Autism is less common in girls than boys. Gender difference is seen in disorders such as autism spectrum disorder [ASD] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] with more males affected than females.
In ASD, on average, one female will be affected to every seven males.
Now new data from recent research, is leading to a theory that the growing brain of young girls may be more resilient and to an extent better protected biologically.
The team researching, [University Hospital of Lausanne Switzerland and University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle] studied genetic data from 15,000 individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and 800 families affected by ASD. They found females diagnosed with ASD, had a higher number of harmful genetic mutations than did the males, but that they needed to reach a higher threshold of said mutations for them to develop ASD.
It is proposed the female brain requires more extreme genetic alterations than the male brain, to produce symptoms.
Lead author Sebastien Jacquemont of the University Hospital of Lausanne, says, the data suggests it looks like there is a resilience in brain development that is much higher in females than in males, but he is quick to stress this would need additional experiments to actually prove.
Co-author Evan Eichler of the University of Washington says, there are two ways of looking at it, either boys are more susceptible or girls are better protected, taking more insult on the genome of a girl to push them into developing autism or to develop developmental delay, when compared to boys.
Personally I`m not sure at this moment in my opinion on this theory, although it does give something to think about and is very well researched.
I read a good part of the study a few days ago online, unfortunately however, it has gone and only the abstract is open to view. I have posted the link anyway, perhaps someone might find something of interest in another link.