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ERIC Number: EJ886070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Trajectories Leading to Autism Spectrum Disorders Are Affected by Paternal Age: Findings from Two Nationally Representative Twin Studies
Lundstrom, Sebastian; Haworth, Claire M. A.; Carlstrom, Eva; Gillberg, Christopher; Mill, Jonathan; Rastam, Maria; Hultman, Christina M.; Ronald, Angelica; Anckarsater, Henrik; Plomin, Robert; Lichtenstein, Paul; Reichenberg, Abraham
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v51 n7 p850-856 Jul 2010
Background: Despite extensive efforts, the causes of autism remain unknown. Advancing paternal age has been associated with various neurodevelopmental disorders. We aim to investigate three unresolved questions: (a) What is the association between paternal age and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?; (b) Does paternal age moderate the genetic and environmental etiological factors for ASD? (c) Does paternal age affect normal variation in autistic-like traits? Methods: Two nationally representative twin studies from Sweden (n = 11, 122, assessed at age 9 or 12) and the UK (n = 13, 524, assessed at age 9) were used. Categorical and continuous measures of ASD, autistic-like traits and autistic similarity were calculated and compared over paternal age categories. Results: Both cohorts showed a strong association between paternal age and the risk for ASD. A U-shaped risk association could be discerned since the offspring of both the youngest and oldest fathers showed an elevation in the risk for ASD. Autistic similarity increased with advancing paternal age in both monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Both cohorts showed significantly higher autistic-like traits in the offspring of the youngest and oldest fathers. Conclusions: Phenomena associated with paternal age are clearly involved in the trajectories leading to autistic-like traits and ASD. Mechanisms influencing the trajectories might differ between older and younger fathers. Molecular genetic studies are now needed in order to further understand the association between paternal age and ASD, as well as normal variation in social, language, and repetitive behaviors in the general population.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden; United Kingdom