November 13, 2020 Why is ASD more common in Boys?
Autism Spectrum Disorder shows affinity towards the male gender and a new scientific study throws light on the reason behind this.
We know that the female gender has two X chromosomes and the male gender one X and one Y chromosome.
A team of neuroscientists headed by Dr Roche found that a single amino acid change in the NLGN4 gene on the X chromosome is responsible for this gender preponderance.
Mutations in the NLGN4 gene occur which lead to disturbances in the development of the brain in the child as evidenced by electrophysiology and biochemistry and imaging techniques.
In females there is presence of an additional X chromosome to compensate for this mutation, which is not the case in males.
Hence, we have more boys with ASD than girls.
- Nguyen TA, Wu K, Pandey S, Lehr AW, Li Y, Bemben MA, Badger JD 2nd, Lauzon JL, Wang T, Zaghloul KA, Thurm A, Jain M, Lu W, Roche KW. A Cluster of Autism-Associated Variants on X-Linked NLGN4X Functionally Resemble NLGN4Y. Neuron. 2020 Jun 3;106(5):759-768.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.03.008. Epub 2020 Apr 2. PMID: 32243781; PMCID: PMC7491604.
- Technology Networks. Study Offers Clues to Why Autism Is More Common in Boys. Available at https://www.technologynetworks.com/genomics/news/study-offers-clues-to-why-autism-is-more-common-in-boys-332991