View Full Version : Sensory sensitivity and autism

23-01-18, 16:27

It's more and more clear that autism is a genetic disorder.

"The heritable factors that underlie autism significantly overlap with those that influence unusual sensory responses, a new study of more than 12,000 twin pairs suggests1 (https://spectrumnews.org/news/sensory-sensitivity-may-share-genetic-roots-autism/#refs).The findings reinforce the idea that sensory sensitivities (https://spectrumnews.org/opinion/viewpoint/treatments-needed-for-severe-sensory-sensitivity/) are a core feature of autism. They also hint that a better understanding of the genetic factors underlying sensory responses could reveal insights into autism."

"The reason for a link between autism and these sensitivities has been unclear. Parents and siblings of people with autism often have milder versions of these features (https://spectrumnews.org/opinion/mothers-of-children-with-autism-share-their-sensory-problems/), hinting that the sensitivities may run in families.
“You can’t really say whether an association you see is genetic or environmental from a family study, so we thought that [a twin study] could be an informative approach,” says Mark Taylor (http://ki.se/en/people/martay), a postdoctoral fellow in the medical epidemiology and biostatistics department at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. (Paul Lichtenstein (http://ki.se/en/people/paulic) and Sebastian Lundström (https://gnc.gu.se/forskningspersonal-&-samarbetspartners+/lundstrom--sebastian), the two investigators who supervised the work, were both unavailable for comment.)
The new work suggests that about 85 percent of the overlap between autism features and sensory sensitivities can be explained by shared genetic factors."