Autism’s gender bias examined by new study

Written by Francesca Lake

A team of researchers has uncovered a possible reason behind sex differences in autism: changes in a brain signalling pathway involved in reward and motivation. A bias towards males is seen in various neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and ADHD. For autism, four males are affected to every female. The reasons behind this bias are unknown. The current research used a mouse model of autism with a copy number variation known to cause nearly one in 200 autism cases. They demonstrated that this deletion resulted in abnormal reward-learning behaviour in male mice only – females were unaffected. This effect was accompanied...

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