Systemizers Have A Higher Risk Of Children Suffering From Autism

by Medindia Content Team on  January 31, 2006 at 11:44 AM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
Systemizers Have A Higher Risk Of Children Suffering From Autism
In a study conducted by Prof Simon Baron-Cohen at the Cambridge University it was clear that tendency of like-minded people, called the systemizers, when they marry each other resulted an increase in the rate of autistic children. Statistics show that about one in 100 children (males) suffer from autism.

But the research head believes that the gene that is responsible for autism is linked to the gene that helps people to systemize in life. He says that systemizers are more attracted to each other due to the phenomena called assortative mating. Systemizers are more comfortable in the company of each other. The findings of the study are reported in the journal Archives of Diseases of Childhood.

In this study about 1,000 members are surveyed from the National Autistic Society. It was found that their fathers and grandfathers of children with autism are all in a systemizing profession such as engineering. Students in the field of natural sciences have increased number of relatives with autism when compared with those of humanities, and mathematicians.

Hence the researcher proves that the point that both parents of children with autism are strong systemizers is proved when it is seen that both the parents score above average on a questionnaire that measures autistic traits.

Prof Baron-Cohen also says that the rise in autism could be attributed to assortative mating. A numbers of women studying mathematics, engineering and other systemizing subjects are more likely to come into contact with systemizing men. This happens especially in the computer field.

Sometimes it is not the subject that proves they are systemizers but the other abilities like possessing a remarkable memory for the names of songs in their CD collection, or for dates or telephone numbers.

It is seen that both the parents have an unusually sharp eye for details and the brain scans show that the mothers have a masculinised pattern of brain activity, all proving the point that they are strong systemizers. Hence all the evidence suggests that there is a genetic cause for autism and it has a high affinity for those who think systematically.


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