Majority of autism risk lies in genes, international study finds

" About 81 percent of autism risk comes from inherited genetic factors, according to an analysis of more than 2 million children from five countries, published today in JAMA Psychiatry 1.

The study is the largest yet to estimate the heritability of autism risk in a multinational population. The findings are consistent with results from a large 2017 study of twin and non-twin sibling pairs in Sweden that suggested about 83 percent of autism risk is inherited2. A third study — also in Sweden and also in twins — reported in 2010 that these factors contribute to about 80 percent of autism risk3."

Another nail in the coffin for the anti-vaxxer crowd, not that they will listen.

The genes themselves are not the only risk factor however, it looks like epigentic triggers brought on by conditions in-vitro (ie the pregnant mother having a fever) still contribute, as does the age of the father and mother at conception.

I do how long it will be before it starts getting genetically screened out, and what the ramifications might be culturally.

Plenty of historical figures are thought/known to have had the condition, and they wouldn’t have been who they were without it. And I doubt the autistic/aspie community would appreciate their slow dissappearance.

On the flipside it can be a hard condition to live with, for example there’s a far far higher prevalence of gender dysphoria amongst autistics.


Another nail in the anti vaccination movement’s coffin. I love :two_hearts: it!


I was unaware of the connection, but I have a friend whose adult child is on the spectrum and identifies as trans. Curious, will have to read up on this.

If I were a parent faced with the decision of vaccinating my kid, but with the chance that it could cause autism (let’s assume it were proven that vaccination contributes to the chance of autism for the sake of argument), I would rather face the chance he develops autism than face the chance that he could die from one of the diseases the vaccinations would prevent.

But that’s just the way I look at it.

It won’t matter.

It will be dismissed just like all of the other evidence.

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What’s that expression, would apply perfectly to the anti vaccination crowd?

Aw, yeah.

You just can’t fix stupid.


To be fair, though, “majority of autism risk lies in genes” does not preclude vaccinations from adding to the risk.

Anti-vaxxers are ■■■■■■ people. And even in light of studies to the contrary some will still cling to the vaccination ■■■■■■■■■


It does add up to quite a significant chunk, about 30% iirc of trans would register as on the spectrum.

Unfortunately the kind of people who fall for the anti-vaxxer BS are unlikely to engage in that kind of risk-analysis, imo.

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Certainly doesn’t preclude it, but there’s a mountain of scientific evidence basically ruling it out.

There’s now a huge population of unvaccinated kids to draw from for clinical studies, and it’s already been done. Exact same % of autism as vaccinated kids.

But of course the anti-vaxxers won’t believe it.

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Unfortunately it’s a form of idiocy that puts everyone at risk.

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What? How?

These results jibe with my clinical observations.

Most of the children I see with autism have someone in their family, often the father, who has some degree of it.

On the science side of things, we’ve already shown no link between vaccines and autism. I think this study is more for those who say “if not vaccines, then what is causing autism?” They don’t just want proof vaccines don’t cause autism, they also want to know what does.

Noticed any relation to ADHD? I was diagnosed years back (inattentive), and I understand that autism and ADHD are often considered cousins despite being very different, but never really dived into the links.

ADHD is co-morbid with ASD at a higher rate than in the normal population.

Up to 50% incidence, I think?

Wow, didn’t know it was that high. Got plenty of dyslexia in the family and a few others with ADD, but no-one the spectrum so far.

Though my sister believes my nephew might be on the spectrum, I was a bit dismissive of the idea but if the comorbidity is that high I’ll have to look into it.

ADHD/Executive Function deficits are very common in childhood disorders. Chicken-and-the-egg thing, somewhat.

I haven’t read up on this in some time but there was some thought that the age of the father was a factor.