superior temporal sulcus region constitutes a "neural signature" for autism was primarily true for boys. In neuroimaging done on girls, however, they found that a different region of the brain -- called the striatum, which controls cognition, reward, and coordinated movements -- is involved”.

The study also found that girls with autism had a larger number of genetic mutations known as “copy number variations in the striatum region. This suggests that girls require a larger number of genetic mutations in order to develop autism”.