Autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, research suggests

New study published in Nature Genetics indicates that genes predisposing people to autism could influence social skills in the wider population.

The same genes involved in predisposing people to autism appear to influence social skills in the wider population, suggesting that the autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, scientists have discovered.

Researchers have previously shown that autism is linked not just to one or two powerful genes, but to the combined effect of many small genetic changes.

The latest findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that social charm, empathy and the ability to make friends is about more than just practice and upbringing, but is also affected by how many of these autism risk gene variants we possess.

Dr Elise Robinson, from Harvard University and a lead author on the paper, said: “This is the first study that specifically shows that … factors that we have unambiguously associated with autism are also very clearly associated with social communication differences in the general population.”

Full article on the Guardian here