Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Trajectories leading to autism spectrum disorders are affected by paternal age: findings from two nationally representative twin studies

Buy Article:

$59.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Background: 

Despite extensive efforts, the causes of autism remain unknown. Advancing paternal age has been associated with various neurodevelopmental disorders. We aim to investigate three unresolved questions: (a) What is the association between paternal age and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?; (b) Does paternal age moderate the genetic and environmental etiological factors for ASD? (c) Does paternal age affect normal variation in autistic-like traits? Methods: 

Two nationally representative twin studies from Sweden (n = 11, 122, assessed at age 9 or 12) and the UK (n = 13, 524, assessed at age 9) were used. Categorical and continuous measures of ASD, autistic-like traits and autistic similarity were calculated and compared over paternal age categories. Results: 

Both cohorts showed a strong association between paternal age and the risk for ASD. A U-shaped risk association could be discerned since the offspring of both the youngest and oldest fathers showed an elevation in the risk for ASD. Autistic similarity increased with advancing paternal age in both monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Both cohorts showed significantly higher autistic-like traits in the offspring of the youngest and oldest fathers. Conclusions: 

Phenomena associated with paternal age are clearly involved in the trajectories leading to autistic-like traits and ASD. Mechanisms influencing the trajectories might differ between older and younger fathers. Molecular genetic studies are now needed in order to further understand the association between paternal age and ASD, as well as normal variation in social, language, and repetitive behaviors in the general population.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; autistic traits; behavioral genetics; paternal age

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK 2: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 3: Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2010

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more